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Rioja and food

Rioja and tapas - the perfect match

Rioja comes in a broad array of styles, so not matter what tapas dish you go for, there's a Rioja wine to suit it:



Fresh seafood demands a light and crisp unoaked white Rioja. These wines are typically fresh and citrusy with aromas of green apple and pear.

Tortilla Española

Eggs are notoriously difficult to match with wine but a rich, savoury Spanish potato omelette pairs perfectly with a traditional white Rioja. White Reserva wines are aged for a minimum of two years and their creamy, buttery flavours balanced with lemon acidity lend themselves well to a variety of different foods.

Gambas al ajillo

Garlic prawns or chicken will be perfectly complemented by a juicy Rioja rosado. Full of strawberry and cherry fruit, with a dry finish, and refreshing acidity, rosé cuts through strong flavours like garlic.

Pulpo a la Gallega

Young (joven) guarantee of origin reds tend to be light, fruity, and unoaked – try serving lightly chilled with a traditional northern Spanish dish of octopus with paprika potatoes. Young reds are ideal ‘tapas wines’ as they go with a wide range of dishes, with vibrant fresh red berry fruit flavours offering an approachable style.

Queso Manchego con membrillo

Try a Rioja Crianza with traditional aged sheep’s cheese and quince. Crianza wines spend at least year ageing in oak, and a year in bottle before release, resulting in a juicy style, combining berry fruit with a hint of vanilla and spice, with refreshing acidity cutting through the cheese.


The rich flavours of a Spanish meatball stew require a bold wine. With at least three years’ ageing between barrel and bottle, Rioja Reserva shows great concentration of fruit with savoury, spicy hints, which will stand up well to the full-flavoured albóndigas.

Chuletillas de Cordero

Lamb and Rioja make a classic pairing, so for a special occasion, try lamb chops with a Rioja Gran Reserva. Ranking among the finest in the world, these wines spend five years ageing in barrel and bottle, and offer intense depth, with savoury hints of leather and spice, and an exceptionally smooth, silky texture.