Published On: Sun, Nov 15th, 2015

Rioja Wine: Tempranillo Day Just Changed My Holiday Wine Menu.

image2Over the last few years, I have developed a new interest in wine and now that I have, I do not understand why Latinos do not drink wine more often. I wonder why it is not a bigger piece of our culture. I have been sharing any new wines with friends every chance I get.

So you already know I love to share my experiences with you… so I got an invite from Rioja wine to taste some of their finest wines for Tempranillo Day which was celebrated yesterday (Nov 12th). [Disclaimer: Some of the wine I tasted this week was gifted to me by Rioja Wine… but most of what I tasted was purchased by me while on my 6 city speaking tour last week] I was excited to taste Rioja because historically I have always gravitated to white wines (yes I have a sweet tooth).

Following the #TempranilloDay hashtag on social, I learned more about the wine.

So what is a tempranillo wine?

Tempranillo is the premier red wine grape variety from the Rioja region in Spain. Experts agree that Tempranillo, a thick-skinned black grape, is a classic and is responsible for making some of Spain’s best full-bodied red wines.

So to really do this right, I teamed up with my friend Yexenia E. Gómez [Yesxenia’s Sabor!] and her students at her Pupusa Making Workshop a few nights ago to see how Rioja Wine would pair up with this Salvadoran treat. For those of you who may not know, a pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick, handmade corn tortilla that is usually filled with a blend of the following: cheese cooked and seasoned pork meat ground to a paste consistency refried beans, or queso con loroco.

I knew that because I would be having some wine… I would not be focused on taking notes like I should so I did what any good blogger would do, I periscoped the tasting… check out the video here.

I really enjoyed the wines I tried… too many to name this week… but my absolute favorite was Osoti Crianza. I think that I will start incorporating some more reds in my holiday menu to expand my palette.

Here are some things I learned about Tempranillo wine at

  • Tempranillo occupies more than 75% of the vineyards in Rioja
  • Rioja’s cool growing conditions produce fruity, well-balanced wines with moderate alcohol, making them easy to pair
  • Major tempranillo regions include Spain, Portugal, USA & Australia (Over 500,000 acres worldwide)

Tempranillo is derived from the word temprano, which in Spanish means “early”, due to its early ripening and harvesting before other red grape varieties.

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Rioja Wine: Tempranillo Day Just Changed My Holiday Wine Menu.