When it comes to wine, ‘Tempranillo’ is not really a term that one hears all too often, which is surprising considering the fact that this wine is easy to find and wildly diverse when it comes to food pairings. It goes well with almost every meal and features an excellent flavour profile that many foodies consider to make it fantastic value for money, and a firm favourite at dinner parties across the globe.
Let’s uncover a bit more about this silent hero of wine flavour profiles.
What Is Tempranillo?
One of the main reasons that many people might not know anything about Tempranillo wine is due to the fact that it goes by numerous other names, including:
- Tints Roriz
- Tinto Fino
- Tinta del Pais.
Where Does Tempranillo Come From?
This kind of wine is one of the most important for Spanish winemakers. While this grape may not be one that is widely known throughout the world, it is the grape that is most commonly grown in Spain. As a result, the grape has become an integral part of popular wine blends.
Tempranillo wine is often categorised together with Garnacha, but the latter carries a spicier taste, while Tempranillo’s taste is a lot more fruity. While it is most often associated with Spain, Tempranillo wine is used in some of Portugal’s most popular blends of port. It’s medium-bodied and contains high levels of alcohol and tannins.
What Does Tempranillo Taste Like?
Just like other wines, tempranillo’s taste can vary depending on where the grapes were grown and where the wine was produced. Despite this, each bottle will have a few flavours that are commonly shared.
This wine boasts the flavours of black fruits like dried figs and blackberries. At the same time, Tempranillo also tends to hold quite a few complex, savoury flavours such as dill and tobacco, and well as a woody aftertaste.
These flavours are the result of the way in which the wine is aged – in oak barrels. As a robust grape, the wine ages very well and some of the best bottles have been aged for a minimum of 12 months, while some winemakers have been known to keep the wine ageing for decades.
The woody flavours balance out the fruitier ones, which softens the wine’s naturally harsh tannins to create a smoother, more palatable wine.
Is Tempranillo Wine Sweet Or Dry?
Tempranillo wine is considered to be a dry red wine as it has lower levels of residual sugars left in it after the fermentation process has been completed.
Is Tempranillo A Strong Wine?
This wine is perfect for those who find Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon to be a little bit too heavy or intense. Tempranillo is mild-bodied and is not nearly as heavy as other full-bodied red wines.
Is Tempranillo Spicy?
Tempranillo grapes can be made into different kinds of wine. Some are medium-bodied and fruity, while others are full-bodied and tend to be quite spicy. However, the main flavours that can be expected from Tempranillo are juicy fruits like berries and cherries. Because winemakers prefer to mature Tempranillo in oak, the wine also tends to carry hints of cedar and coconut regardless of whether they’re medium or full-bodied.
What Is Tempranillo Wine Similar To?
As mentioned above, Tempranillo wine can fall into either the medium- or full-bodied categories. This, paired with the characteristics of red fruits that the wine tends to carry with it, means that it is most similar to Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese.
How Do You Drink Tempranillo?
Tempranillo is fairly easy to pair as it has savoury qualities, low acidity and medium tannins. This means that it complements a wide range of dishes, including delicious, fresh salads and plant-based meals. This wine is a crowd-pleaser for sure.
What Food Does Tempranillo Wine Pair With?
As mentioned above, Tempranillo wine is one that pretty much works well with any flavour. It’s generally not as strong as other wines are, making it much easier to drink along with anything from popcorn to pizza.
Some of the most popular flavours to pair with Tempranillo wine include red peppers, pork, roast lamb and red currant.
However, the older varieties of Tempranillo tend to have strong dark fruit flavours, so they complement more intense, meaty dishes. Younger bottles, on the other hand, tend to have the same qualities of fresh red fruits, making them better suited to pasta dishes.
Should Tempranillo Be Chilled?
There is a common misconception amongst those in the wine industry across the world that all red wines are best served at room temperature. In fact, this cannot be said for all red wines. Keeping certain wines at room temperature could actually dull their taste.
When drinking Tempranillo, pop your bottle in the temperature to cool for about an hour before you serve it. In addition to this, decant your wine if possible. This helps to eliminate any sediment buildup in an older bottle of wine, saving you from what could be a very unpleasant taste.
Is Tempranillo Wine Cheap?
Tempranillo wine is predominantly used in blends and has an undeniable flavour profile attached to it that while subtle, is also distinguishable. It is for this reason that many people think it to be an affordable wine.
It is versatile, yet at the same time, is not too highly-priced so is quite accessible for all wine drinkers. The price point is an affordable one and it offers an assortment of delicious fruit flavours like cherry and blackberries. It’s perfect to take to a dinner party and will serve as an excellent accompaniment to main meals and desserts (the latter of which will pair beautifully with an older bottle due to the vanilla and caramel flavours present in aged bottles).
So, the next time you find yourself on the hunt for the perfect wine to share amongst friends – especially those with varying tastes – be sure to look out for a gorgeous Tempranillo wine, or even a lovely blend.