Updated January 1st 2023 (to include a few wines we tried out during the holidays 🙂 )
There’s a few reasons that I call this the “Unpretentious Guide of Spanish Wines” :
1. I don’t believe in spending big bucks on a bottle of wine.
In fact the most expensive wine you’ll see on this list will probably be around the 20 Euro mark. We drink wine every day and most days we stick to a 3 to 5 Euro bottle. Every couple of weeks we cook a special dinner and, along with that, will get a couple of more expensive bottles to try out. We don’t have millions to spend on wine so I’m not going to be the guy telling you that you have to pay at least 50 Euros to get a decent bottle of wine.
2. You’re not going to get one of these kinds of reviews:
You won’t get a pretentious review like the above from me.
I’ve taken wine courses. I’ve also travelled to a lot of wine producing countries and tasted a lot of wine (3 months in South Africa is still my wine highlight). I’m not a wine expert but I know what I like and I’m just going to tell you in simple and unpretentious terms what I like or don’t like about a wine.
This “Unpretentious Guide of Spanish Wines” is a compilation and review of the wines we’ve tried. The reason for it was simple – I wanted to document our wine tasting of Spanish wines. I hope this guide helps readers when they go to the store to get a bottle, whether it be an everyday kind of wine or a wine for a special meal. Remember – Spain has great wine in all price brackets. I’m always amazed at the wine you can buy (for very little) in Spain.
The Guide will continuously be updated as we add new wines to the list. Please feel free to give your thoughts or to recommend wines you like. We’re always looking for new wines and new experiences.
How I’ve organized this:
- You’ll find a summary of a few of our favorites in different categories (ex. red for a Special occasion, everyday red, everyday white, specialty wines etc).
- A list of all the wines we’ve tasted, along with the price and our score. If you’re interested in knowing more about the wine I’ve included a link to a separate page where I’ve gone into more detail.
Remember that wine is very subjective, what I might like you might not!
Summarizing some of our favorite wines
Red for a Special occasion: Marqués de Riscal (Reserva)
Everyday (inexpensive) red: Abadía Mantrús, Proximus
Mid-range white: Marques de Caceres
Something different: Vinos del Vero (Reisling)
Review Guide summary (click on the wine for more detail)
Reds in the 10-20 Euro range
Marqués de Riscal (Reserva). 15.90 Euros, 9.5/10
Tres Generaciones, El Lero . 11.90 Euros, 8.5/10
Flor Y Nata. 11.95 Euros, 8/10
Ricardo Dumas Crianza 11.90 Euros, 8/10
Sierra Cantabria . 11.50 Euros, 6/10
Reds in the 5-10 Euro range
Melior. 7.65 Euros, 8.5/10
Honoro Vera Grenache. 5.95 Euros, 7.5/10
Marques de Caceres. 7.90 Euros, 7.5/10
Abadía Mantrús Reserva 7.50 Euros, 7.3/10
Luis Cañas . 9.95 Euros, 6.5/10
Reds in the 0-5 Euro range
Note: this category is a traffic jam. We’re always trying to find the perfect cheap wine (we’re everyday drinkers) and there are a lot of very decent wines in this price category. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that you rarely drink crap wine in Spain – and sometimes you get a pretty damn good bottle for very little.
