Whilst white and rosé wines are perfectly matched to warm evenings in the garden, this summer why not branch out and choose from the wide selection of delicious light Rioja reds available. Rioja is world-renowned for its red wines and with many light varieties to choose from, there is no need to restrict reds to the winter months.
Rioja is well-known for producing classic oak-aged red styles, but this summer instead of breaking open the white and rosé wines, why not try a light unaged red from Rioja? The following wines complement a wide range of light summer meals and will bring some Spanish sunshine to your garden parties this year, whatever the weather!
If you believe summer isn’t summer without a barbecue then the following wines will offer the perfect accompaniment without overpowering your food. The Barón de Ley Club Privado 2010 offers hints of coconut and vanilla and a core of beautiful dark fruit flavour. Made from 100% Tempranillo – Rioja’s key red grape – this light fruity style makes this wine a perfect accompaniment to fresh Asian-spiced salmon cooked on the barbecue. Alternatively, Marqués de Griñón Tempranillo 2010 offers a perfect balance between fruit and oak and is a very versatile wine pairing well with spicy lamb burgers with a coriander and tomato relish.
Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Zaco 2008 is a smooth and well balanced red with ripe fruit flavours which pairs well with traditional Basque style dishes such as braised chicken with caramelized onions and sun dried tomatoes.
Alternatively, if the downpours are preventing you from dining in the great outdoors and you fancy laying out a spread of food indoors, Altos de la Guardia Tempranillo 2009 is a great accompaniment for tapas dishes such as Spanish croquettes. This light, easy-drinking red is silky smooth with red cherry and plum flavours mingling with toasty oak and hazelnut notes.
Modern in its approach, Beronia Tempranillo Elaboración Especial 2010 is deep and intense on the nose offering plenty of mocha, toasted bread and vanilla flavours with hints of mulberry. So if you’re after a delicious wine to accompany a quick meal, this flavoursome Tempranillo will suit a light summer dish such as lemony prawn and pea risotto which can be rustled up in minutes!
With a great selection of Rioja reds to choose from, there are plenty of options to help you make the very best of this great British summer.
Barón de Ley Club Privado 2010, £8.79, available from Waitrose
Marqués de Griñón Tempranillo 2010, £6.99, available from Tesco, Morrisons, Budgens
Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Zaco 2008, £9.14, available from Wine Rack and various independents
Altos de la Guardia Tempranillo 2009, £8.99, available from Sunday Times Wine Club, Laithwaites
Beronia Tempranillo Elaboracion Especial 2010, £11.99, available from Waitrose (selected stores) and selected independents
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