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The beautiful diverse vineyards of Spain are among my favorite places to visit. The country is rooted in centuries of tradition when it comes to winemaking. It offers an exciting array of wines but also great values. But one needn't travel to Spain to experience what this dynamic wine country has to offer.

The Spanish government guarantees the authenticity of its wine by designating each with a region of origin or Demoniacion de Origen (D.O.). The laws behind these distinctions define the location, grape used, maximum yields allowed, aging requirements in bottle and barrel and alcohol content. Today, more than 60 wine regions have unique D.O. designations.

SPARKLING

Spanish Cava has been produced in the Penedes region since the late 1800s using the same winemaking method as the honored Champagne but with indigenous grapes. The resulting wine is fresh, fizzy bubbly at half the price of even the least expensive Champagnes.

THE VALUE

NV Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, Spain (about $12 retail)

THE SPLURGE

NV Conquilla Brut Cava, Spain (about $16 retail)

WHITE WINE

Albarino is stealing the limelight for white wine around the world. It is produced and grown in the northwest corner of Spain in the Rias Baixas region. The region is cooler than most of Spain, resulting in the crisp, fragrant characteristics of this wine.

The Value

2017 Kentia Albarino, Spain (about $15 retail)

The Splurge

2017 Laxas Albarino, Spain (about $19 retail)

ROSE

The Rioja region, known the world over for its red wines, produces several distinct dry roses, which beg to be discovered.

The Value

2017 Campo De Borja Borsao Rose, Spain (about $10 retail)

The Splurge

2017 Marques de Caceres Rioja Rose, Spain (about $14 retail)

RED WINE

Rioja is the most recognized of Spain's red wines. The region has had tremendous growth due mostly to the production of exceptional quality wines offered at a reasonable price. These wines are produced from the tempranillo grape and are fresh, fruity, robust and complex.

THE VALUE

2016 Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza, Spain (about $13 retail)

THE SPLURGE

2016 Beronia Gran Reserva, Spain (about $30 retail)

SWEET WINE

Many still think of sherry as the cheap sweet wine of 20 or 30 years ago. That not the case today with Spanish producers bottling some of the most luscious, rich and smooth sweet wines in the world.

THE VALUE

Osborne Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Spain (about $23 retail)

THE SPLURGE

Fernando de Castilla Oloroso Sherry, Spain (about $40 retail)

Lorri Hambuchen is a member of London's Institute of Wines and Spirits. Contact her at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, Ark. 72203, or email:

uncorked@thewinecenter.com

Food on 08/29/2018

Print Headline: Variety, value set Spain's wine apart from others

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