Europe’s Finest Wines
June 27, 2012
Ever wanted to know which is a good wine to buy for people at home should you travel to France, Italy, Spain, Portugal or Germany? These are some recommendations from the Uvinum team.
Are you traveling in Europe and have a friend who loves good wine? Do you want to surprise him on your way back? Which wine do you buy for him or her?
Or do you have a friend from another country and you want to send him a wine which he can recognize and enjoy. Which wine should you choose? If you’ve ever had this doubt, today we’re going to talk about the most talked about wines in Europe and help you choose the perfect wine souvenir, depending on the county you’re traveling in.
- image by aprillynn77 on flickr
The largest producer of wine in the world is also the hardest place for making a wine choice. It is difficult to choose in between a white or a red wine from Burgundy or Bordeaux, or even worse if we are considering buying one of those which have a larger history, like the ones from Rhone. Wherever is the area of France you decide to visit, you will surely find a great area close to vineyards. So the best option would be to choose local wine.
But undoubtedly the distinctive contribution of France to the wine world is the Champagne. They are not the most expensive wines from France, but they are for sure the most different and unique ones. The development of Champagne requires a complexity of knowledge and a handcrafted elaboration that no other wine in France has.
Furthermore, France bequeathed this art to the world: the champenoise method, which is a unique and unparalleled contribution.
- image by horrapics on flickr
Italy is much more varied than France regarding both grapes and wine. Barolo, Barbaresco, Chianti, Lambrusco, Amarone, Vin Santo… There are so many different wines!
But as for grapes, and without any intention to offend the Verdicchio or Moscato grapes defenders, we can say that the most important indigenous grapes in Italy are Nebbiolo and Sangiovese. And if we use Nebbiolo to elaborate a Barolo wine for aging, then there will be very few things comparable to it.
In addition, Barolo has its uniqueness in common with the rest of the great wines of the world. It is not only made from a geographically defined grape, but in a good Barolo even the vineyard where it came from can be noticed.
- image by NeilGHamilton on flickr
Spain is one of the wine producing countries which have evolved the most over the past half century, especially if we talk about the European ones. Only Argentina, Chile, South Africa and Australia are close to the Spanish evolution. Spain already stands as the third largest producer in the world, both in size and in importance.
Classic wine areas like Rioja or PenedĂ©s have been joined by Priorat and Ribera del Duero areas, which have shown a proportionate increase in demand and price.
But we would still suggest you to buy Rioja wines.
Rioja is one of the best wines in the world regarding food pairing with all kinds of meats and sausages. Reserve red wines age very well and they have a great value, quality â€“ price relation, compared to their European counterparts. Their complex aromas and flavours make you enjoy them from the first to the last sip.
If you want a recommendation different than Rioja, then you can choose Habla del Silencio, a wine with young tradition and low price, but what a wine!
Riesling and GewĂĽrztraminer are the main grapes in Germany. But given the choice whatsoever for its universality and considering the grandeur exhibited in Germany, we would go for the Riesling.
The German Riesling has a superb balance and a brutal acidity mixed with huge aromas and fruit flavors power. And that cannot be found at any other country or with other grapes. Choose a Mosel white Riesling is a good buy.
Did you know that during the nineteenth and early twentieth century German Riesling was more valued and expensive than the Bordeaux red wines (especially due to its ability to age for years and years)?
The Eiswein is the flag of Austrian wines. Although it is also produced in other cold countries like Germany and Canada, their universal character is thanks to Austria. Therefore you should not leave the country without taking a bottle of that wonderful sweet wine with you.
What an awkward situation! Choosing a dry wine in the country of the great Oporto and sweet Madeira wines would seem blasphemous, although the Dao and Alentejo wines deserve a good recommendation. But if we want to meet the expectations, then we certainly need to take a bottle of that wonderful elixir that is the port wine with us. Buying Porto Wine is relatively simple: just check out your wallet and pay what you can afford.
Regarding Porto wines there are no great gems to be discovered. Each wine has its exact price, so the more you pay, the better the wine. Nowhere else market value and actual value will be so evenly matched.