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How is rosé wine made? We’ll tell you!

By Sin categorizar

Rosé wine is a fresh, highly drinkable wine that is great for all sorts of occasions (many more than you might imagine!). It’s not only a favourite for summer days, nor a predominately feminine wine, nor a low-quality wine, nor any of the other stereotypes! Rosé wine pairs wonderfully with all sorts of dishes and moments and is spectacular, so if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a chance.

The perfect serving temperature is between 7 and 8 degrees Celsius, or a few degrees cooler if it’s a rosé sparkling wine. It goes great with appetisers, salads and even Asian food. We’ll go into this in more detail at the end of the article.

But let’s get to it! We’re going to see how a rosé wine is made.

Type of grapes used to make rosé wine

Had you heard or thought that rosé wine was just a blend of red wine and white wine? Not at all! In fact, that’s not allowed in the EU.

Rosé wine is made with the same grapes used for red wine, but it isn’t fermented with the skins. For the El Coto Rosado, we use Grenache and Tempranillo grapes. The Grenache grapes used to make this wine come from our estate in Ausejo, Los Almendros, and the Tempranillo grapes come from Rioja Alavesa. With these two grape varieties and the winemaking process, we get a tantalising wine with flavours of fresh strawberries and caramel.

Qué uvas se usan para el vino rosado

Técnicas: diferencias entre sangrado, prensado directo y clarete

– Saignée: This technique probably yields the highest quality wine. The grapes are left to macerate for a short, variable period of time until the must takes on the desired colour. Then the tank is bled, which is where the technique gets its name (saignée means bled in French), and it goes straight into another tank to continue the process just like a white wine. This bleeding process normally makes finer, more complex wines.

– Maceration: With this technique, the grapes are pressed as soon as they reach the winery, after being crushed. The different pressing fractions are separated to settle separately. This process gives the wines more structure.

– Blending: this technique gives us a different type of rosé wine known as “clarete”. It is a coupage of must from white and red grape varieties. For decades, this wine was the most common type in Spain. But that deserves an article of its own! As we were saying, don’t confuse this process with that of blending finished red and white wine, which is prohibited.

How we make El Coto Rosado: sangée + maceration

Our El Coto Rosado wine is made in part by bleeding the free-run must from the grapes in the winery and in part through pellicular maceration and then pressing.

In both cases, the must is clarified before being fermented. The musts are made and fermented in the presence of select yeasts and at very low temperatures to encourage all the aromas of fresh fruit in our wine to develop. It is kept at a low temperature in the winery until it is bottled.

Plus, did you know that the grapes are covered with a curtain of carbonic gas when they get to the winery to protect them from oxidation? The same gas is used to instantly refrigerate the grapes! Isn’t that odd?

¿Te animas a probar nuestro El Coto Rosado?

Cómo maridar un vino rosado

As we said at the beginning, rosé wine is perfect with all sorts of dishes, such as salads, pasta, fish, some types of cheese and cuisines like Asian food. Here are some quick tips:

  • With a salad, always choose a light dressing like olive oil or, if you want something more, yoghurt is a good option. Avoid lemon and vinegar so you won’t taste bitterness.
  • Pair your rosé with white fish like hake, sea bass or cod. It’s also perfect to have with a sushi feast!
  • If you want to have a rosé with your cheese board, go for things like Brie and Camembert, which are the best cheese pairings for this type of wine by far.

Want to know more about how to pair rosé and other types of wine? Don’t miss this article!

WHICH WINE IS BEST FOR EACH FOOD? LET’S REVIEW THE BASICS

3 Valentine’s Day plans at home with wine

By Sin categorizar

Don’t take Valentine’s Day at home as something boring and imposed by the circumstances. It’s a great plan! At home, with the person you love and a good wine. What could be better?

And to make this special day perfect, we have 3 ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day at home, with a couple glasses to toast to the best that is yet to come. You can even use these ideas with anyone you love and share your day-to-day life with: your mum, a flatmate, a friend… Let’s drink to this 14 February!

Cena de San Valentín en casa

1. Super plan for Valentine’s Day at home: pairing menu

Let’s start with our first idea! Cook a meal at home with a spectacular wine pairing. You can do this two ways:

1-As a surprise: if the other person leaves for a while (you could even send them out on an errand), take advantage and get cracking! However: remember to plan your menu first, have the wines and all the ingredients ready so you can prepare the meal in record time. When they come back, the surprise will be the best gift.

