Everyone loves Ribera and Rioja, but step outside the box next time you’re ordering wine!
We love the classics, but sometimes it’s good to try something new. Luckily, that’s easy considering the area surrounding Madrid is home to some seriously incredible wine! While not as well-known as some of the big name vintages, it’s just as delicious and worth a try next time you pop into a local wine bar. Here are some of our favorite lesser-known local wines to order in Madrid. Who knows—one of these might be your new favorite!
Just a two-hour drive northwest of Madrid lies the lush, fertile Toro wine region. The high altitude along the banks of the Duero river provide the perfect environment for winemaking. While Toro wines use the same tempranillo grape as most other Spanish wines, there’s something special about them here. The grapes have mutated into a unique variety known as tinta de Toro, since it’s only found here. This allows for bold, robust flavors and one of the most flavorful wines to order in Madrid.
Most people only think of reds when it comes to Spanish wine, but the country produces some spectacular whites as well. One of those is Verdejo, produced in the Rueda wine region not far from Madrid. This light-bodied white wine is often compared to Sauvignon Blanc, but fans of Pinot Grigio or even Riesling would enjoy it as well. It’s fruity, not too sweet, and one of the most perfect wines to order in Madrid.
3. Petit Verdot
This unique wine, produced mainly in nearby Castilla La Mancha, breaks the cardinal rule of ordering wine in Spain. While you normally order Spanish wines by the region, in the case of Petit Verdot, you’re actually ordering by the grape! While the grape is actually native to the Bordeaux region in France, Spain is now the main producer of this unique wine. Bold, fruity flavors (think plum, blackberry, blueberry and other dark fruits) combine to make one of the most unique wines to order in Madrid. Try it with some Manchego cheese!
4. Campo de Borja
Wines from the Campo de Borja region are very easy to find in the US and Canada, but surprisingly less so within Spain. The warm, continental climate in this region northeast of Madrid allows for the production of rich reds with intense fruit notes, as well as some of Spain’s best rosés. This is one of the best value wines to order in Madrid—it’s high quality wine, but not nearly as well known as some of the other Spanish red wines.
5. Vinos de Madrid
Our final pick for wines to order in Madrid is the wine from none other than Spain’s capital region itself! Just southeast of the bustling city is a quaint, lesser-known wine region known as Vinos de Madrid. While this D.O. only dates back to 1990, it produces some of the best young wines in the country. The establishment of the region is part of a larger ongoing effort to increase awareness of winemaking in the region surrounding the capital.
You’re off to a great start in your quest to master the world of Spanish wine—don’t stop here! Join us on our Spain Wine 101 online experience for an introduction to Spain’s best wines. We’ll learn about wines from around the country so you can be sure to pick the perfect bottle no matter where you are in the world.
Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.