Món Perdut 3.80 Euros, 7.6/10
Proximus. 4.50 Euros, 7.6/10
Sangre de Toro. 4.20 Euros, 7.3/10
Abadía Mantrús. 3.15 Euros, 7.2/10
Viña Albali (Reserva). 3.15 Euros, 7.2/10
Arteso. 4.50 Euros, 7.2/10
Mayor de Castilla 4.45 Euros 7.2/10
Estola 4.75 Euros, 7.2/10
The Guv’nor (full review to come) 2.70 Euros, 7.2/10
Palacio del Conde (full review to come) 2.55 Euros, 7.1/10
Castillo San Asensio 3.30 Euros 7/10
Los Molinos. 2.00 Euro, 7/10
Borsao. 2.30 Euros, 7/10
Caperucita Tinta. 1.95 Euros, 6/10
Pata Negra 2.35 Euros 4/10
Campo Viejo 4.55 Euros 1/10
Whites in the 10-20 Euro range
Cloe. Chardonnay 13.90 Euros, 7/10
Whites in the 0-5 Euro range
Marques de Caceres 4.95 Euros, 8/10
Campo Viejo Fresco 4.25 Euros, 7.5/10
Comportillo 2.50 Euros, 6/10
El Coto 3.55 Euros, 5/10
Specialty Wines (including Rosés)
Vinos del Vero (Reisling) 10.50 Euros, 8/10
Bach Extrisimo (semi-sweet) 4.25 Euros, 7 /10
Muga Rioja (Rosé) 7.95 Euros, 6.5/10
For some background: A Beginner’s Guide to Spanish Wine
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Interesting to see this post on my FB feed. Very timely, since we are leaving Spain tomorrow and have decided to do a bit of a wine shopping tomorrow morning. So I think your guide will come very handy.
I have forwarded it to Brian.
Great! Good luck Gilda!
Hi Frank, I take your list shopping with me, and I have concurred on some of your recommendations. The other day, I thought I was smart to snag a Albali Riserva at 50% reduction in Hipercor…down from 6+euros. It was a 2015 vintage..which, I’m thinking may just be stretching a bit far for this wine. Or perhaps, I was expecting it to taste more like one of our Italian barricato Barberas. I’ve followed with a 2017 vintage of same, which was 3+euros…original price. Going to open it tonight. This is definately a learning curve…
Hi Toni! Albali – maybe that’s the Gran Reserva you bought? (because I buy the ordinary reserva which usually costs around 3.65 Euros. That’s probably the 2nd one you are referring to). I saw their Gran Reserva the other day at Iranzo but haven’t tried it yet.
Very happy if you enjoyed it 🙂
Caro Frank, I’ve been meaning to ask you if you ever fi d bag-in-box wine here in Spain. We use it a lot at home in Piemonte. Our local small producers and town wine co-ops offer 5 and 10liter vacuum packed boxes. Very convenient for the two of us, as it keeps, open, for weeks. But, I haven’t seen that system offered here. Am I looking in the wrong places?😊 Toni
Hi Toni! We used to find the same in Canada.
I think I’ve seen it in a few places. Like the expat store Iranzo I think I saw it. But otherwise I don’t think I have…
I’ll keep my eyes out next time and will let you know 🙂
Very informative Frank and exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for. I am sort of trying to convince myself that I like red wine ( I do, well some) my tastes are for soft, fruity and / or full bodied with plenty of punch. My favourite kinds of red are 19 Crimes and Jam Shed Shiraz , that Morrisons (Uk supermarket do) . I can’t say I’ve had many outstanding Spanish reds at the moment, but I wanted to spend a bit more than my usual 3 to 4 euro maximum at the moment, but knowing what to look out for was a little daunting, so it’s nice when you’ve put this guide together. It might even be a way to extend this by visiting a variety of bars and restaurants to gain further knowledge and I’m sure it would be fun finding out, although we’re not all millionaires, more is the pity. Once again, thanks for the information. 👏👏👏.
Thank you for the comment Tim, much appreciate the kind words.
I’ve always enjoyed Spanish wines which I generally categorize as full-bodied, fruity wines. I was looking at the description of what you like and thought “Shiraz!”…and then you mentioned Shiraz. You’d also probably like South African Pinotage wines, Madeira wines from Madeira (Portugal) and Grenache wines (I found this cheapo wine in Barcelona which had Grenache. One of best wine surprises).
One of the things you can do is go to a specialty store selling wines. That’s what we do. They sell wines in all price ranges and they don’t have to be expensive. Tell them what kind of wine you like and if they’ll usually have a few recommendations for you. That’s what I do. I know the lady there well know and she knows what kinds of wines I like 🙂
Karin Isabella O'Connor
Thank you so much for this, appreciate your hard work😉 very interesting and informative 🌞
Thank you very much!