2-Couples time: another option is to make cooking the meal together part of the plan. That way, you can spend a great afternoon of food and wine while you prepare the best Valentine’s Day meal ever, with your favourite dishes.

In terms of the menu, there are loads of options to pair the dishes with some good wines (at least two different ones). But keep in mind the personal preferences of the person you’re sharing your table with and make something you know they’ll love, or make one of your favourite dishes together.

Once you’ve set the menu, it’s time to choose the right wines to go with it. In general:

– For finger foods, for example, including cheese: white wines like El Coto Blanco  are best with younger cheeses, and aged cheeses pair best with Crianza reds like El Coto Crianza.

– If you’re going for seafood, we recommend our barrel-fermented 875 m Chardonnay or El Coto Selección Viñedos Sauvignon Blanc.

– For red meat, a Reserva or Gran Reserva goes amazingly well, enhancing its flavour.

Want to know more? Which El Coto wine to pair with poultry, pasta, rice or dessert?  Don’t miss this article with all the tips you need!

WHICH WINE IS BEST FOR EACH MEAL? LET’S REVIEW THE BASICS
Baño romántico San Valentín

2. A bubble bath (with wine)

Another romantic Valentine’s Day plan is to draw a bubble bath for that special someone so they can relax and unwind with some good wine. Of course, you can also share that moment if you want.

Remember to set the mood. These are stressful times and it’s important to make the moment perfect for both of you to completely disconnect and enjoy yourselves. So think candles, relaxing music and loads of bubbles! The most important part of this plan, though, is having a good wine close to hand (maybe on a stool or tray).

Which do you think would fit the moment best? We wouldn’t hesitate: a gentle, fresh wine. You could go for El Coto Rosado, our El Coto Semidulce or even the surprising 875 m red.

Cata vinos en pareja

3. Set up a blind tasting for two

We haven’t been able to do any wine visits for a long time now, and in some places it hasn’t even been possible to try new wines at wine bars or restaurants. So we can’t think of much that would be better or more fun for a Valentine’s Day at home than setting up your own blind tasting.

Obviously this experience will be your “gift” to the other person because you will already know the wines, but we promise you can also learn loads when you start tasting.

For a blind tasting you need:

  • At least 3 different bottles of wine to taste
  • One glass per person for each wine you’re going to taste
  • Something to cover the labels on the bottles so you don’t give anything away
  • A mask so the colour of the wine doesn’t give you any clues
  • Some snacks to go with the tasting
  • Good luck!

If you want to know more about blind and open tastings, here are all the answers to your questions and some tips so everything will go off without a hitch!

HOW TO HOST A WINE TASTING AT HOME WITH FRIENDS

Valentine’s Day gifts for wine-lovers

This is a little extra that you could add to any of the plans, even for a family member or friend, this 14 February.

If the person is a wine-lover, you can always surprise them with a gift pack, like the ones we have on our website. And if you want to get a bouquet of flowers or other trinket to go with it, it’ll be perfect!

Which gift pack would you choose for Valentine’s Day?
Regalo vino San Valentín

10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT WINE YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW

By Sin categorizar

The wine world if full of interesting facts and stories. This makes sense as it is a beverage that is consumed around the world and was first made thousands of years ago. Can you imagine how many wine stories we could tell?

 

In this article, we have 10 interesting facts from the world of wine that we think you might like. If you have others, share them with us on any of our social media profiles.

 

Here we go!

1. WHERE IS THE BIGGEST WINERY IN THE WORLD?

The world’s largest winery is in Moldova and it is in the Guinness Book of World Records. It has a whopping , which were dug in previous centuries, but current250 kilometres of tunnelsly only 50 kilometres are in use. In them ‘sleep’ two million bottles of wine.

Curiosidades vino: origen brindis

2. DIFFERENT THEORIES ON THE ORIGINS OF TOASTING

The word itself comes from the old tradition of putting toasted bread in wine before offering wishes of goodwill or complements. But where does the tradition of toasting come from?

 

There are many theories: one dates back to the Middle Ages, when poisonings were commonplace. So, at banquets, diners would knock their glasses together so hard that a bit of liquid from each glass would end up in all the others. That way they made sure none of the glasses were poisoned.

