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Spanish Wine in America


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Jeeze, this is exciting, I have about a zillion questions and don't know where to start. I guess I'll make the most of your combined knowledge of Spanish cuisine and American tastes. The U.S. is an increasingly important market for Spanish wine in both volume and money. What do you think Americans' attitude towards Spanish wine is the moment? Are they more aware of it?

In know this is a pretty broad question, but I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the subject.

¡Gracias!

Brian Murdock

Madrid, Spain

Teacher/writer

www.murdockmedia.com

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Jeeze, this is exciting, I have about a zillion questions and don't know where to start.  I guess I'll make the most of your combined knowledge of Spanish cuisine and American tastes.  The U.S. is an increasingly important market for Spanish wine in both volume and money.  What do you think Americans' attitude towards Spanish wine is the moment?  Are they more aware of it? 

In know this is a pretty broad question, but I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the subject.

¡Gracias!

Well Spain thanks to Wines from Spain and the different Bodegas and their winemakers are really moving forward................Americans like new things....And Albarinos, Godellos, Treixaduras, Mecia, Garnachas are new and exciting.....The cuisine and the hot chefs from Spain are also helping to make Spanish wine hot...........Still is a lot to do, but today we have areas dedicated to Spanish wines in Wineshops when 10 years ago we were mixed with Southamericans and Greeks.........Today everyone has its own place and this is a good sign

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Jeeze, this is exciting, I have about a zillion questions and don't know where to start.  I guess I'll make the most of your combined knowledge of Spanish cuisine and American tastes.  The U.S. is an increasingly important market for Spanish wine in both volume and money.  What do you think Americans' attitude towards Spanish wine is the moment?  Are they more aware of it? 

In know this is a pretty broad question, but I would love to hear some of your thoughts on the subject.

¡Gracias!

Well Spain thanks to Wines from Spain and the different Bodegas and their winemakers are really moving forward................Americans like new things....And Albarinos, Godellos, Treixaduras, Mecia, Garnachas are new and exciting.....The cuisine and the hot chefs from Spain are also helping to make Spanish wine hot...........Still is a lot to do, but today we have areas dedicated to Spanish wines in Wineshops when 10 years ago we were mixed with Southamericans and Greeks.........Today everyone has its own place and this is a good sign

I agee. In fact, I'd say it is especially thanks to people like you who are giving greater exposure to Spanish cuisine and thus its wine. It still has a ways to go, but it seems to be enjoying a popularity it has never had there. Any regions (with compromising you too much :wink: ) that you are finding especially exciting?

Brian Murdock

Madrid, Spain

Teacher/writer

www.murdockmedia.com

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Great questions. I have often thought about this subject. I believe one can sum

it up in one statement: Knowledge vs. Adventure.

Broad-stroking here... most people (not just Americans) are inherently drawn to what they

know...safe areas. With wine it is the international verietals: Cab., Pinot, Merlot etc.

I have not met one person that has ever been drawn to Spanish wines without

some form of a guide i.e. print (The Wine Dictator) or an enthusiastic

personality that was bent on sharing the value of the Spanish bounty. Ignorance is

bliss as they say and who can blame them for not entering the deep waters that

represent only poverty in trade for a more expensive "white zin".

Skipping over all the twisted, latent, preconceived notions of

old world wine (boring Bordeaux/Burgundy), once someone is exposed to

these Spanish gems (pennies on the relative dollar) one might say value

comes into play...but this isnt exactly the case...in fact, our protagonist has always thought they

were getting a good deal on that case of Yellow Tail but now there is zero buyer's

remorse...that sexy Rioja suggested by an informed retailer or astute server

has them stirred and suddenly the weekly BBQ at Bob's house gets

really interesting. I've found that, initially, Spanish wine is met with skepticism.

But it's rarely about knowing whats in the glass..its simply about having

a sense of adventure.

Honestly, I'm shocked that there arent more Spanish wine freaks out there but even

here in Nashville, interest in Spanish wine has exploded. Value is at the center of every

single wine sale, period (no, Mad Dog does not count) and Spanish wines

represent an astounding value (and of course there are always exceptions).

Knowledge/exposure, passed from educated industry, is crux in this culture.

The very people we label as being pedestrian wine drinkers are the core

consumers of value wines no matter where they are sourced. Untapped, they

lay dormant like the insect before a summer feast. Once awakened, a giant it will become.

Initially, Spanish wine is met with skepticism but given a nudge it is embraced with enthusiasm.

Maybe a broad question...hell, this is defintely an incomplete answer. There

is so much more to this matter. I'm certain rebuttals will be plenty.

clok

Edited by clokwurk (log)
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Welome to eGullet, clokwurk. I agree with a lot of what you say, except I think now it is not Spanish wines in general that are met with skepticism, but perhaps wines of certain emerging regions within Spain. I fully agree on the value of most Spanish wines. Jose?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

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Clokwurk has brought up some very interesting points, many of which confirm that the issue is a complex one. Spain is doing better than ever, but it has taken an usually long time for it to get there, and Spanish wine is still for from where I think it could be. But at least it's heading in the right direction.

In any event, I was giving some thought to Jose's remarks and an interesting discovery dawned on me. In a follow-up question I asked Jose about which wine regions he was especially excited about and I later realized that in a sense he had already answered my question in his response.

You see, Jose referred to wines that excited him by using grape varieties, many of which I could associate with a specific region. Albariño (Rías Baixas); Treixadura (Ribeiro); Godello (Valdeorras); Mencía (especially El Bierzo); Garnacha (Priorat, Montsant, Aragonese regions, to name a few)...

In other words we were talking about the same thing with different words. Jose spoke almost "American" in the sense that he discussed wine in terms of variety. People order Pinot Grigios, Merlots, etc. But in Spain, with the possible exception of Albariño, wine is generally ordered by region (I am talking generally here, not necessarily at an expert level)...if that. Sometimes it's just a "vino blanco" or a "vino tinto". You never hear a person say, "I'll have a Garnacha". Heck, many Spaniards have no idea what grape variety goes into their wine.

This seemingly minor detail led me to wonder just HOW Americans order Spanish wine. What are they looking for? Are they looking for varieties? Regions? Which bit of information sticks with them best, the grape or the D.O.? In the end, this could have a huge bearing on how Spanish regions, bodegas and even institutions like ICEX should market it. In the end, it may not be a minor detail at all.

From your personal experience there, Jose, do you have any thoughts on thi matter?

Thanks

Brian Murdock

Madrid, Spain

Teacher/writer

www.murdockmedia.com

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José, you seem to be looking north and east for the wine that excites you.

During the years I lived in Spain, I grew to love wines from the south and center. I love golden white Misa from Sevilla! And had a delicious local white in Ronda, Málaga drunk right at the vineyard. Gredos is lovely. You mention Garnache de Madrid, lovely! The wonderful Valdepeñas wines seem scarecely known outside Spain. I wish I could find them here. And the treasures of Málaga! What a delight they are! BArely known here and certainly never available in the wine shops, at last not here in PA. But then, we suffer under the yoke of the PA LCB monopoly. >:-( :wub::angry: Grrr! And the PLCB seems only interested in Rioja.

Are Spanish wines any more readily available in other states?

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