Ep 026 – Rioja Crianza

Anyone who knows me, knows I love Spanish wines. In fact, the first red wine I fell in love with was a Spanish garnacha and you never forget your first love (or at least your first wine love). So we’ve decided to spend the next four weeks talking about Spanish wines. We already talked about Albariño and Cava a few months back when we explored summertime wines, so definitely listen to that episode if you haven’t already. A few months back, we were planning out future episodes, looking back at some of our favorite wines and a large number were Spanish (and rightly so). So sit back with a bottle of your favorite (or some of our favorite) Spanish wine and enjoy the show. Cheers! -Betty

09Rioja_Euro-Spain map

Rioja is a wine region in the north central part of Spain.


In this episode we discuss Rioja region of Spain and recommend some excellent Rioja Crianza wines!


Information in this episode include:

  • History of winemaking in Rioja
  • Climate and geography of Rioja

    09rioja_regions map

    The Rioja region contains three sub-regions – Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Baja

  • Three subzones of Rioja
  • Tempranillo grape
  • Rioja wine classifications
  • Trade and laws
  • Food pairings


The maps on this page were provided by Rioja Wines. Check out the their website for more information about the Rioja region.


Wine Recommendations:

Montecillo Rioja Crianza 2010 -This wine is priced around $10!

Tasting Notes: Very fruity with flavors of strawberry and blackberry jam. Spicy nose of pepper, fennel and cherry with Medium+ acidity and low tannins. Would go well with a strong cheese or bold, meaty or mushroom based dish.




Foster Valserrano 2011 – This wine is priced around $16
Tasting Notes: Aromas of red berries, plums, pepper, nutmeg and a little tobacco. A juicy wine with a good balance of acid and tannins not overpowering. Winemaker said that 2011 was an excellent crop and one of the best in recent years.




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About Betty Notto

Betty Notto is a wine lover based in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. She is the co-creator and co-host of Weekly Wine Show Podcast. Find her out in the interwebs via Twitter @weeklywineshow @bettynotto