5 BEST Spanish Wine Styles (Vermouth, Red, White, Cava, Sherry)!

By Brian Lemay 46 comments

I may be biased, but the wine in this country
is mind-blowing. Spanish vino is plentiful, it’s beautifully priced, and it tastes so
good! I’m James Blick, co-founder of Devour Spain and in the last few months we’ve launched
a bunch of tapas and wine tours here in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Malaga, and while we
were working on those it made me realise, well, I’ve never made a video about Spanish
wines, something that’s dangerously close to my heart. So on these tours we introduce
our guests to some of the styles of wine you have to try here in Spain. And that’s what
I’m going to do in this video. We’re going to go to five fantastic Madrid tapas bars
and I’m going to introduce you to five styles of wine that you must try when you visit Spain.
For our first wine, we’re going to try something you’ll have heard of before, but never probably
given the credit it deserves. And we’re going to try it in here, at Casa Labra. This place
has been open for over 150 years. We come here on our Tapas & Wine tour here in Madrid
and our guests love it. So what the hell is this? It’s vermouth. As I say, you’ve heard of it but
you’re probably thinking Martini when you think vermouth and that’s like the international
brand of vermouth and it’s not particularly interesting. But here in Spain we drink Spanish
vermouth and in Madrid we drink it on tap. We also drink it in Barcelona as well. And it’s
actually a white wine that’s been fortified, it has about 15 percent alcohol, it’s been
coloured and sweetened with caramel and it’s been aromatised with wonderful botanicals. The upshot is a
wine that’s sweet, slightly bitter and very, very boozy. OK, now a personal favourite.
This next place is the real deal, a true diamond in the rough. Run by mother Ana and her two
sons. Public service announcement, when you think of Spain, don’t just think red. This
country’s making incredible whites. It’s not traditionally known for its whites but more
and more, particularly in the north west of the country there are some incredible whites
being made. Here we are in Ricla, this wonderful bar we come to on one of our tapas and wine
tours in Madrid. And the pairing of this wine, which is albarín, not alabariño, but albarín from Leon, with Ana, the mother’s, famous anchovies. This is a match made in heaven! I could live here.
I do live here! I’ve had a vermouth, I’ve had a white. I’m starting to get my groove
on. I’m feeling it flooding my veins. Next stop, Spain’s totally unappreciated sparkling
wine, cava. Move over champagne. Let’s hit it. Here’s the rub: so many people when they think
of cava think it’s poor man’s champagne and that’s so unfair to cava, Spain’s sparkling
wine. You know, this stuff is made in the exact same method that champagne is made.
Little tip: prosecco is not made in that way. And what happens is it’s made using native
Catalan, or Spanish, grapes. But also it’s made obviously in Spain. That’s the only difference.
So when you’re in Madrid, Barcelona, anywhere else in Spain, make sure you try this stuff.
This place is run by a couple of brothers, Mario and David, and it is fantastic for drinking
wine. They have so many great wines by the glass from little regions all over Spain.
OK, next stop, it’s time to right a wrong. People bitch and moan constantly about sherry,
thinking it’s just a sickly sweet wine for drunk grandma’s at Christmas. Well, it’s time
to buck up your ideas. I’m going to tell you about sherry in this place, an Andalusian
bar called Sanlúcar. Most of sherry is bone dry. It’s not sweet. These are all dry, these wines here. Sherry is considered one of the kings of great wine. It’s so complex, it’s so interesting, it’s so fascinating. And it’s so reasonably priced. I’ve got three here, three different styles
and they’re very, very different, all made from the same grape. Manzanillas are crisp, saline
and light and perfect for combining with fried fish. Imagine a really hot summers day in
Seville and you’ve got a plate of fried fish next to you. Nuttier, a little fuller, still
crisp, still acidic. But it’s got some sort of dried fruits and things like that. Boom! This
stuff is big! It’s rich, it’s complex. You could have this with stewed meats. It would
be perfect to have with dinner. You know, a lot of people think about sherry that it’s
only for before dinner or if it’s sweet it’s for after dinner. These styles you can have with dinner! Go to you
liquor store, go to your wine shop, buy a bottle of great sherry and don’t tell me you
don’t like it until you’ve finished that bottle! Next stop, the elephant in the room. Red wine!
The most common red wine grape in Spain is tempranillo. You’ve probably heard of it before.
But you would never walk into a bar in Spain and ask for a tempranillo. Here in Spain,
like in France or Italy, you order by the region. And two of the most common red wine
regions are Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Now both are made using majority tempranillo grapes
but you have to walk in and ask for the region because they’re actually quite different.
This place La Fisna is in Madrid. It opened about 6 months, 9 months ago, and these guys
have an incredible list of wines by the glass from regions from all over Spain. Because
remember there are 69 wine regions in Spain. Explore the variety. Double fist if you need
to. And so if you enjoyed the video, remember to give it a like, and if you want to see
more videos from me – god forbid! – about how we eat, drink, live and love in Spain,
then subscribe to my channel. And if you want to take a great tapas and wine tour while
you’re in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville or Malaga, then check us out at devourspain.com. Happy
new year everybody!