 

Another theory goes back to Roman banquets and feasts, when they tended to raise and hit their glasses to get the servers’ attention and keep the wine flowing. You can’t say it isn’t practical!

3. MAGNUM BOTTLES: THE BEST FOR AGEING WINE

Did you know wine ages better in a bigger bottle? Magnum bottles (1.5l) extend the lifespan of the wine and preserve it better than standard bottles. This is because a smaller proportion of the wine is in contact with oxygen.

Who would you share a Magnum of our El Coto Crianza with?
Curiosidades vino - cuantas uvas por botella

4. HOW MANY GRAPES DOES IT TAKE TO FILL A WINE BOTTLE?

Have you ever wondered? It’s hard to give a 100% accurate answer to this one, but we estimate it takes approximately one kilogram of grapes to fill a 75cl bottle. On average, each bunch of grapes weighs 200 or 300 grams, so it would take four or five to fill a standard bottle. Did you think it was more or less?

5. WINE BOOSTS MEMORY

Science says so! According to a study carried out in the United States by the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and published in the journal Nature, resveratrol, a natural antioxidant found in foods like red grapes, helps slow age-related memory loss.

Any of our wines are perfect for proving the theory right!

Any of our wines are perfect for proving the theory right!
Curiosidades vino - Monasterios

6. VINEYARDS AND MONASTERIES: WHY?

You’ve surely seen wineries and vineyards a stone’s throw from a monastery more than once. That’s because, in the Middle Ages, war was a threat to winemaking. So, the religious orders were in charge of growing and caring for the grapevines. Then they sold the wines, too. Did you know that?

7. A WINE THAT DATES BACK TO 800 BCE IS STILL PRODUCED TODAY

Incredible but true. It’s called Commandaria, a sweet wine from Cyprus that was described by Greek poet Hesiod around 800 BCE. The interesting thing is that is it still produced in a very similar manner today, using two Cypriot grape varieties. So it’s a unique wine for many reasons.

Curiosidades vino - cuándo llegó el vino a España

8. DO YOU KNOW WHEN WINE CAME TO SPAIN?

It was around 1900 BCE, when the Phoenician colonists arrived on the peninsula. They set up a port in Gadir (Cadiz) and established the city of Xera (Jerez), where they started planting the first grapevines. That is when we find the first traces of large-scale grape growing in Spain.

9. WINE IS GROWN ON EVERY CONTINENT: EVEN ANTARCTICA!

And beyond Spain, you have to know that there is no continent where wine is not grown. Even the McMurdo Dry Valleys, on Antarctica, are home to one variety of wine grapes.

 

This area is nearly 5,000 km2 and ice free. That’s why it’s called the Dry Valleys! The climate in this zone is more like Mars than anywhere else on Earth, but a few years ago scientists managed to grow a wine there, which is quite a feat. Such are the curiosities of wine!

Curiosidades vino - Oenofilia y oenofobia

10. OENOPHOBIA AND OENOPHILIA WHAT ARE THEY?

We’re going to bring this round of wine curiosities to a close with two concepts. They are opposites but both are very interesting! Oenophobia refers to a fear of wine. This uncontrollable, irrational phobia is normally tied to dipsophobia, which is the fear of alcohol in general.

On the other hand, we have oenophilia, which describes people who have a true love of and devotion to wine. We can identify a bit more with the latter!

Want to learn more about wine? Check out these articles!

WINE DICTIONARY: 5 WORDS TO DISCOVER

By Sin categorizar

We’re inaugurating our Wine Dictionary! From now on, every month we’ll bring you concepts and words from the wine world that you might not know or fully understand, plus other interesting facts.

 

Because there is a lot of specialised vocabulary that is unknown or complicated even for wine-lovers who drink it often. But that’s where we come in!

 

We’ll start off with 5 words that you’re surely more or less familiar with. We hope to clear things up and surprise you a bit, too!

Diccionario del vino: añada

VINTAGE

Some call it the “harvest” and others “vintage”. It refers to the year the grapes were picked for a specific wine. And what does that mean? Well, depending on the weather conditions that year, the grapes will have grown and matured in a specific way.

