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Diccionario del vino El Coto

Wine dictionary: What is a Reserva wine and what do sulphites and tannins do in a wine (R-S-T)

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Your favourite wine vocabulary guide is back again. What five new terms will we learn this time round? Some of them are commonplace, others not quite so much, but all of them are equally intriguing and fascinating.

This time round, we’ll be looking into the features of a Reserva wine, how to tell if a wine is dry using three different techniques, what role sulphites play, what tannins do and what we mean by Tempranillo. Don’t miss it!

It’s time to look at letters R, S and T. Start taking notes!

Vino Reserva Coto de Imaz

Reserva

In earlier Wine Dictionary posts, we spoke about different types of wine depending on their ageing: young wine, Crianza, Gran Reserva, etc. However, there’s one term left to define: Reserva wines.

What is a Reserva wine? It’s really quite simple. According to the Rioja Regulatory Board, for a wine to be classed as a Reserva wine, it needs to meet the following requirement: it must have been aged in oak barrel and bottle for 3 years. Of these three years, one of them must have been in the barrel, with an additional 6 months of ageing in the bottle.

For white and rosé Reserva wines, the ageing period is 2 years (24 months) with a minimum of 6 months in the barrel. Did you know our Coto de Imaz Reserva Blanco spends 12 months in an uncharred French oak barrel? That’s how we keep its fruity and complex aroma.

Find all the El Coto de Rioja wines on our online store

Dry

We often mistakenly associate this term with the feeling of dryness or harshness that a wine leaves in the mouth and on the tongue. Our Wine Dictionary is here to set the record straight!

Actually, when we say that a wine is dry, we mean to the lack of sweetness or, in other words, the low level of residual sugar that it contains. But how do we know this? Using the number of grams per litre expressed in fructose or glucose.

There are 4 types of wine depending on the level of residual sugar in them:

  • Dry: when the wine contains under 4 g/l of sugar
  • Demi-Sec: if the residual level of sugar is between 4 and 12 g/l
  • Semi-sweet: when the level of sugar is between 12 and 45 g/l. As is the case with our Coto Semidulce.
  • Sweet: when there is over 45 g/l of residual sugar. These are normally known as dessert wines.

Dry wines can be made with a range of grapes. As such, it’s not uncommon to find dry reds, whites or rosés, and, compared to sweet wines, they have distinct sharp notes and a higher level of alcohol.

How to tell a dry wine from a sweet wine

Even if we’re sure about the theory, how can we tell a dry wine from a sweet one without checking the sugar content? We’ll tell you three ways of working it out.

  • By taste: it may seem obvious, but taste is the best thing to rely on when trying to tell if a wine is sweet or dry. But just drinking it is not enough. The secret is in letting the mouthful rest on the tongue for a few seconds and then swallow it. If the notes of the wine linger, it’s a sweet wine. However, if they disappear quickly, it’s a dry wine.
  • By its aroma: it’s crucial to smell a wine before you taste it since our sense of smell can give us useful clues. As a rule of thumb, dry wines give of grassy and fresher aromas, while sweet wines have fruity or floral ones. However, don’t let yourself be fooled: you could also find a dry wine with fruity notes too.
  • By density: due to the higher concentration of sugar, sweet wines have a thicker and denser consistency, while dry wines are lighter.

Bring these three tips together so that you don’t miss a trick on your wine tastings.

Vinos secos y vinos dulces
Qué son los sulfitos del vino

Sulphites

Also known as sulphurous anhydride. This is a chemical compound, sulphur dioxide (SO₂), which is generated naturally when fermenting wine.

Sulphites in wine play different roles, including as preservatives, antioxidants and antimicrobial agents. As such, they play a role in ensuring that the aromas, colour and even flavour of the wine are not affected and help it to last over time.

Even though sulphurous anhydride is generated naturally in wine, a greater quantity is added later to boost its preservative properties in the wine, prevent bacteria from growing and ensure quality.

How sulphites affect health?

In line with EU wine labelling regulation, the presence of sulphites should always be listed on the bottle. This is mainly to inform people who are allergic or sensitive to this compound. To see if this is the case, you just need to look for the “contains sulphites” message on the bottle. This is also stated on online wine stores!

If you have any kind of allergy, a good alternative is to go in for natural winemaking, since it is focussed on creating sulphite-free wines. What’s more, not all wines have the same number of sulphites. White wines and rosé wines have the highest level of sulphites. When it comes to red wines, the sweeter they are, the more sulphites they will have.

It should be pointed out that the number of sulphites in a wine is not at all bad for your health, since there are always very low levels in line with the regulations. Did you know that sulphites don’t just occur in wine? We can also find them in any food that goes through a fermentation process. This happens with bread, yoghurt, cider, preserved food, vinegar, beer, etc.

Tannins

Do you remember when we discussed the feeling of astringency and dryness on the tongue? This is caused by tannins.

This is a naturally occurring substance in a bunch of grapes. Specifically, tannins can be found in the skin, pomace and pips, but they can also be found in wine barrels.

What role do tannins play? They add notes of bitterness, roughness and complexity to the wine. They can be easily recognised in the mouth by the dry feeling they leave on the tongue and gums. The greater the concentration of tannins, the greater the bitterness, dryness or astringency. As such, this shouldn’t be seen as an issue, since this is a crucial component for ageing wine for longer and making it develop. Did you know that this substance can also affect the colouring of the wine?

