This past Summer I had a whirlwind wine adventure through Spain and it was the time of my life!
I experienced dining bliss, time in the beautiful city of Madrid, and a venture to the south to explore Jerez to sip sherry and fly to the north to walk through the Guggenheim and discover Rioja.
With all my travel and business plans and expenditures, I decided to recently upgrade my credit card experience and got the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card. Now I can see the world, pay for it with my American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card and gain valuable points to enable me to keep dreaming to see more of the world. I even used my Miles on my flight and hotels while travelling – it was a great bonus!
As a studying sommelier and a super wine enthusiast, discovering Spain has been on my hit list ever since I can remember. As one of the most intriguing wine regions in the world with so many indigenous grapes, having a real hands-on approach to learning and experiencing it was exactly what I needed to be inspired by the world of wine. Spain is an incredibly wonderful wine region offering extreme value for what you taste in the bottle. I also think that the region is mostly undiscovered by many wine lovers – which makes the value extremely attractive. With all of the Spanish grape names it can also be confusing to read a Spanish wine label and understand exactly what you’re drinking. Spain is an area of the world worth tasting through. I began my Spanish wine adventure in Madrid, a beautiful city where the sun is hot and the people are friendly. I decided to start my trip off at the top of the Hotel Urban rooftop while enjoying the Spanish sunshine I sipped cava while enjoying the view and perfectly putting together the rest of my trip.
As a recent lover of sherry, I flew down to the South of the region and explored the city of Jerez and Bodegas Osborne sherry estates. Bodegas Osborne is one of the oldest and most prestigious companies in Spain. On this estate, you can wine, dine and walk through a sherry museum all while learning about the historic drink. Developed through an old ageing technique through the Solera system each bottle of sherry is blended and taste quite unique. From dry sherry to cream sherry each bottle tastes can vary to fit your style. Full of aromas that pleasantly bitter notes of raisins, and molasses, Sherry can be offered as an aperitif before dinner or even after dinner with cheese and dessert. Accompanied with olives, sherry is a great drink that you can certainly enjoy any time of year. All you have to do is find the sherry that’s right for you. You can even make a great sherry cocktail too!
I took a local flight up to northern Spain and spent a wonderful afternoon wandering around the Guggenheim museum and exploring the region of Rioja learning about the world of Tempranillo – Spains super star grape. This grape is indigenous to Spain and so popular that it even has its own day of the year – Tempranillo Day on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 and even has multiple names in the country. Being a region that is mostly undiscovered by the general wine public, this place is home to some of the most beautifully balanced, rustic and delicious red wines you could ever taste. Tempranillo vines neighbour pine forests in the heart of Rioja between vineyards and hillsides. Respect for the land, care for the vines, and the search for exceptional quality through expressive and exceptional vines. Bodegas Montecillo is the third oldest winery in Rioja. Bodegas Montecillo’s origins are in the Fuenmayor, a very unique place in the world due to the noble vines, geography and soil. With over 20,000 French and American oak barrels in the underground cellar, winemaker Mercedes García Rupérez has an incredible passion for producing wines with personality. From classic, all the way to reserve these wines are wines you must get-to-know as they are the best wines to share, gift and store. These wines are impressive and delicious and are the perfect wines to bring with you if you’re visiting friends or family. They have an old world taste profile, with rustic notes of soft leather and dark berries, are mostly lighter on tannin and are soft in style but bold in taste. My favourite is the Montecillo Rioja Reserva , I always have 6 or more bottles stocked up in my cellar!
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