International Tempranillo Day

Scattered throughout the year are national days of many grape varieties of wine. Temprainillo is slated for today, but why?

Who made this claim? And who makes the decision on any of the years’ national day? What makes them decide on any specific day?

To my surprise I actually found the answer to this!

A wine group, called TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society), decided that every year on the second Thursday of November would be declared International Tempranillo Day. We are familiar with the word tapas as appetizer style foods, correct? This originated in Spain.

Why they chose this day is unclear. Once I have this answer, I will update.

Tempranillo grapes have been growing in the Phoenician Peninsula since 1100 BC despite the fact that this grape, today, is grown predominantly (500,000 + acres if it!) in Spain. A rather old grape!

The name comes from temprano which means early. This type of grape tends to ripen earlier than other varieties in Spain. So there lies the mystery…why is its day in November….

If you can catch Northern Spain in the fall, you’ll enjoy the change of leaf color from green to bright red. Here is where the grapes do their best. It is not a hot weathered grape.

The Flavour of Tempranillo

If you are wondering whether you will enjoy a glass of this wine, keep in mind these tips:

This medium to full bodied variety of grape tends to produce a dark red wine that is low in sugar and acid.

Flavours may include cherry, vanilla, dried fig, cedar, tobacco, and dill.

Oaked or Un-Oaked

Many versions are unoaked. If you are sensitive to oaked wines, tempranillo is a great option.

Since it is un-oaked, go ahead and chill it in the fridge before serving. It will be very refreshing for the summertime.

A Few Examples of Un-Oaked Tempranillo

Chain Bridge Cellars

Vin Joven

El Jefe

Luis Alegre  Rioja Alavesa

It is the end of the weekend when this wine is celebrated, unfortunately, but the good news is another one will come around next year. When it does, take the Lodi Tempranillo Tour in California.

Please note, Tempranillo can be enjoyed year round, not just today!

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on November 12, 2017.



Want The Bottom Line on Red Wine? Here’s 10!

Hot on the heels of Pinot Noir Day, we have, yet again, reason to celebrate with a glass of wine.

Red wine, that is.

Uno. The ideal temperature for wine storage is from 45-65 F or 4-18 C. And the same temperature must remain constant, no fluctuations. The colder it is, the longer it will last.

I mean, really, have you ever left a bottle of wine the trunk of your car in the summer heat? It’s done, vinegar. Don’t drink it.

Dos. Shorter fermentation period = low histamines

Tres. Low sugar content = drier wine, sugar depletes the liquid in your head which will cause a headache so if there’s less sugar, there’s less chance of a headache. And please, avoid eating something sugary when drinking wine. Double Trouble.

Cuatro. Humidity should be between 60-80% to slow down the aging process.

Cinco. Keep it out of direct sunlight. For the same reason. Dim lighting is ok.

Sample Organic Section

Seis. Organic = low sulphites

A couple of examples: Domaine Jean Bousquet, 35 South and this Bordeaux

Siete. Tannins = a preservative, there could be some truth to the wine drinker being well-preserved.

Tannins are present due to the grape skins, seeds, stems and the good old oak barrel.

Beaujolais or a Tempranillo tend to have lower levels of tannins. If you don’t live in Canada, search your local liquor store for a good brand.

Nueve. For those who stay away from wine because they give you a headache? It’s dehydrating you…drink water.

Diez. Oxygen = killing your wine.

So yes, if you transfer unused wine to a smaller bottle, it will maintain it’s freshness. I picked up a mini bottle and re-use it all the time now. Grab one near the liquor store check-out. If  there isn’t any room for the oxygen to sit within your bottle, it won’t break down.

Better yet, grab your friend and enjoy the whole bottle today for Red Wine Day!

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on August 28, 2017