 

But don’t be fooled, you need more than just a year classified as “a good vintage” to yield an exceptional wine. Of course, the conditions that year have an impact (a big one), but they aren’t everything.

 

How do you know the vintage of a wine? Normally, it will be on the label (although it isn’t compulsory). For example, our Coto de Imaz Reserva is a 2016 vintage. And we can assure you it is SPECTACULAR. Have you tried it yet?

I’m going to try it, right now!
Diccionario del vino: astringente

ASTRINGENT

Have you ever heard someone say a wine is “astringent”? Well, when we say a wine is astringent or has astringency, we are referring to the dry, rough feel it leaves in your mouth.

 

It is a difficult sensation to define that, obviously, is picked up when focusing on the mouthfeel in any tasting. It is caused by the tannins reacting with your saliva. Tannins (which we’ll look at later on in this series on the Wine Dictionary) are what give wine its characteristic crimson colour, as well as this dry, bitterness.

Afrutado

Moving on to another characteristic of some wines. Fruity or fruit-forward wines are those that evoke smells and tastes of fruit. And not just grapes, of course!

 

A fruit-forward wine can have a palate and nose reminiscent of currants, bananas, apricots, peaches, plums, raspberries, etc. Don’t confuse it with sweetness, though, as they are different flavours. Fruity doesn’t mean sweet.

 

Fruit-forward wines are normally young, although some wines that have been aged longer retain their fruitiness thanks to the special selection of grapes used. Plus, this characteristic of smell and taste can be found in red, white and rosé wines. 

 

In our case, we recommend you try our 875 M Chardonnay, which respects the fruity and floral notes of that grape variety, plus tropical notes of pineapple and a delicate aroma of vanilla. Sounds too good not to try…

I want to try a fruity wine!
Diccionario del vino: Aroma

Aroma

When we refer to a wine’s aroma, we’re talking about the pleasant scent of the wine that stimulates the taste buds. Yes, pleasant. Why? Because, in the wine world, unpleasant odours (like a damp cork, for example) are not referred to as aromas. The aroma of a wine, even though we use it in the singular, is made up of 3 different types aromas:

 

– Primary aromas: come directly from the grape variety used to make the wine. You can smell them when you tilt the glass, increasing the surface area of wine in contact with the air.

 

– Secondary aromas: from the fermentation processes, such as alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. They come out as you swirl the wine in the glass.

 

– Tertiary aromas: also called the bouquet, they are from the ageing process, either in the barrel or the bottle.

 

We’ll go much deeper into the world of aromas, so keep a close eye on our blog!

Diccionario del vino: boj

BOXWOOD

This is probably one of the least well-known words in our first instalment of the Wine Dictionary. And that’s normal! It isn’t a word you hear often, but we’re going to try our best to define it.

 

When we talk about boxwood in a wine, normally it’s an aroma. A smell reminiscent of the boxwood plant: bitter and penetrating. It’s normally found in wines that have Sauvignon Blanc grapes, which contain a molecule (p-mentha-8-thiol-3-one to be precise) that gives off a powerful aroma of boxwood, which is also sometimes called the aroma of “broom”. Isn’t that curious?

 

Of our wines, El Coto Selección Viñedos Blanco has boxwood aromas typical of this variety grown in colder regions, plus tropical and citrus notes. It’s spectacular!

We hope you’ve learned something new!

 

Before you go, don’t miss these other blog posts we’re sure you’ll love!

HOW TO STORE WINE AT HOME
HOW TO GET RED WINE STAINS OUT

HOW TO GET RED WINE STAINS OUT

By Sin categorizar

Getting rid of red wine stains is a common problem to face after hosting a lunch or dinner at home. Who hasn’t spilled a glass or two? Plus, red wine has a ‘bad reputation’ for being impossible to get out.

Though at El Coto we’re firm believers in all those “Indelible memories”, we have to admit that there is a solution for red wine stains!

We’ll tell you how to get rid of them using various household solutions and what to do depending on where the contents of your glass ended up unexpectedly.

HOW TO GET RID OF RED WINE STAINS WITH HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

The most important thing here is time. What does that mean? The faster you get to it, the greater your chances to getting the stain out completely. Try not to let it dry! If it has, though, don’t worry! We’ll also look at options to get rid of a dried red wine stain.