Much like sulphites, tannins can also be found in other commonplace foods and drinks. Specifically those that, if you think about it, generate a feeling of roughness in the mouth such as tea or coffee. Another fun fact: tannins also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Qué son los taninos del vino
Vino Tempranillo El Coto Selección Viñedos Rosado

Tempranillo

This is one of the most common variety of grapes to be found in Spain. Its name in Spanish relates to how it is harvested: Tempranillo comes from the word ‘temprano’ (early) in reference to the fact that the grapes are harvested at an earlier date than usual. This is because they ripen faster than all other varieties.

This grape comes from La Rioja and is perfect for making red wines and rosés. Wines from this grape have a notably ruby red colour and a generally low level of acidity. This variety produces Tempranillo wines with a low level of tannins, making them light, smooth and really aromatic.

The Tempranillo grape is also perfect for doing what we call coupages or assemblages (terms that we went over in earlier posts in our Wine Dictionary). The best example we have of this is our El Coto Rosado Selección Viñedos. This wine brings together the Tempranillo and Grenache grape varieties to create a delicate, fresh and intense wine that is easy on the tongue. Have you tried it yet?

Are you looking for a good Tempranillo? Take a look at our range!

Learn all the terms in our wine vocabulary and uncover all the secrets of your favourite drink. If this post has left you wanting more, don’t forget to take a look at the content on the El Coto de Rioja blog. Here’s a special selection from other entries in our Wine Dictionary:

Wine dictionary: Learn about the power of aftertaste and how to spot an oxidised wine (O-P-R)Wine dictionary: Learn what a ‘young wine’ and the ‘magnum’ category mean (J-L-M)
Diccionario del vino El Coto

Wine dictionary: learn about the power of aftertaste and how to spot an oxidised wine

By Sin categorizar, Sin categorizar

We’re back with our monthly run-down of 5 essential terms in wine vocabulary. What surprises does this edition of the Wine Dictionary have in store for us?

Take a look at what wine oxidation means, how to spot a pricked wine, the properties that stalks have, what aftertaste means and how to use the term round at a wine tasting.

Let’s go through the next entries in the dictionary!

Oxidación del vino

OXIDATION

In this article we’re starting off with the term ‘oxidation’. Do you know what it means? Put simply, oxidation just means the process in which oxygen comes into contact with a wine and gets dissolved in it. This sets of a string of reactions with other substances in the wine, such as polyphenols, iron and copper, among others.

In general, oxidation is not exactly desirable, but sometimes it forms part of another process in winemaking and can even be beneficial

There are two types of oxidation:

  • Enzymatic or biological oxidation: this is particularly quick and affects both the wort and the grapes when they arrive at the winery. This takes place just before wine fermentation.
  • Non-enzymatic or chemical oxidation: this is a slower oxidation process that happens as the wine is ageing after it has fermented. This transformation can give wine a certain stability and even improve some of its characteristics.

How to tell if a wine is oxidised?

Wine oxidation is measured in millivolts (mV). When this is at a rate of 200-300 mV, this is deemed to be a normal level of oxidation. However, this largely depends on the type of wine, how it’s handled in the winery and how it’s stored. When you go beyond this range, the oxidation detracts from the flavour and the quality of the drink.

So, how can we easily tell if a wine is not oxidised at home? Mainly based on changes in the colour and flavour of the wine. White wine oxidises at faster rather than red wine. However, both get darker, shifting towards a brown colour.

To avoid oxidation, you should finish off the bottle in the recommended time after uncorking it and make sure that you keep it in the right conditions at home.

Learn more tricks for storing wine at home

PRICKED WINE

In line with the previous term, we’re now moving onto a interesting concept: “pricked wine”. What does it mean? If someone tells you a wine is pricked, it means that the flavour is off, which means it’s not suitable for drinking.

This issue is caused specifically by oxidation, the presence of oxygen and acetic acid bacteria. The latter are bacteria that metabolise ethanol and also cause other processes that gives wine a slight unpleasant acidity or even turn it completely sour.

How can we tell if a wine is pricked? To avoid drinking a pricked wine, there are some basic key tips to know how to spot one. There are many ways:

  1. Knowing the vintage of the wine: if a wine has been stored for too long, too much oxygen might have gotten into the wine. You should be particularly aware of this with young wines or those that haven’t been aged for long, since they should be consumed within a shorter time frame. As such, the best thing to do is to take a look at the label to work it out.
  2. Analysing the bottle: this is slightly more complicated; if the cork or the capsule are not in place, some air may have gotten into the bottle.
  3. Looking at the wine: some pricked wines have a skin floating on top and some of them are cloudy.
  4. Smelling the wine: this is easy to do, since the wine will have a strong vinegary smell.
  5. Tasting the wine: don’t worry, it’s no poisonous. Just unpleasant. If the wine is pricked, it will be vinegary with a rough mouthfeel.
Cómo saber si un vino está picado
Qué es el raspón

STALKS

Let’s keep moving our way through the wine dictionary! The stalk (also known as the stem) is the structure that holds a bunch of grapes together. In other words, it’s like their skeleton. Its main role is to hold up each of the grape, but it can be used for much more.

It can play a key role in winemaking. Any idea how? Because, whether or not it is included in the winemaking process can affect many aspects of the final product, such as the pH level, the tannins, fermentation, colour, aroma, etc. So, what’s best? Traditionally, it was very common to include it in the wine. However, now it depends on the criteria and choice of each winery.

AFTERTASTE

This is the sensation that wine leaves in the mouth, throat and nose after tasting it. One thing we just love about wine is its lasting power. In fact, when it comes to tasting wine, we should just look out for the aromas we get before and the flavour when we drink or spit it. We should also be looking out for the notes that it leaves behind once we’ve tasted it.