Roberto Del Campo

Jan 1, 2017, 12:08 am Reply

Thank you for covering these wines! I dig your channel a lot!

Aaron Valdez

Jan 1, 2017, 4:37 am Reply


UnderneathTheBottle Wine Sommelier

Jan 1, 2017, 4:56 am Reply

I'm all about that wine!! ? Loved the video. Thumbs-up! ?


Jan 1, 2017, 9:28 am Reply

Most Spaniards top up their red wine with 'Casera'. Gives you an idea of the quality. The only Spanish wine I found palatable was'Rueda' . Oh and vermut tastes like medicine yuk! Please bring us more videos though, Madrid is a lovely place.


Jan 1, 2017, 4:47 pm Reply

Love it! Especially the sherry. I have a manzanilla in the fridge at all times – just in case:-)
Tony (UK)

Raynato Castro

Jan 1, 2017, 6:11 am Reply

Great video, wonderful information. Can't wait to go back.

Chasing Charlie

Jan 1, 2017, 3:10 am Reply

Make more videos James! I'm currently learning Spanish on my own in hopes of one day visiting Spain! Your videos bring the culture to life and I love it! I'd love to see videos about the more country culture! Maybe even the running of the bulls festival? Keep it up!

Norah Piñeiro

Jan 1, 2017, 1:48 pm Reply

Wonderful video !

I MacIsaac

Jan 1, 2017, 9:00 pm Reply

Thanks James. As informative and entertaining as ever. Looking forward to the next video already ??

The Gastro Traveler

Jan 1, 2017, 12:00 pm Reply

Watching this hurts my liver. Grand work!

wil blake

Feb 2, 2017, 11:29 pm Reply

Txakolin and Sidra in San Sebastian and Bilbao. And Patxaran.


Mar 3, 2017, 8:20 am Reply

I love Spain…just a splendid country and culture….love it….love LOOOOVE IT.

Agron Seitaj

Mar 3, 2017, 11:50 pm Reply

really nice video!!

Jacinta Ugarte

Mar 3, 2017, 9:05 pm Reply

I like your enthusiasm! I am a wine and tapas lover myself. Good on you! I love Spain

Facundo N

Apr 4, 2017, 9:27 pm Reply

Great video James. Hope you post more often. Come try argentinian malbec sometime. Salud!

Nacim Montanez

Jun 6, 2017, 12:57 pm Reply

Awesome video!! very cool!


Jul 7, 2017, 4:34 am Reply

I totally appreciate your zest for life in Spain.

