When stocking the bar for a holiday throwdown, you want wines that are cheap, chuggable, and have an easy-access screw cap. These three picks from Spain have you covered.
Marqués de Riscal Rueda 2012, $11.45
From Rueda in the Castile and León region, this crisp white is made from aromatic Verdejo grapes. Open with shrimp cocktail.
Ponce notes: “The nose is a beguiling blend of citrus, herbs, and green banana. Bearing some resemblance to Sauvignon Blanc, it’s fresh, zesty, and the perfect first-glass-of-the-night wine.”
Castillo de Monséran Garnacha 2012, $9.95
This vino tinto from Cariñena never sees oak barrels, which preserves its fruity character. Chill briefly and serve with spicy Thai.
Ponce notes: “With a nose of red licorice, crushed-berry flavours, and a soft, juicy finish, this infinitely quaffable red will be responsible for many yuletide hangovers.”
Beso de Vino Old Vine Garnacha 2011, $9.95
Also from Cariñena, this Grenache is made from grapes grown on 40-year-old vines. Pour with roast lamb.
Ponce notes: “It starts off a bit sweet and syrupy, but zesty acidity and gentle tannins bring balance and structure, so it doesn’t veer into Plonk City. It’s hard to believe this is only 10 bucks.”