That’s why, when we talk about ‘lingering in the nose’ or ‘lingering on the palate’.. We’re talking about notes of the aftertaste which can tell us about the quality of the wine. If these aspects last for quite some time, then we have a wine that’s ‘long in the mouth/nose/throat’. If it doesn’t linger, then we have a ‘short wine’ (of a lower calibre).

Don’t worry if you can’t make out some of these characteristics. We need to train our senses slowly so that they get sharper over time.

Would you like to do a wine tasting at home? We’ll tell you how to set one up
Qué es el retrogusto
Qué es un vino redondo

ROUND / ROTUNDITY

Let’s take a look at the last term in our Wine Dictionary. This is a word that professionals often use, such as sommeliers on wine tastings. But what do we mean when we say a wine is round?

Pamela Vandyke, a famous British wine journalist, gave a very good definition and the reasoning behind it. In fact, her definition is the benchmark today.

She said: “Many people find it helpful to think of wines as having a shape. Some immature wines often seem to be angular, other seem straight up and down in slightly unripe vintages. A round wine has its skeleton (the alcohol) adequately and pleasantly covered with flesh (the fruit) and is enhanced by a good skin (the fragrance). Excess rotundity shows a lack of proportion, but many young wines possess a type of puppy fat which they shed later.”

In more colloquial terms, if we call a wine ‘round’, we generally mean that it is well-balanced. In other words, a wine that is balances out all of its elements, such as acidity, sweetness, tannins, alcohol level, fragrances, body, etc. As such, harmony reigns among them.

Do you want to learn more? Don’t for get to take a look at the other entries in our Wine Dictionary to learn all the terms you need for this world full of notes and perfection.

Wine dictionary: Learn what a ‘young wine’ and the ‘magnum’ category mean (J-L-M)Wine dictionary: what is a foudre or a Gran Reserva?
Llevar vino en la maleta

How to transport wine on a trip

By Sin categorizar, Sin categorizar

If you’re a wine lover, you must have wondered how to pack a bottle of wine into your suitcase or how to take wine on to a plane safely. There are many people who often buy a bottle of wine from the place they’ve been visiting on holiday as a souvenir or as a present for friends and family.  

In this article, you find out everything you need to know about taking a bottle of wine on a plane or in your suitcase however you’re travelling without the worry of it smashing. 

guardar vino en la maleta

How to pack a bottle of wine in your suitcase

To protect your wine bottles in your suitcase, the most common method is wrapping them up in bubble wrap. If you don’t have any to hand, put the bottle in a few plastic bags to separate them from the rest of your things. If you also wrap the bottle up in your clothes (such as towels, jumpers or sweatshirts), this will protect them against any bumps.  

One little tip: we recommend placing the bottles in the middle of your suitcase, or even inside your socks and shoes to give them better protection, but don’t put them near any hard objects you have in your suitcase. 

You could also use neoprene bags specifically designed for transporting bottles. If you buy more than 6 bottles, it might be better to buy a specific suitcase for them. 

Remember that if you’re going by plane, it’s best to avoid bringing sparkling wines since the pressure and the gas inside them can make them explode. 

Do you want to know how to enjoy your wine this summer?

How to transport wine on a plane

Before buying wine on your way back from your trip, you need to be sure of how you’re going to carry it, bearing in mind the restrictions that airports have for taking this wine in your suitcase.  

The best thing you can do is to buy your wine in the airport Duty Free. That way you won’t have to put them into your carry-on luggage, and you can choose where you put them once in the cabin. However, this only works for a couple of bottles, of course. If you’re going to buy more, it’s best to do so beforehand and protect them in your suitcase.  

transportar vino en el avión
cómo llevar bebidas en un avión

Restrictions for travelling with alcoholic beverages

Another thing you should bear in mind are the restrictions that airlines and countries have for travelling with alcoholic beverages in your suitcase. As a rule of thumb, in the European Union you won’t have to pay any extra taxes on alcoholic beverages that you bring with you if they’re for personal use; in other words, if you’re not going to sell them on. However, the customs officers may want to make sure that your bottles are for personal use and ask you a few questions.  

The EU member states decide the maximum number of alcoholic beverages you can take into their countries, but there are minimum amounts. When it comes to wine, this is 20 litres of fortified wine. If you come from outside the European Union, you can only bring in 4 litres of wine. 

One thing to remember! Some airlines require you to use extruded polystyrene padded packaging to put bottles in your suitcase. 

One last tip: make sure your airline doesn’t have a maximum number of bottles that they let you take in your suitcase.  

Have a great trip wherever you’re going, but hold on to your passion for wine! To make sure of that, take a look at our tips for buying a good wine in complete certainty. Make sure you don’t get ripped off! 

What are wine points, what are they based on and which are the most influential?How to choose a good wine: 9 tips that will make you an expert
Recetas maridaje vino blanco

7 summer recipes that go perfectly with white wine

By Sin categorizar

Summer is here! And to kick off the season, everyone is in the mood for summer recipes to cool off and keep on enjoying good food, just as we do all year round. That’s why, here at El Coto, to celebrate our #WhiteWineSummerwe’ve got 7 summer recipes that go perfectly with white wine for you. Which wine? All of them! Which course? Even dessert!

They will really whet your appetite… 

Receta gazpacho andaluz

1. Andalusian Gazpacho + El Coto Blanco

Ingredients

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes 
  • 1 Italian green pepper 
  • 1 cucumber 
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 40g stale bread 
  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar 
  • 1 glass of water 
  • 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Toppings: cucumber, tomato, onion, etc. 