El canelita

Aug 8, 2017, 10:34 am Reply

gibraltar español comemierdas, dejaos de vinos y seguid con vuestros muffins

Ibram Gaunth

Aug 8, 2017, 10:55 am Reply

The British Cuñading.

Ius Gentium

Aug 8, 2017, 8:54 am Reply

No reconocerías un buen vino ni si te lo estampara en la cara parguela.

Xavi –

Aug 8, 2017, 9:08 am Reply

Eel pie
Hot beer
Fish and chips
Cooked potatoes

Opinion discarded

Javier M. L

Aug 8, 2017, 5:28 pm Reply

El auténtico cuñado británico.
– Fish and ships
– Birra caliente
– Patata cocida

Nada mas que añadir?


Aug 8, 2017, 10:32 am Reply

Gracias por mostrar a todos lo bueno de nuestra tierra. Sigue disfrutando y enseñando.


Aug 8, 2017, 10:58 am Reply

Unfortunatelly in the UK it's easy to find wines, cheese and ham from Italy, France, South Africa, Australia and many other countries but not Spanish products at the supermarket shelves.


Aug 8, 2017, 11:16 am Reply

good video, thx !!

Monsieur Oculto

Aug 8, 2017, 6:13 am Reply

jajajajaja, fucking pirate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sep 9, 2017, 4:00 pm Reply

Awesome – thank u.


Mar 3, 2018, 3:23 am Reply

We absolutely LOVED the video! Wife and I will be returning to Spain for the 8th time this Winter. But this time, we will also be bringing 5 friends along. This is the perfect video for us to share with them. Thanks again for the great work.


Apr 4, 2018, 2:52 pm Reply

Very interesting. Cheers!

Jason Rougeau

Apr 4, 2018, 1:42 am Reply

Women and gayboys probably know more about wine than I do. They were raised by single mothers with lots of cats who drank lots of it!


May 5, 2018, 11:57 pm Reply

My favorite subject. Thx James!

Brian Carpenter

Jun 6, 2018, 6:33 am Reply

He's drunk!

Michele Blick

Jul 7, 2018, 8:44 am Reply

Wow! I didn’t know there were so many different types of wine – Laura

Dannyboy Hoodlum

Jul 7, 2018, 10:11 pm Reply

Haha, great line there "doublelfist if you need to":):) I think I will use that one:) Thanks.

Aydin Odyakmaz

Sep 9, 2018, 3:50 am Reply

Love this! Priorate is my fave wine region , hard to get but so amazing if you have a chance to find some .

Made in Russia

Sep 9, 2018, 3:12 pm Reply

James, your video about Spanish wines really suprised us! In a good way, of course! We'd like to ask you about your attitude to Russian wine – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SViH5jg_Bxs&t=1s.

cristina millonaria

Nov 11, 2018, 12:06 pm Reply

Sorprendente que conozcas tantas cosas,vevidas…más incluso que algunos españoles!!

Joshua Perel

Dec 12, 2018, 1:44 am Reply

Tio you are the best, great work again, stay strong and continue making great work.


Dec 12, 2018, 7:54 pm Reply

Vermouth was invented in Italy!!!!!


Jan 1, 2019, 1:39 am Reply

Your video's rock!! So informative and entertaining!!

Iban A

Jan 1, 2019, 11:15 pm Reply

Another bit of James magic…….

Jeff Forbess

Feb 2, 2019, 11:07 am Reply

What about beer?

Kike C.

May 5, 2019, 1:47 am Reply

Te ha faltado el rosado y el fino.

Rafael Mora Aguero

May 5, 2019, 9:59 pm Reply

Un canal " cojonudo " . Estupendas explicaciones , " very accurate " y súper respetuoso y fiel al espíritu de este mi país , España. Gracias majete.

Luis Rafael

Aug 8, 2019, 8:02 pm Reply

I am #obsessed with all your videos!

Bill Badger

Aug 8, 2019, 10:18 pm Reply

Loving the shirt! Where's it from, James?

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