I have been a devotee of Spanish wines almost from the start. Within the first year that I began discovering wine, I discovered the secret that Spain offers great wines for the buck, and back when I was in High School that was a bonus; as I could buy excellence for a only a couple of dollars. I first discovered the wines from Rioja, because even then a good Bordeaux was ten dollars or more, and the classified wines were in twenty dollars or more, when I could find them. So it was a pleasure to try some Spanish wines while I was at the Culinary Extravaganza, though some of you may feel that all I did was drink wine, but I also ate my way through the event as well.
The first wine that I tried was Clos del Pinell Terra Alta DOC 2007 from Celler Unio. Terra Alta is actually the highest altitude wine area in Spain, but the vineyards are in the lowlands of this area. This area is from Catalonia in Northern Spain and it is a very independent area of Spain going back for years, and even when the varietals are listed they may not be recognizable because of the Catalonian names and spelling of the grapes. To make it easy, I will list the grapes for this wine in their most common name; Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. A very easy to understand and drinkable wine, and a good introduction to the white wines from Spain and a contrast to the red Rioja wines.
The other wine that I sampled was also a white wine from Galicia. Miudino Albarino Rias Baixas DO (I forgot to record the vintage) was a pleasant enough white wine and would be better on a sunny summer day. For Rias Baixas wines they must be at least seventy percent Albarino, but they can be blended with Treyadura, Torrontes, Loureiro and Caino Blanco. I always enjoy discovering the rules of certain areas and how strict they are to protect their local product.