Steps 

  1. Wash andcleanthe vegetables.
  2. Chop the vegetables and put them into a blender or food processor. Add the oil, vinegar, salt, bread and a little water. Blend at full power.
  3. If it ends up a little thick, add a little more water.
  4. Optional: you can strain it if you end up with lumps.
  5. Store it in the fridge and enjoy it nice andcool, topped with diced cucumber, tomato and onion.
El Coto Blanco es la mejor compañía de tu gazpacho

2. Pasta salad with sun dried tomatoes and cashew nuts + El Coto Selección Viñedos Sauvignon Blanc

Ingredients 

  • 320g dry fusilli  
  • 100g sun-dried tomatoes in oil 
  • 150g feta cheese or farmer cheese 
  • 20g cashew nuts 
  • Rocket or lettuce to taste 
  • Extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste 

Steps 

  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack.
  2. Rinse it off with cold water and store it in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the salad. 
  3. Chop the cashew nuts, dice the cheese and slice the sun-dried tomatoes. Of course, you can add other ingredients such as onion.
  4. Create a base of rocket or lettuce in a bowl.
  5. Add the cold pasta and the rest of the sliced ingredients.
  6. Add salt to taste and a generous dash of extra virgin olive oil. Toss the salad… And it’s ready to eat!
Raise a glass of El Coto Selección Viñedos Sauvignon Blanc
Receta ensalada de pasta con anacardos
Receta corzo con patatas

3. Roe venison stew with potatoes and button mushrooms + Coto de Imaz Reserva Blanco

Ingredients 

  • 1kg diced roe venison  
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 onions 
  • 200g button mushrooms 
  • 3 potatoes  
  • 1 glass of brandy 
  • 1 glass of red cooking wine 
  • Olive oil  
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • Parsley, pepper, garlic powder, salt and flour. 

Steps 

  1. Mix the chopped garlic cloves, bay leaves, wine and brandy into a large dish, submerge thedicedroe venison and leave it to marinate in the fridge for approximately 12 hours. 
  2. Remove the meat and drain, keepingthe marinate.
  3. Season the meat, coat in flour and brown the chunks in a large pot.
  4. Remove the meat and, using the same oil, add the onion, the marinade with the garlic and a little parsley.
  5. Add the meat and leave it to stew on a low heat. If it needs more water, add stock or water.
  6. While the meat is cooking, dice the potatoes and fry, and sauté the mushrooms.
  7. When they’re ready, add them to the pot with the meat and leave them to cook for a further 5 minutes. It’s just delicious!
Game dishes, always with Coto de Imaz Reserva Blanco

4. Stuffed tomatoes + Coto Mayor Sauvignon Blanc

Ingredients 

  • 2 tomatoes 
  • 2 boiled eggs 
  • 2 cans of tuna, drained 
  • Mayonnaise 

Steps 

  1. Slice the top off the tomatoes and seed, leaving the skin on. Add salt
  2. In a bowl, add the drained tuna, the boiled eggs and the mayonnaise. You can add other ingredients to taste, such as capers, olives or prawns. 
  3. Sutff the tomatoes with the mixture.
  4. Leave to chill in the fridge for one hour and it’s done! It couldn’t be easier
Receta arroz caldoso con marisco

5. Seafood and rice stew + 875 m Chardonnay

Ingredients  

  • 180g bomba rice 
  • Fish or seafood stock 
  • 2 tomatoes 
  • 1 green pepper 
  • 5 cloves of garlic  
  • 200g mussels 
  • 200g clams 
  • 200g king prawns 
  • 200g squid 

Steps 

  1. Cook the mussels and clams (to open them) in one pot, and the heads and tails of the king prawns in another pot, then combine the broths.
  2. Sauté the garlic, the finely chopped pepper and the tomatoes.
  3. In a saucepan or a paella pan, add olive oil, squid and the sautéed vegetables. Stir well and add the rice and stock. Measure out one part rice to four parts stock.
  4. Cook on a medium heat, and 15 minutes later, add the king prawns, clams and mussels.
  5. After five minutes, or whenever it’s as creamy as you want it to be, turn off the heat and leave it to rest.
875m Chardonnay is aged in the barrel for 6 months and goes perfectly with this stew

6. Albóndigas de rape y langostinos + El Coto Verdejo

Ingredients

  • 500g monkfish 
  • 200g king prawns 
  • 300ml fish stock 
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 glass of white wine 
  • Flour 
  • Salt  
  • Parsley 
  • Oil 
  • Breadcrumbs 

Steps 

  1. Finely chop the following ingredients and mix in a bowl: monkfish, king prawns, half and onion and parsley. Once, mixed, beat an egg and add it to the bowl along withbreadcrumbsand salt. Mix again. 
  2. Shape the mix into balls and roll them in flour. Fry them in a good amount of oil. You can eat them as they are, without any sauce, or even shape them into mini burger patties. 
  3. To create a sauce, sweat off the other half of the onion, diced, and once it’s cooked through, add the glass of white wine. 
  4. Once the alcohol has cooked off, add the fish stock and the meatballs. 
  5. Leave it took cook until the sauce thickens, and it’s ready to serve.
We selected El Coto Verdejo for these meatballs
Receta albondigas de rape
Receta tarta de queso con mermelada

7. Cheesecake + El Coto Semidulce

Ingredients 

  • 200g biscuits  
  • 80g butter 
  • 100ml single cream 
  • 500g cream cheese 
  • 300ml milk 
  • 170g  sugar 
  • 2 sachets of gelatine mix 
  • Fruit jam to taste 

Steps

  1. Crush the biscuits into very small pieces, almost into a powder.
  2. Add the melted butter and mix well.
  3. Add the mixture the cake tin you are going to use and press it down firmly. Leave to chill in the fridge.
  4. While it is cooling down, boil the cream, milk, sugar and cheese. Stir constantly, and when it has all come together, add the sachets of gelatinemix. 
  5. Take the biscuit base out of the fridge and carefully pour the mixture over it. Leave it in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
  6. Take out of the cake tin and add the jam on top, or any red berries that you like.
The best thing to go with dessert is a semi-semi-sweet...
El Coto referente vino blanco

