Spanish Rioja is quickly gaining popularity here in the United States. This past week I went to my favorite wine bar Riposo 46 located on 9th Avenue at 46th Street. On every visit I choose a Rioja since these bottles are extremely well priced and you are guaranteed a wine with amazing flavor. This night we selected El Coto Rioja 2005. This red is made with 100% tempranillo grapes which create wine that has a higher acidity and mild tannins. It’s medium bodied with cherry and raspberry flavors and light oak. Riposo 46 has the best cheeses, pizzas, and olives to go along with all the great wines they feature. The El Coto Rioja went extremely well with the mixed olives served warm in oil and garlic and the vegetarian flatbread pizza made even more delicious by adding prosciutto on top-not so vegetarian anymore! A great table wine and the price can’t be beat at under $40 per bottle at the wine bar.
Later in the week while perusing the aisles of my local wine store I came across a white Rioja. Normally sticking to reds but both of us being more in the mood for white we decided to see how the white version would compare to the red we drank earlier in the week. We purchased a bottle of Marqués de Cáceres 2007. The white version was equally flavorful. Light mineral notes accompanied by flavors of ripe melon, apple, and pepper. A great wine to pair with seafood and bargain priced at under $12 at retail.