Vino de España

Spanish wines deliver on taste without breaking the bank.

Are you experiencing some post-holiday blues? The parties are over. No more beautifully wrapped gifts. But your bank account is probably the saddest part, having been drained by going to all those fabulous get-togethers and buying all those presents.

Fear not, things will get better and you need to enjoy the here and now.

For great wines and foods that are easy on the wallet and pleasing to the palate, look no further than these thrifty Spanish wine pairings.

Spanish wines tend to be reasonable priced; the quality of taste to price ratio makes every sip a little sweeter, too. These wines go well with many Spanish recipes, which are generally simple to follow and made from just a few wallet-friendly ingredients.

One of Spain’s best wine regions is La Mancha; yes, the same place Don Quixote came from.

Located right in the middle the country, the La Mancha region has a long history of winemaking. The best part about La Mancha is the current resurgence in reasonably priced, yet delicious wines.

For red wine lovers, the Viña Cuesta Colorá Tempranillo is the place to start. For about $14, you get a great bottle of wine that’s also organic and fermented sulfite-free. The wine is bright in color, and will have a bright garnet-red color to it when you hold up your glass up to the light.

This wine exudes the aroma of cherries, raspberries, and strawberries, and pairs well with Tortilla Española, a Spanish omelet made with eggs, chopped potatoes, and minced onions. If you're looking for something lighter, try pairing your Tempranillo with some Pa Amb Oli, made using toasted bread wedges rubbed in garlic and tomato, topped with extra virgin olive oil.

Looking for a tasty white wine? Open up a bottle of Ojos del Guadiana 2011 Airén ($12-$15).

The Airén varietal accounts for about 75 percent of all vineyard plantings in the region. This wine is young, fresh and fruity with fresh floral scents and the taste of just-picked-apples.

Pair a glass of Airén with Tomates Rellenos, skinned tomatoes stuffed with egg salad and parsley. For something spicy, try it alongside some Salchichon y Queso, which is prepared by simply cutting up some spicy chorizo sausage and a brick of your favorite cheese.

The Airén’s crisp characteristics pair perfectly for a variety of foods — from eggs, to veggies, to salads or spicy fare.

But if seafood is your main game, then Albariño is the varietal for you.

We leave La Mancha in central Spain, and head into Rias-Baixas in Galicia, located along Spain’s panhandle on the Atlantic coast.

Galicia is part of the territories recognized in the Gaelic League.

All Irish, Scots, Welch and Cornwallians had better pay attention to the Condes de Albarei 2011 Albariño ($10-$13). This is the wine you’ll want to sip while enjoying Gambas a la plancha or pan grilled shrimp drizzled in extra virgin olive oil.

The wine is citrusy, light, and enjoyable all year long. When it’s cold outside, try it alongside some cream-based soups. When the weather is warm, pair alongside scallop pasta. For in-between seasons and milder weather, Condes de Albarei goes great with aged, salty cheeses and sardines.

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