Why El Coto de Rioja is a benchmark in white wine

By Sin categorizar

It’s no coincidence that we have become the leading maker of white wines in DOCa Rioja over the past 10 years and that we are among the top 3 best-selling white wines in Spain.  Behind this success, there is lots of passion, perseverance and hard work. Want to learn the secrets to our success? We’ll explain one by one.

mapa viñedos y fincas El Coto

El Coto: the largest winegrowers in La Rioja

To ensure our wines are top-quality, whether red or white, our first strategy was to own as many vineyards as possible. This way, we can always ensure an exceptional product, year after year

Today, we have no less than 730 hectares, all located in the various sub zones of DOCa Rioja.

See our map of vineyards and estates

Dedicated to new varieties

Ongoing innovation has been crucial to evolving over time and offering surprising products full of personality that stand out.

In fact, El Coto de Rioja was a pioneer in working with the new white varieties authorised by the Regulatory Board in 2006 (none had been authorised since 1925). They authorised Verdejo, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and El Coto has been able to perfectly combine the tradition of our local grape, Viura, with the new varieties to make fresh, elegant wines.

Extensión viñedos El Coto
El Coto vino blanco 875m

Finca Carbonera: The highest altitude vineyard in DOCa Rioja

Finca Carbonera is the highest altitude vineyard in DOCa Rioja (875 m), and the heart of a unique project to make Rioja white wines. After years of searching, we found this estate that, with its special climate and soil conditions, is perfect for making white wine.

It was on this estate, in fact, that our white wine project was born, including 875m Chardonnay, among many other specialities.

The only on-site crushing facility in Rioja vineyards

If there is one thing that sets our Finca Carbonera vineyard apart, in addition to its impressive 200 hectares of land, it is that it has a facility to turn the grapes into must on site, just minutes after being harvested, which helps maintain the grapes’ qualities. This way, we prevent oxidation and the extraction of polyphenols that can occur while the grapes are being transported to the winery, especially on warm days in late summer.

On-site crushing facilities, in fact, are quite common in France in the Champagne region, where sales prices mean they can afford this extra investment.

Types of white wine in Spain
Barricas El Coto de Rioja
Bodega especializada en vino blanco El Coto

Winery specialising in making whites

White and rosé wines use much more technology in the winemaking process. It is essential to have the latest advances in refrigeration and fermentation. So, El Coto de Rioja has invested in building a specialised winery with the latest technology to make white wines.

And this winery isn’t the only one with this type of specialisation. Within the winemaking process, we have 11 other specialised spaces so that each step, from ageing to bottling, is done independently under optimal conditions.

Visit each of our wineries

Greater diversity of varieties and wine types

In recent years, El Coto de Rioja has launched several new products to market, many of them white wines. As a result, our winery has one of the biggest lines of white wines in Spain:

Young whites

Wood-aged whites

Delight in our whole line of whites in our shop
Tipos de vino blanco El Coto
Vino blanco beneficios salud

Accessibility of our products

All this hard work would be meaningless if you couldn’t experience and enjoy the wine like we do. We want to be there for you, any time! So, we can’t end this list of reasons why El Coto de Rioja is a benchmark without mentioning the accessibility of all our wines.

 

Through our online shop or your nearest supermarket or restaurant, we make it easy for you to find your favourite wine, regardless of the category.

Apart from being easy to find, we also want to be as affordable as possible without sacrificing quality. That’s why we do everything we can to make excellent quality at affordable prices. This way, you can always enjoy an exceptional white wine, whether for a normal day or special occasion.

If you’re not sure which El Coto de Rioja wine to choose, don’t miss this special article on how to choose the perfect wine for any occasion.

You can’t go wrong with these wines!

And if you want to learn more about the world of white wine, take a look at these articles:

Mitos sobre el vino blanco

6 myths about white wine

By Sin categorizar

You’ve heard false myths about white wine so many times that you weren’t even aware that they aren’t true. Myths like you always have to drink it cold. Like it never pairs with good red meat. Myths like it being of lesser quality. Did you really believe all of that? Well, you’ve come to the right place to bust all those myths about white wine and realise everything that goes into this very special type of wine so you can enjoy a #WhiteWineSummer to the fullest.

Mitos vino blanco se toma frio

Myth 1: White wine should always be served cold

Let’s start with one of the most widespread myths: the ideal serving temperature for white wine. It’s not uncommon to believe that white wine should always be served cold, but nothing could be further from the truth. It depends on the type of white wine you’re drinking. Very young white wines that have been barrel aged should be served at a temperature between 7°C and 9°C, for example our El Coto Verdejo.

However, for aged white wines, the serving temperature is quite a bit higher: between 10°C and 13°C, because serving them colder would mean we lose certain aromas. A good example of a white wine served at a warmer temperature is 875m Chardonnay.

If you want to know more about the right serving temperature for each type of wine, don’t miss this article:

WHAT SERVING TEMPERATURE IS RIGHT FOR EACH TYPE OF WINE?

Myth 2: White wine should never be served with red meat

Another very common myth about white wine is that it can’t pair well with meat. Not at all! In fact, did you know that one of the best wines for game is an aged white? For our Coto de Imaz Reserva Blanco, the ageing on its lees in the barrel and the characteristic freshness of the high-altitude vineyard at the Finca Carbonera estate give it an extraordinary, persistent unctuousness and aromatic complexity.

