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Spanish Wine Guide

Glass on red wine over ledge overlooking vineyard

As one of the ‘Old World’ wine regions, Spain has a long history of producing high quality wines, a tradition that is thought to date back to around 1100BC! In current times, there are over 1.2 million hectares of wine grapes planted in Spain, making it the second largest producer of wine in the world, only second to Italy.

As a large country with very diverse physical geographies, Spain is able to grow a wide variety of grapes (more than 400 different varieties, in fact!) leading to big regional variances between the resulting wines. In this blog, we will explore what Spain has to offer, and introduce you to some of our favourite lower-calorie Spanish wines. 

Spanish wine regions 

Covering 200,000 square miles, Spain is the largest country in southern Europe. Under the Spanish wine law system, there are 138 identifiable wine regions in Spain - far too many for us to list here! To make things easier, the regions can be split into 6 areas that have distinct climates, subsequently producing different styles of wine. The regions are: 

  • Andalucia, which is most famous for producing Sherry. Grapes grow in unique white soil, called  albariza, which is rich in limestone.
  • Green Spainwhich is an area in the north west of Spain, containing the prominent wine-making regions of Txakoli, Galicia, and Bierzo. The cool, misty climate lends itself to producing a variety of crisp, aromatic white wines. Red wines are also made in the region, primarily with the Mencia grape.
  • The Islandsincluding the Canary and Balearic Islands, where the red volcanic soils are capable of growing a wide range of grape varieties, both red and white, such as Chardonnay, Palomino, Malvasía, Tempranillo.  Currently there are few exporters of wines from the Islands, so unless you have visited the region, it is unlikely you have had the pleasure of trying one!
  • The Mediterranean coast. Stretching down the eastern coast of Spain, this region is home to Valencia, Murcia, and Catalonia. Catalonian, in particular, produces exceptionally fine wines of the highest quality, which are internationally acclaimed. The region is also famous for its sparkling Cava wines, with large volumes being produced in Penedes.
  • Meseta. Located in central Spain, the Meseta is the largest wine making region, producing 13 million hectolitres per year, a third of Spanish wine output. Grapes commonly found here include Tempranillo, Garnacha, Albillo, and Petit Verdot
  • Ebro Valley and Duero Valley.  These neighbouring regions are both well known for producing fine red wines, particularly of the Tempranillo variety. White and Rose wines are also grown here - for example, white wines are made from Verdejo, whilst Navarra has a reputation for classy rose wines. 


Spanish red wines 

Spanish red wines are hugely popular with consumers across the world. With bold, fruity flavours, plenty of entry level wines that offer great value for money, as well as high end fine red wines, Spain caters for all tastes and budgets when it comes to red wine. In general, Spanish red wines pair very well with rich foods, such as red meat dishes and burgers. 

The best known red grape variety from Spain is the Tempranillo, which is the most planted red grape variety in the country. In fact, 87% of the world’s Tempranillo is grown in Spain, so it really is one to try if you are looking for a classic Spanish wine. Tempranillo grapes are thick skinned and very dark in colour, producing full bodied wines with flavours such as red fruits, vanilla, dried fig, and cedar.

Due to their fairly neutral profile, Tempranillo grapes are often blended with other grapes such as Grenache and Carignan, or aged for extended periods of time in oak barrels. Wines that have been aged for less than a year tend to possess more juicy and spicy flavours, whilst those that have been aged for extended periods become more sweet in flavour. The major Tempranillo-producing regions in Spain are Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Penedès, Navarra and Valdepeñas.

Rioja, found in the Ebro Valley, is one of the most popular and successful red wine regions in Spain, producing flagship red wines primarily made from Tempranillo and Garnacha. The region has D.O.Ca., (Qualified Designation of Origin) classification, which is  the highest category in Spanish wine regulation, so you can be assured that any wine you drink from here is of the highest quality. 

Lower-calorie spanish red wines available at DrinkWell

Tempted by the Tempranillo? Well, you are in the right place! We have a number of lower calorie Tempranillo Spanish wines available at DrinkWell. Have a look below for a taster. 

Mesta Organic, Uclés, Tempranillo 2019

Coming from high-altitude vineyards in the northernmost part of Central Castile, this is a vibrant and juicy, unoaked Tempranillo, with aromas of red berries, rosemary, and a touch of liquorice. We particularly love this one as it is 100% organic - the vineyards are sustainably managed and organically farmed as part of an integrated ecosystem. This 14% ABV red wine also contains just 89 calories per 125ml, alongside 0.5g of carbs, which are both very low values for a red wine. Order yourself a bottle from the DrinkWell website for £9.99 today. 

