Some wine terms are a little tricky to get your head around. “Brut Champagne” is one, and “Tokaji Puttonyos” is certainly another. Wine isn’t rocket science, but there are certainly some terms that are trickier than others. One deceptively simple term is “vino tinto”. Simply put, vino tinto is the Spanish term for red wine. That’s it: Lesson learned. In the spirit of keeping things simple, we have put together a list of five great value vino tinto wines that are guaranteed to please a crowd.
Best value vino tinto wines
Vino tinto wines don’t need much fuss or fanfare. You don’t always need lengthy oak ageing or special winemaking techniques to be onto a winner. For this list, we have compiled five of the best Spanish reds on the basis of a strong quality/price ratio, and the ability to appeal to a broad range of tastes – the sort of range you’ll have to cater for at your next anniversary party, new year’s party or birthday celebration. These are the sort of wines that you can buy by the case happy in the knowledge that you’re getting your money’s worth, and that even the most discerning guests will be happy. The list is in no particular order, and the wines can be from anywhere in Spain.
- Viña Real Crianza 2012 is as good value as you’ll get when it comes to Rioja vino tinto. There’s a lot to like here, and a lot that your guests will like: It’s a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo. As a Rioja Crianza, it has seen fourteen months of oak ageing. As a result it has attained a beautiful balance between primary fruit aromas and the tertiary oak influences. This is a fun wine that will adapt well to most palates and should keep people happy and keep the discussion flowing. During any lull periods, you can tell your guests that this one scored 93 points from Guía Peñín and 92 points from Robert Parker – and then tell them how much you paid for it!
- Matsu El Pícaro is a fruity and full-bodied wine from the Toro region. It’s a big, mouth-filling wine but is surprisingly easy drinking in its youth. This is a great catch-all wine for guests that like powerful wines.
- Pago del Valdoneje comes from Bierzo, an often overlooked region that specialises in the Mencia grape. This particularly wine has some very high profile proponents, including no less than Robert Parker. Parker scored this at 91 points, which demonstrates exceptional quality for the price.
- Finca El Carril Tinto is a vino tinto from the Manchuelo region. An aged blend of Tempranillo and Petit Verdot, this is an elegant and delicious wine that really overperforms for its price. The wine has a gentle complexity and a long, ripe fruit finish. This would be a winner at twice the price, and boasts a 90-point score from Guía Peñín.
- Back to Rioja for our final vino tinto recommendation, and it’s Señorío De Ondarre Reserva 2010. Rioja Reserva generally is a great food wine, and this one is no exception: A fine blend of Tempranillo, Mazuelo and Garnacha, this vino tinto will complement a wide range of foods that you’re likely to serve at your next event, from roast meats to vegetables and even cheeses. A mature and refined Rioja Reserva with a rating like this (90 points from Guía Peñín) is not easy to come by at this price level!