The best wine for meat is Coto de Imaz Reserva Blanco

Myth 3: There isn’t a very wide variety of whites

There are so many grape varieties, DOs, ageing types… How couldn’t there be a wide variety of whites? Viura, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are just a few of the white grapes we use at our winery. Because at El Coto de Rioja we are experts in white wines, with 7 types on our rolls.

You can choose the type of white wine you like best: drier, sweeter, fruitier, more aged, younger…

Want to see our whole line of whites?

Types of white wine in Spain
Variedad blancos el coto de rioja
Vino blanco para maridar queso

Myth 4: White wine never pairs well with cheese or cold meats

Another myth we want to bust is that the only possible pairing for a cheese board is red wine… No way! Of course cheese goes great with red wine, but it does with white wine, too. In fact, soft, creamy cheeses like Brie or Camembert, pair wonderfully with a glass of white wine, as do some cured cheeses.

And if you tend to have doubts about how to pair different foods, don’t miss this article on how to pair with dishes.

Myth 5: White wine isn’t as good quality as red and doesn’t age as well

The quality of white wine is, of course, comparable to red wine, although it isn’t normally aged as long. However, as we have repeated several times, there are also white wines aged for several months, which gives them different nuances. So, myth busted! It ages just as well as any red wine.

875m Chardonnay is a delicious white with oak

Myth 6: White wine isn’t good for you

Finally, will finish off our myths about white wine with the theory that it isn’t good for you, or at least not as good as red wine. Of course, as with red wine, you should always drink it in moderation, but it has great benefits such as:

  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Rich in minerals and low in calories
  • Helps lower anxiety and stress levels
  • Like red wine, it helps prevents cardiovascular disease

If you’re interested, you can check out the benefits of red wine, too.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF RED WINE
Vino blanco beneficios salud
Tipos de uvas blancas

Chardonnay, Viura, Sauvignon Blanc… All about our white grapes!

By Sin categorizar, Uncategorized

At El Coto de Rioja we have an incredible variety of white wines, did you know that? So, we’re encouraging you to have a #WhiteWineSummer and enjoy them like never before. Among other things, we wanted to help you understand a bit more about how different grapes produce such special wines, so distinct and unique. Our 7 white wines are made from 4 grape varieties: Chardonnay, Viura, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. All different, all special. Even when we have an assemblage of several of them…

Discover all the characteristics of white grapes in this article. Here we go!

Caracteristicas uva chardonnay

Characteristics of the Chardonnay grape and its wines

Chardonnay grapes are originally from the Burgundy region of France, although they can now be found in loads of countries, including Spain.

This grape, which we use to make our 875m Chardonnay, for example, is small to medium in size and ripens early. Its aromas could be classified as fruity, with tropical and citrus notes, like pineapple or lemon.

The grapes for our 875m Chardonnay are grown at Finca Carbonera, the highest altitude vineyard in all of DOCa Rioja. It is the perfect wine for dishes like fish stew, arroz caldoso (rice in fish broth), foie, oily fish, seafood… It’s amazing!

If you’re looking for simple, summery recipes to enjoy with a good white, don’t miss this article.

7 great summer recipes to pair with white wines

Characteristics of the Viura grape: originally from Catalonia

The Viura grape, also known as Macabeo in some areas of the country, is originally from the Camp de Tarragona area. How do we know that? Because it was first mentioned by Lluís Ponç d’Icard, a jurist and historian, in one of his texts dated 1564. Although, as always, there are discrepancies as to the origin of this type of grape by the zone…

Regardless, Viura is the most common grape for making white wine in La Rioja today, including our El Coto Blanco, which is made with an assemblage of Viura, Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc. It has average acidity, perfect for blending with other varieties, like we do. It has moderate acidity and very natural aromas, like green apple and pear.

A curious fact is that the Viura grape was introduced in La Rioja after the phylloxera epidemic that decimated vineyards all over the country. Did you know that?

caracteristicas uva viura
caracteristicas sauvignon blanc

Sauvignon Blanc grapes and the wines made with them

Sauvignon Blanc grapes are originally from the French city of Bordeaux, although they are now found nearly everywhere in the world, including Chile, France and California.

This type of grape grows in small bunches. It is fresh and produces dry, acidic, elegant wines like our Coto Mayor Sauvignon Blanc. This wine has a greenish yellow tone, the boxwood aromas typical of Sauvignon Blanc grown in cold areas, and notes of citrus and tropical fruit. Don’t know what boxwood aromas are? That’s because you didn’t read the first instalment of our Wine Dictionary…

WINE DICTIONARY: 5 WORDS TO DISCOVER

Sauvignon Blanc grapes are one of the most special and least common in our country in terms of white grape varieties. These wines are perfect for pairing with appetisers, seafood, fish, rice and pasta dishes.

Have you tried the El Coto Selección Viñedos Sauvignon Blanc?

Main characteristics of the Verdejo grape and its wines

The Verdejo grape is among the most well-known in our country, especially as it is grown abundantly in DO Rueda. But that isn’t the only part of our country where you can find it! Here in La Rioja, we also grow Verdejo grapes. Did you know that they used to be used to make fortified wines? Now, however, it’s a grape that’s not only ideal on its own, but is also great blended with other varieties like Viura and Sauvignon Blanc, as we saw before.

These grapes have really intense fruit aromas, such as pear, citrus and even herbaceous notes reminiscent of fennel or hay. Verdejo gives wines a complex structure, with personality, although they are also perfect wines for pairing with many types of food.

El Coto Verdejo is great to enjoy year-round, but now in summer… It’s even better!

Before you go, do you want to know why El Coto is a benchmark in white wine? Find out here.

