Spain In Ascent

Just a few years ago, one couldn’t pop a Champagne cork in a wine shop without it landing on a shelf with a hot new Australian, South African or Chilean wine. These days, though, trend and market demand have converged to draw the attention of oenophiles to other parts of the world.

“Spanish wines have become particularly popular,” says Mary Stewart, owner of Ranch Acres Wine & Spirits. “There are a group of wines that are good and very reasonably priced. You can get a decent bottle of wine for $10.”

Just don’t expect to search Spanish wines for those wise buys on the traditional varietals one might expect of French and California wines. Instead, Spanish Grenache and Tempranillo are the way to go in terms of reds, with the occasional solid, affordable Syrah as well.

In terms of whites, Stewart says Albarino and Verdejo are among the most popular today locally.

Stewart says value has been the impetus for market changes, and shelves reflect those changes.

“I think Australia just priced itself out of the market some,” she says. “Chile is down because Argentina is now in the market with Malbec and also their Torrontes, white wines.”