Food & Drink

6 standout Spanish wines to salute summer

From fantastic fizz to wonderful whites and remarkable reds, Spain has it all, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Summer entertaining season has begun
Summer entertaining season has begun (dpVUE .images / Alamy Stock Phot/Alamy Stock Photo)

As far as wine, food, and taste of the good life goes, Spain really can call the shots when it comes to style, quality and diversity – with scope to deliver at every level.

With its rich history, vast stretches of land under vine – it’s the third largest producer of wine in the world – varied climates with near-perfect growing conditions and grapes aplenty, not to mention the cuisine, Spain can satisfy in spades.

To help you seek and savour, these are some top drops to have on hand…

1. Condesa De Flores Cava Brut, Catalonia, Spain, £6.25, Tesco

To rival bubbles, you can’t beat the quality, value and sheer drinking pleasure from a fresh, bright cava. Made in the traditional method (same as champagne), this is your go-to for an elegantly flavoured fizz with lifted, citrusy aromas, light biscuity note and hints of apples and stone fruits.

2. Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla En Rama, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain, £19.95 (75cl), Tanners

An annual spring release, en rama is sherry in its purest, freshest, most delicate form, bottled from cask – and one to serve ice cold in a wine glass. Utterly delicious, Manzanilla stems from the coastal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda where the sea air contributes to the saline, yeasty, tangy flavours which work like a dream with tapas, ham and olives.

3. Codorniu Grenache Organic Rosé Wine, Spain, £10.55, Amazon

When the sun has got its hat on and you’re ready to uncork a coral rosado, this new release from one of the country’s most historic cava producers stands out for its delightful strawberry-scented aromas, hints of redcurrant, crisp red berry fruits, juicy acidity and super fresh finish. An al fresco rosé and remarkably food friendly.

4. Mar De Frades Albariño 2023, Riax Baixas, Spain, £17, Tesco

Spain’s trendy white grape, albariño, produces crisp, saline whites with typical Atlantic minerality and freshness. Championing these vibrant wines, this producer offers an elegance and purity few albariños pull off; with its white florals, ripe stone fruits, hints of melon, Galician salinity and wash of acidity, this seafood-loving wine is a winner with Cornish crab.

5. No.1 Viña Lorea Reserva Rioja 2018, Spain, £13.99, Waitrose

One of Spain’s strongest suits, it’s safe to say Rioja is the driving force behind our love of Spanish reds – and hands down, you won’t find a better supermarket-own label (collaboration with Cvne) with so much swagger. Vivid on the nose with pretty aromas of violets and vanilla, inky black fruits are laced with hints of mocha, spice, with well-integrated oak on the plush, generous palate. A great match with spring lamb.

6. Familia Torres Salmos 2020, Priorat, Spain, £25, London End Wines

(meritxell lombarte)

A Spanish gem and seriously good, the small region of Priorat in the northeast produces some of the country’s most prized reds – powerful, concentrated, with an alluring minerality (slate soils are part of its DNA), herbaceous, floral character and peppery note. Deftly blended and a delicious introduction to this cult wine, expect beautiful, blossomy aromas, opulent black fruits, cassis, liquorice, sweet spice, a garrigue note, minerally nuances and long, complex finish.