The incredible project of El Coto whites
Diccionario del vino El Coto

Wine dictionary: what is a foudre or a Gran Reserva?

By Sin categorizar

We’re back with another instalment of our Wine Dictionary! Each month, we look at 5 concepts from the world of oenology so you can learn even more about wine. This time, we’ll explain what foudres are, the characteristics of Grenache grapes and how a wine becomes a Gran Reserva, among other things. Want to be a bit more of a wine expert? Make sure you read right to the end!

Qué es un fudre

Foudre

Foudres are high-capacity containers like you see in the picture, in our winery. They are casks that hold between 10 hl and 200-300 hl that are laid horizontally, with a round or cylindrical base.

They are a classic tool that many wineries use to age both red and white wines, perfect for any grape variety when you don’t want the wood to have too much weight in the final flavour of the wine.

We talked about this and all the different types of wine barrels and their characteristics a few weeks ago. Did you see the post? If you haven’t read it yet, don’t miss out!

TYPES OF WINE BARRELS: CHARACTERISTICS AND CAPACITIES

Grenache

When we talk about the Grenache grape, the first thing we should say is that there are 4 different varieties: Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc, Alicante Bouschet and Grenache Gris. Grenache Noir or red Grenache is originally from Spain, the Aragon region to be precise, and it is the most widely produced red variety in Spain. Did you know that? Let’s look at the characteristics of each type of Grenache grape.

Grenache Noir

We use this grape variety to produce aromatic wines, medium bodied with good acidity. For example, El Coto Crianza Garnacha is a wine made exclusively from this grape variety and is fresh and balsamic with delicate aromas of cherries and red fruit. 

Grenache Blanc

This is a white variety of the Grenache Noir grape and yields fruity wines with quite a lot of body and a lovely golden colour.

Alicante Bouschet

This is another red grape variety that produces wines with lots of colour, aromatic and fruity, lower in alcohol that the previous two varieties.

Grenache Gris

Finally, the grey variety is a mutation of the red version that is typical in Catalonia, where it is also known as “garnacha peluda”. It gets this name, which means “hairy Grenache”, from the fuzz that covers its skin. It produces wines with very high alcohol content and lots of colour.

Qué es la uva Garnacha
Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva

Gran Reserva

Do you know what makes a wine a Gran Reserva? Obviously, ageing time in the barrel and the bottle. The Rioja Regulatory Board establishes the following requirements for a wine to be considered a Gran Reserva, like our Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva: 

  • Gran Reserva for red wines: Aged on oak for at least 24 months, followed and complemented by at least 36 months ageing in the bottle. Have you tried Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva?
  • Gran Reserva for white or rosé wines: Aged on oak and in the bottle for a total of at least 48 months, with at least 6 in oak barrels.

 In our previous instalment of the Wine Dictionary, we talked about the phases of a wine’s evolution and ageing. Do you know them? Do you know the difference between the two?

WINE DICTIONARY: DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE DEVELOPMENT AND FERMENTATION OF A WINE ARE?

Herbaceous

When we talk about a herbaceous wine, we mean it has aromas and flavours reminiscent of plants, with a touch of “grass”. This, in the right amount and referring to the primary aromas in a tasting, is very positive because it is reminiscent of hay and other types of aromatic plants, making the wine a very attractive drink.

Too much of this type of aromas and flavours, however, can be unpleasant. Why? Because it could mean the grapes weren’t ripe enough or that other parts of the bunch were left in, among other possibilities.

Vino herbaceo
Que es el hollejo de un vino

Grape skins

And now the final entry of the fifth instalment of our El Coto de Rioja Wine Dictionary! When we talk about grape skins, we mean the very thin membrane that covers the grape. And they are essential to the quality and flavour of wines! The grape skins are where the tannins and pigments are found. Plus, yeast on the skins are what set off the reaction known as spontaneous fermentation to create the wine.

If you haven’t read the previous parts of the wine dictionary, we recommend you don’t miss:

WINE DICTIONARY: COUPAGE, STALKING… DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN?WINE DICTIONARY: DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE DEVELOPMENT AND FERMENTATION OF A WINE ARE?
Beneficios vino tinto salud

Health benefits of red wine

By Sin categorizar

We all like a little glass of wine once in a while! But did you know it’s also good for you? Drinking red wine (always in moderation) has health benefits. And it’s not just us at El Coto de Rioja who say it: many studies from different countries have shown these benefits.

There are several properties and characteristics of red wine (which other types of wine and alcoholic beverages don’t have) that can help make us healthier, including strengthening our bones, promoting good gut flora and even preventing dementia. Although, we have to repeat it, always in moderation and in line with recommendations from Wine in Moderation!

Let’s have a closer look at the various health benefits of red wine.

Polifenoles vino fortalecen huesos

1. Wine builds stronger bones

Let’s start with a study by Tufts University in Boston (USA) with over 2,400 female participants and a truly surprising finding: the women who drank wine were less likely to lose bone mass than the ones who didn’t.

And that’s not the only study we’ve seen come to that conclusion: recently, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, another study was published that found red wine contributes to better bone health in men, too. They found a direct correlation between better bone mineral density and red wine consumption in men aged 50 to 80.

2. Benefits of red wine: it reduces heart risks

Still in the United States, this time we have a study by Harvard University. This one also sought to understand another health benefit of wine and found that people who drank wine were 30% less likely to have a heart attack.

This is due to the polyphenols, which are found in the skin of red grapes (and many other fruits, vegetables and nuts), and help “protect” the heart. Another argument says this is due to the fact that red wine is part of the Mediterranean diet, a series of eating habits that has been proven to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Another health benefits of red wine!

Which wine will you choose to have a little glass?

