Spain might be known for its towering full-bodied red wines, authentic age-worthy collectors’ pieces with a bold, Iberian personality. Still, Spanish winemakers are quite talented at making white wines that are worth exploring, especially if you're a fan of popular white wine varieties like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
There’s more, Spanish white wines are incredibly diverse, and they can take the role of more commercial varieties like Chardonnay and Sauvignon, both in flavor and in popularity.
Allow us to introduce you to two exemplary Spanish white wine grapes you can drink instead of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, authentic Spanish grapes with centuries of vinous history. Both of these varieties are indigenous to Spain, and they have been used for centuries to make some of the country's most beloved white wines.Here are some of Spain’s most brilliant white grapes.
Spanish Wines Similar to Chardonnay
Chardonnay is amongst the boldest and most full-bodied white grapes in the world of wine, but Spain has its own affinity for big, bold whites. Viura is a popular variety in central Spain, and it’s grown extensively in Rioja.
When it is made into a single-varietal wine, Viura can offer many similarities to Chardonnay.The white grape often sees barrel aging, just like Chardonnay, rewarding the wine with a luscious golden color and a ripe, layered bouquet. There’s no doubt a mature Viura can stand the test of time, as it can be enjoyed for decades after being bottled.
Viura is the perfect partner for roasted poultry, pork and veal, especially when served with white, creamy sauces.
One of the best Viura wines to try is the Bodegas Muga - Rioja Blanco 2021, a wine that has been aged in oak barrels for several months. This wine offers very fresh with aromas of lemon pith, white grapefruit, crushed shells and slate. Some biscuits and salted yellow plums. Medium-bodied with beautiful minerality and freshness. Vivid finish.
Spanish Wines Similar to Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is clean, crisp, refreshing, citrusy and herbal. It’s easy to see why it’s everyone’s favorite summer wine. Still, the French wine is not alone in the category. A traditional Spanish white grape shares many of its traits. So much that producers sometimes blend them for their stunning affinity.
The name is Verdejo, and the grape is a specialty in Rueda, in Castilla y León. The thin-skinned grape becomes the loveliest dry white wine with citrus aromas and subtle herbal notes, and it’s the perfect partner for seafood and fresh cheese.
It is a grape that has been gaining popularity in recent years, with many wine drinkers comparing it to Sauvignon Blanc due to its bright, citrusy flavors and herbaceous notes.It's considered one of Spain's signature grapes and has become one of the most popular Spanish wines around the world.
Verdejo wines are typically crisp and refreshing, with a pale yellow color and aromas of grapefruit, lemon, and herbs. They are often unoaked, which allows the grape’s natural flavors to shine through.
One of the best Verdejo wines to try is the Ossian Quintaluna Verdejo, a full-bodied white with sliced apple, white pineapple, waxy lemon and some pear. Long and flavorful. An excellent example of verdejo that makes it a great pairing for seafood, salads, and light pasta dishes.
Albariño – A Unique Alternative
While not as similar to Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc as Viura and Verdejo, Albariño is a white grape that offers its own unique flavors and characteristics. It is a grape that is primarily grown in the Rías Baixas region of Spain and is known for its bright acidity and aromatic profile.
Albariño wines are typically light-bodied with a pale yellow color and aromas of peach, apricot, and citrus. They have a crisp acidity that makes them a great pairing for seafood, sushi, and spicy dishes.
One of the best Albariño wines to try is the Granbazan Etiqueta Verde Albariño, which offers apple and other white fruit aromas that come with a touch of lanolin. This is fresh yet rounded on the palate. Nice flavors of golden apple, white stone fruits and sea salt finish with good length that makes it a great pairing for seafood, salads, and light pasta dishes.
Other Spanish Wines to Try
Sliced green apple, lemon zest and white almond on the nose with a crisp and bright profile of yellow and green fruit on the palate. Elegant and fresh-toned.
This lovely Verdejo shows a refreshing herbaceousness with citrus undertones to quench your thirst like the finest Sauvignon Blanc. Grown in the Rueda region, this clean and crisp white wine is a worthy ambassador for a wine style that’s both ancient and modern.
Spanish White Wine is Worth Seeking Out!
Yes, Spanish red wines are ever-popular and timeless classics, but the country’s white wine is equally impressive! Perhaps the wine style has lived under the shadow of red wine’s popularity for too long, but the secret is out — the next big thing is Spanish white wine.
Enjoy Spanish white wine with your favorite meals and your best friends. And there’s more good news, the wine style is still quite affordable compared to better-known counterparts, so Spanish white wine is always a fantastic deal!
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