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Alternatives to your favourite wines

If you tend to only buy your favourite wines but are curious to try something new yet are not sure what to choose, here are some tips to choose wines that are different from your regular choice.

There are many styles of Rioja but if your usual choice is a young Rioja, you could try a Garnacha from Calatayud or Campo de Borja.  Ripe red berry flavours with a hint of fresh pepper and spice. Wines from these two regions offer excellent value for money and are still relatively unknown.

Tempranillo is Spain’s most popular black grape variety.  If you like this wines made from Tempranillo and want to try something new, why not try a Malbec from Argentina.  Deep coloured, with red and black berry flavours, chocolate and smokey flavours.  A great wine for steak, lamb and hard cheeses.

If your white wine of choice is a Sauvignon Blanc from Rueda, try a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand of from Chile, both of which are available here in Spain. The styles are different, the cool climate Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand with its aromas of freshly cut grass and crisp acidity while a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile will tend to have more tropical flavours.

Sparkling wines  should not be saved just for special occasions. So instead of automatically going for Cava why not try a Prosecco from the Veneto region of northern Italy.  A good quality Prosecco, with DOCG on the label, will be refreshingly easy to drink.  Look for a dry Prosecco (Brut), if you prefer a slightly sweeter style then ‘extra brut’, which is a little confusing.

Albariño from Rias Baixas, Galicia is one of the great Spanish white wines.  Not far from there is the region of Valdeorras where the perfumed white grape Godello is grown.  Richer and oiler than an Albariño but you will stand out as a wine expert by choosing a bottle of this underrated grape variety.

Often overlooked by wine lovers but a well made Rosé is a joy to drink. In my opinion Bobal from Requena makes excellent Rosés and are very good value.  A deep pinky red colour with ripe red berry flavours.  A simple wine but very enjoyable.  Make sure you choose the youngest vintage for the freshest wine. If you want to travel further afield, Provence is Southern France is famous Rosé, with it unique pinky bronze colour. Why not surprise you friends, especially those who are new to wine.

Any good wine shop or online store will have a range the best of wines from Spain and around the world  Ask for advice and be a little more adventurous, the world or wine if full of fascinating treasures to be discovered and enjoyed.

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I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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