Vina Palaciega Tempranillo

Hailing from the famous Rioja region, this bright lower calorie red wine is made from a blend of Tempranillo and Grenache grapes. The wine is of a medium-to-high intensity, with notes of ripe fruit in perfect balance with oak. It is suitable for vegans and 100% gluten free, whilst containing 94 calories per 125ml and just 0.2g of sugar. Why not give it a try and order yourself a bottle today for £12.99 on the DrinkWell website. 

Spanish white wines 

Whilst arguably most famous for its red wine, Spain also produces some really fantastic white wines. Grapes commonly used to produce white wines in Spain include Albariño, Godello, Verdejo, Viura, Treixadura, Tempranillo Blanco, and Garnacha Blanca. A variety of styles of white wine are produced, including fortified wines such as Sherry (which is made from the more unusual ‘palomino’ grape), and sparkling wines such as Cava (considered to be Spain's answer to Prosecco!). The Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo are the most commonly used grape varieties for producing cava, and you’ll find rose bottles as well as white ones. 

Probably one of Spain's biggest white wine success stories is Albarinos wine, which is produced in significant quantities in Rías Baixas, found in the ‘Green Spain’ region in the north west. The variety is now Spain's biggest white wine export. Wines made from this grape are known for their distinctive botanical undertones and flavours of tropical and citrus fruits. They are  generally quite high in acidity, and tend to pair very well with fish dishes and summery salads. 

Lower-calorie Spanish white wines available at DrinkWell

Summer may nearly be over, but we think that’s all the more reason to bring a bit of Spanish sunshine to your dining table! After searching high and low, DrinkWell now has a number of fabulous lower-calorie Spanish white wines available. Take a look below.

El Ninot de Paper Blanco

This zesty, light-bodied Spanish white wine is the perfect accompaniment to paella, so why not go all out with a Spanish themed dinner party? Produced predominantly from Viura grapes and blended with Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is gently fruity with citrus and green apple characters, with fresh acidity on the finish. It is 100% gluten free, and contains 85 calories and 0.25g of sugar per 125ml. It also comes at the fantastic price of £7.99 per bottle when ordered from the DrinkWell website.

Mesta Organic, Uclés, Verdejo 2019

The Mesta Organic wine is made from the unusual Vardejo grape, which grows almost exclusively in Spain - so a great choice if you are wanting a truly authentic Spanish white! The grapes are grown in high-altitude vineyards in the northernmost part of Central Castile, where the continental climate enjoys sunny days and cool nights. This climate results in grapes with intense fruit and remarkable freshness. Mesta Organic is 100% gluten free and (you guessed it!) organic, and contains 83 calories and 0.49g of sugar per 125ml. This crisp, aromatic wine can be purchased from the DrinkWell website for £9.49 per bottle.

Spanish rose wine

Spain is the second largest rose wine producing country - unsurprisingly, taking the second place spot behind France. Known as rosado in Spain, rose wines made here tend to be darker in colour than their French counterparts. Garnacha and Tempranillo are the most commonly used grapes for Spanish rose’s. One of the most notable rose wine producing regions in Spain is Navarra, primarily using Garnacha grapes for the highest quality examples. Navarra rose wines are often dry and fruity, and pair well with hearty Spanish food. Other successful rose wine producing regions include Rioja and Txakoli.

Lower-calorie Spanish rose wines available at DrinkWell  

DrinkWell are super excited about this gem of a lower-calorie Spanish rose that we have been able to bring to our customers. ThePasion de Bobal Rosado contains just 71 calories per 125ml, and is completely carb free, making it an excellent choice for anyone following a low carb diet such as keto. Very much in the French ‘provence’ style, this stunning Spanish rose is pale pink with crisp red berry fruit and some minerality adding palate weight to a dry finish.

Don’t just take our word for it - this wine is multi award-winning , including gold at the Sommelier Wine Awards 2020, and another gold at the IWC 2018. As it is also suitable for vegans, 100% gluten free and 100% organic, it really is an excellent choice no matter what your requirements are. Grab yourself a bottle from the DrinkWell website for £12.99 and see for yourself!

For even more delicious old and new world wines, why not browse the entire Drinkwell collection. 


Browse the Wine Collection

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