Quitar manchas vino tinto con leche

1. Milk

Milk can be a great option and something everyone has on hand at home. It has to be animal milk though; plant-based milks won’t have the same effect because they have less fat and other ingredients. Milk is great at getting rid of red wine stains, or ink stains, among other things.

How do you apply it?

First, get a clean cloth. Dip it in the milk and dab it onto the stain. Try not to rub it. You could just end up spreading the stain. Then, as soon as possible, put the stained item in the washing machine and wash it as you normally would. No need for hot water.

Perfect trick for…

Clothing that isn’t too delicate and can be machine washed.

2. BICARBONATE OF SODA

Bicarb isn’t as common as milk, but if you have some around the house it’s another good option for getting rid of a red wine stain.

The sodium in bicarb attracts and traps wine particles when they are still wet. So, as we said before, it’s best to apply it as quickly as possible.

How do you apply it?

Put a glass of water and half a glass of bicarb into a container. Stir well and pour it onto the stain. Let it sit until it dries on the stain. Then brush it off, or hoover it up off a carpet, and wash with soap and water.

Put a glass of water and half a glass of bicarb into a container. Stir well and pour it onto the stain. Let it sit until it dries on the stain. Then brush it off, or hoover it up off a carpet, and wash with soap and water.

Perfect trick for…

Any item: sofa, carpet, tablecloth or even less delicate garments.

Bicarbonato para manchas de vino tinto
Sal para manchas vino tinto

3. SALT: A CLASSIC FOR GETTING OUT RED WINE STAINS!

Salt is one of the tricks most people already know, since it is highly absorbent. On its own, it probably won’t solve your wine stain issue 100%. But it could help considerably reduce it and keep it from spreading in the beginning.

 

How do you apply it?

Get rid of as much wine as you can with kitchen roll (no rubbing!) and pour the salt right onto the stain. Then leave it for 3-5 minutes. Don’t leave it any longer because you could end up with the opposite effect, helping set the stain! Then brush it off and you’ll see most, if not all, of the stain has disappeared. Finish washing with soap and water.

Perfect trick for…

Tablecloths and carpets.

4. LIQUID DETERGENT WITH HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

This is a quick, effective solution that most of us have at home to easily get rid of wine stains.

How do you apply it?

In a container, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and liquid detergent. Put the mixture onto the stain and rub gently. Then let it sit. Afterwards, wash normally.

Perfect trick for…

All sorts of clothing, but only light colours. The hydrogen peroxide can bleach darks.

Detergente manchas vino tinto

OTHER OPTIONS TO REMOVE RED WINE STAINS

-White wine

Did you know white wine can help you get out a red wine stain? Get a cloth, dip it in white wine and dab at the red wine stain. Leave it for a few minutes and then wash with soap and water.

– Boiling water

This is perfect if the red wine ended up on the tablecloth. Stretch it out as much as possible, with the stain visible. Then pour on boiling water. Watch the stain disappear!

– Stain removers

You can also use special stain removers, but you have to be careful when you apply them. Read the instructions carefully, and the tags on the clothing, sofa, carpet or other fabric, too.

Quitar manchas vino tinto resecas

HOW TO GET DRIED RED WINE STAINS OUT

If you didn’t make it in time to get out the damp red wine stain and now it’s completely dried, don’t worry! You still have options, but it might not look as good. Or it may take a bit more effort to get rid of it completely. Some of the tricks above also work on dried red wine stains, like bicarb and liquid detergent with hydrogen peroxide.

If you’ve already washed the piece of clothing and the stain didn’t come out, an easy household solution is to put the fabric in milk that has just started boiling. Move the fabric around once in a while but don’t scrub the stain until you see it starting to disappear. Then rub it gently, even with your hands.

You can always use traditional stain removers, which may work. As we said, remember to read the labels on the fabrics and products.

We hope these tips have been helpful!

 

Want more wine content? Don’t miss these two articles on our blog!

WHAT IS THE BEST WINE FOR EACH MEAL? BACK TO BASICSHOW TO HOST A WINE TASTING AT HOME WITH FRIENDS

WHICH WINE IS BEST FOR EACH FOOD? LET’S REVIEW THE BASICS

By Sin categorizar

In terms of wine, personal preference is key. But it is true that each type of wine, given its particular flavours and aromas, pairs better with some foods than with others. If you have a special celebration coming up and want to get ready, read on! We’ll tell you which wine goes best with each type of food.

