Piedra del Rayo Rioja is a popular, easy-to-drink Spanish wine. You may know it, you may even love it. It’s inexpensive, it’s fruity and it tastes good. Those are all good points when it comes to picking a wine, for sure, but we think we can do better. The wine world is big, and there are other producers out there making all sorts of wines that you could try instead. Next time you’re shopping for Piedra del Rayo Rioja, why not consider one of these three tasty alternatives…

 

3 Alternatives to Piedra del Rayo Rioja

You might expect us to simply recommend you another Rioja wine instead of Piedra del Rayo, but no. We’ve looked outside the Rioja region and have come up with three bottles that you’re sure to love. If you like Piedra del Rayo Rioja for its price, its fruitiness and, well, its tastiness, you’ll find a lot to like here!

 

Substitute #1: High-quality Jumilla

Jumilla sometimes flies under the radar, overshadowed by better-known Spanish regions like Rioja and Ribera del Duero. The nice thing about that is that the wines tend to be undervalued: Spend a little in Jumilla and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. You can get a Jumilla wine for less than €10 that’d cost twice that if it were from a more famous region. That’s great for the wine lover.

Juan Gil 12 Meses

Our top pick is Juan Gil 12 Meses. There’s plenty of reasons to like this wine:

Juan Gil 12 Meses 2014This one is 100% Mourvèdre, a powerful black grape best known in GSM blends.

 

It’s literally bursting with flavour, with beautiful aromas of ripe red fruits and toasted wood.

 

With a 92-point score from Guía Peñín, this is a surefire hit!

 

Best of all, this is a premium quality wine at a very accessible price!

Like Piedra del Rayo Rioja, this is a concentrated, fruity and harmonious wine. Skip the Rioja and serve this with an aged cheeseboard and seriously impress your guests!

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Substitute #2: Tasty Toro

We love Toro wines. These are rich, powerful and full. The wines really represent a sense of place, and the winemakers even have their own name for the Tempranillo grape – Tinta de Toro. Piedra del Rayo Rioja is all well and good, though why not branch out and see how somebody else does Tempranillo.

Flor de Vetus

Again, you can get a great bottle of top Toro for less than €10, and we’ve picked Flor de Vetus particularly for you Piedra del Rayo fans!

Flor De Vetus 2014This is every bit as full-flavoured and fruit-forward as your favourite Rioja, with some serious bite to it!

 

There are a wide range of aromas and flavours, including cherry, jam, red fruit and coffee. There’s a lot to take in.

 

A nice balance of oak, new and old, French and American, makes the wine incredibly harmonious and balanced!

Sub this one in for Piedra del Rayo and serve it up with a good steak!

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Substitute #3: Sumptuous Somontano

Enate Cabernet Merlot

A little off the beaten track again, the Somontano region offers serious value for money and a real viable alternative to your Rioja. Enate Cabernet Merlot comes at a very nice price and has a lot to offer:

Enate Cabernet - Merlot 2013It’s the typical Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, though is distinctly Spanish in style!

 

Full of flavour and body and with high acidity, this is a superb alternative to a Rioja Crianza.

 

Its 88-point score from Guía Peñín gives this one a very good quality/price ratio!

Grab a bottle of Somontano and leave the Piedra del Rayo Rioja on the shelf. You’ll impress your friends by presenting a less well-known bottle and you can tell them all about the Bordeaux connection, too!

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What do you think of our substitutes? Do you have any ideas for other alternatives? Let us know in the comments!

 

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