Spain has one of the most amazing arrays of grape varietals in the world. With over 600 types of wine-making grapes to choose from, Spanish wine makers have an arsenal of choices to make that perfect wine, and Spanish wine comes close to perfection.

Going to your local wine store’s Spanish section could be a bit overwhelming. Spanish wine varietals are confusing even for an expert. Before you get involved in navigating and understanding Spain’s most popular varietals, it is essential that an educated consumer can interpret Spanish labeling terms.

Most Spanish wines are labeled based on how long the wine is aged and the region the wine comes from. If a label has the term joven, this indicates the wine has not been aged in oak. The term crianza means red wines are aged at least two years with a minimum of six months in oak barrels. Reserva means red wines are aged at least three years with a minimum of one year in oak barrels and the term gran reserva means the wines are aged at least five years with a minimum of eighteen months in oak.

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Spanish wine: age and regions
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