3. Wine is an antioxidant

According to a study by scientists at the University of Cluj-Napoca, in Romania, this health benefit corresponds to a substance present in much higher quantities in red wine than in white or rosé: flavonoids, which have loads of antioxidants.

4. Benefits of wine: it is anti-inflammatory

In this case, it is due to the alcohol in the wine: ethanol. It has an anti-inflammatory effect that, with other substances like the polyphenols we mentioned earlier, create the perfect combination for anti-inflammatory action, as well as protecting the heart.

Other interesting wine facts you’re going to love...
Beneficios vino es antioxidante
Vino contra la depresion

5. It helps our gut microbiota

This paper from the University of the Aegean (Greece), and this one from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, show a direct correlation between consumption of red wine and the growth of intestinal microbiota, which is the “good” gut flora.

This, again, is due to the polyphenols in wine, which also act as a prebiotic, allowing certain beneficial bacterial that are key to a balanced intestinal microbiota to develop after moderate consumption of red wine as part of a balanced diet.

Have you tried our 875m tinto? You’re going to love it!

6. Wine fights depression

A large group of Spanish scientists from several universities found that drinking wine in moderation can decrease the risk of depression.

The study was done on people from 55 to 80 years old (2,822 women and 2,683 men) over a period of 7 years. After this long, exhaustive study, they saw that both women and men who drank about 6 glasses of wine a week were less likely to develop depression than those who didn’t.

7. It helps prevent dementia

Finally, let’s finish off with a study from scientists at the Loyola University Medical Center in the United States published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment.

This study was conducted in 14 countries and found that moderate yet regular drinkers of red wine had a lower risk of developing dementia. Why? From the resveratrol, which helps keep blood vessels open and lowers the risk of clotting, helping improve blood flow to the brain.

What do you think? We recommend you check out all of these articles from our blog so you can keep discovering more about the world of wine.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DO, DOP AND DOCA FOR WINETYPES OF WINE BARRELS: CHARACTERISTICS AND CAPACITIES
Vino prevencion demencia
Como abrir botella vino sin abridor

How to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew

By Sin categorizar

We’re sure you’ve been caught out at least once needing to know how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew.

 

It’s typical when you’re on holiday, staying in an apartment or home you’re not familiar with and, when you go to open the wine, bam! The kitchen has everything but a corkscrew or wine opener. Or it breaks and there’s nothing else to open the bottle with. Or you’ve just misplaced it and can’t find it anywhere. And if you’re far from the shops or they’re all closed…you’ve got a problem.

But don’t worry! If you want to enjoy your glass of wine even though you don’t have an open to hand, here are some tricks (that take more skill than strength in most cases) to resolve the problem whenever it comes up.

 

Good luck!

Como abrir vino con un cuchillo

Option 1: How to open a wine bottle with a knife

The most important thing here is to choose a knife that is less wide than the cork, so it will fit in the bottleneck, and has a very sharp point.

  1. Set the bottle upright and slide the knife into the cork halfway (more or less, you’ll have to do it by feel).
  2. Then try to turn it very slowly, rocking from side to side, to pull it out of the bottle.
  3. It takes a lot of patience and skill or you’ll end up with pieces of cork in the bottle or cracking the cork in two.
  4. Pull up slowly and viola, bottle open!

Option 2: Open the wine by pushing the cork into the bottle

One of the most common solutions to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew is to just push the cork into the bottle. Obviously, this isn’t the best option but if you’re going to drink the whole bottle in a sitting, it will get you out of a tight spot!

To do this, you need a cylindrical object without a sharp point, so you don’t destroy the cork as you push it in and break it into a million pieces. If it’s a silicone cork, however, something sharp will do. Take a fat marker or lipstick, for example, and push the cork until it falls into the bottle.

Stop by our shop, whether you have a wine opener or not
Abrir el vino empujando el corcho
Trucos para abrir un vino sin abridor

Option 3: Open the wine with a shoe

Did you know you can open a bottle of wine with a shoe? And no, you don’t need a stiletto or something like that. What you have to do, with patience and skill, is:

  1. Find a flat shoe, without a heel, like a slipper or a moccasin.
  2. Put the wine bottle in the heel of the shoe.
  3. Tap the heel against a wall, holding the bottle firmly in your hand. The shoe will cushion the blows, but make sure you protect the bottle carefully.
  4. Repeat several times, with gusto.
  5. The cork will push out little by little and, when it’s out about two centimetres, just pull it out with your hand.

 

If you like these tricks, we’ve got some for removing red wine stains…

Here is how to get rid of wine stains!

Option 4: Open the bottle with a screw

This is the closest thing to a corkscrew for opening a wine bottle.

  1. All you have to do is screw a long screw into the cork, slowly, nearly all the way in.
  2. Then, with some pliers on the head of the screw, prise it out slowly, moving back and forth.
  3. When the cork is partway out, like in the previous options, finish the job with your hands!
Como abrir botella vino con un tornillo
Ideas para abrir un vino sin sacacorchos

Other options for opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew

With scissors

The process with scissors is exactly the same as the one with a sharp knife: put the tip halfway into the cork and turn the handle of the scissors slowly and prise the cork out.

With house keys

Push the tip of a long key into the cork at an angle. Then turn it as you pull upwards. Slowly but surely, and carefully so you don’t break the cork, it will end up coming out.

With a hanger

You’ll need a wire hanger you can reshape, bending the tip into a hook: time to catch a cork! Push it all the way in, through the cork, and then pull up. It will act just like a hook and remove the cork easily.

After all that, did you know our special format wines come with screw tops so you no longer need a corkscrew? For example, El Coto Crianza de 37.5cl.

All our special formats
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