One of the greatest pleasures of visiting a different country is the chance to sample some of the country’s traditional wines; Spain is no exception. Over fifty percent of the European Union’s vineyards lie in Spain and vino (tinto, blanco or rosado) in served to accompany every meal.
At lunchtime, a glass or a small pitcher of the house wine (often served straight from the barrel) is usually included the menú del día; otherwise the wine starts at €5–10 a bottle, although this can rise swiftly in price for the extra special stuff.
Over the last decade Spanish wine has enjoyed an amazing renaissance, led largely by the international success of famous wine – producing regions such as La Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Other regions that are not quite as well-known abroad is Galicia or the Priorat in Catalunya, and they are worth a visit as they are set up and usually have bodega (winery) visit, tastings and tours. In Andalucía, the classic wine is sherry – vino de jerez – while champagne in Spain means the Catalan sparkling wine, cava.
The drink that majority of tourists drink and think is the most famous in Spain is Sangría. This is a wine-and-fruit punch that is often deceptively strong; a variation in Catalunya is sangría de cava. There are a couple of variations on this, such as: Tinto de Verano (red-wine-and-soda or lemonade combination), Tinto de Verano con Naranja (red wine with orangeade) or Con Limón (lemonade).