Tempranillo wine is a medium - to full-bodied variety with a ruby-red colour and warm fruit flavour. The blue jeans of grapes, it's famous for its versatility - whether by itself or blended with other varieties such as Grenache and Carignan - while remaining distinct, affordable and consistently appealing.
A black grape with thick skin, Tempranillo hails from the Iberian Peninsula on the south-western coast of Spain and takes its name from the Spanish word temprana, meaning early - a reference to the fact that it ripens earlier than most Spanish red grapes. It grows best at relatively high altitudes, where the cool climate cultivates elegance and acidity. But it can also tolerate warmer temperatures, when the heat produces high sugar content and thick skin, creating the vibrant red hue.
Thanks to its versatility, Tempranillo wines are among the easiest to pair with food. For starters, give a nod to its Spanish history and try it with tapas, jamon or patatas con chorizo (potatoes with chorizo sausage and sometimes peppers); or you can try it with Mexican food such as tacos, nachos and burritos.
Oaked Tempranillo wonderfully complements dishes with tomato-based sauces (lasagne and pizza) and corn-based sides (polenta).