 

Whether you’re eating at home or in a restaurant, knowing which wines pair best with different types of food is very useful for getting the most enjoyment out of the experience. You’ve surely heard that you should have red wine with meat and white wine with fish and, although that’s true, we’re going to delve a bit deeper than that sweeping generalisation. We’ll tell you which wine goes best with all sorts of foods. That way you’ll know which to choose for any occasion. There’ll be no dish too hard!

NUTS, OLIVES AND PICKLES

Are you planning to have some snacks like nuts, olives or pickles? We recommend a light wine that contrasts with the sour, salty taste of the food. Our El Coto Semidulce would be a great option, with the citrus and pineapple aromas typical of the Chardonnay grape, bringing a touch of sweetness to your snacks. If you prefer a drier wine, you can also go for El Coto Selección Viñedos Sauvignon Blanc.

Marida quesos y vinos

CHEESE

Oh cheese! If you’re like us and love this delicious creation, you’ll need to know which wines to pair with it. There are loads of types of cheese, so the key is to think about its flavour, which depends on how it has been aged. So, younger cheese pairs best with white wine, aged cheese with Crianza red like El Coto Crianza and blue cheese with young red wine to offset the intensity of flavour.

SALADS AND VEGETABLES

Salads and vegetable dishes are great with wines that have a touch of acidity, such as whites and rosés. One good option is El Coto Rosado made with Tempranillo and Grenache grapes. Its fresh flavour pairs perfectly with this type of recipe.

Vinos que maridan con pasta

Pasta

Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes, served with other foods and a wide variety of sauces. So, to pair these dishes properly you have to focus on the main flavour. For example, for pasta with a tomato-based sauce like Bolognese, with a strong, acidic flavour, you’ll do best with a young or Crianza red wine. A seafood pasta, however, will pair beautifully with white or rosé. If cheese is the main flavour, use the tips above based on the type of cheese.

Discover our box of El Coto Selección Viñedos Blanco, which goes great with many types of pasta.

Rice

Rice is similar to pasta. For seafood rice dishes, the best pairing is a dry white wine. Our barrel-fermented 875 m Chardonnay goes great with a seafood paella, with its luscious butteriness. On the other hand, rice dishes with meat or other strong flavours pair perfectly with red wine.

Vinos que maridan con marisco

SEAFOOD

There’s no question that the best wine for seafood is white. However, it can also pair well with rosé wines with some acidity. In our case, we recommend the 875 m again, or our El Coto Blanco. You won’t go wrong with either one! We recommend checking the tasting notes, though, so you can pick the one that best suits your preferences.

Vino que marida con pescado

Fish

As we said at the beginning, fish is normally associated with white wine. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. It depends on the type of fish and how it is prepared. White fish done simply is best with a white wine. However,  if the fish is stewed or served with a sauce, it could be paired with a fuller wine, like a rosé or a red. For oily fish, though, you can also consider pairing the dish with red wines like the ones from Rioja.

Our selection of wines to pair with fish

POULTRY

White meat like chicken goes best with white wines or light reds, depending on the recipe. For game birds, however, like duck or squab, it is much better to choose a powerful red like our Coto Real Reserva or Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva.

Vinos que maridan con carne

RED AND CURED MEATS

Red meat and red wine, Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, are a match made in heaven, enhancing the flavour of the meat. But who says it doesn’t work with whites, too? For example, our Coto Imaz Reserva Blanco, with its complex aromas and butteriness, is great with game, red meat and beef.

Whether you prefer red or white, we have the wine you’re looking for to go with your meat dishes

Desserts

Finally, it’s time for dessert! That sweet bite that some dream of throughout the whole meal. Which wine would be the perfect pairing? A semisweet like ours is perfect for the sweetest desserts and those with more acidity, from fruit, or bitterness, from cacao.

 

And now that’s clear, it’s time for the fun part: toasting and enjoying the meal. Bon appétit!

HOW TO HOST A WINE TASTING AT HOME WITH FRIENDS

By Sin categorizar

Looking for something fun to do? Hosting a wine tasting at home can be a fun way to learn about wine while spending time with friends and family. We’ll give you step-by-step instructions for maximum enjoyment.

Before you get started, though, remember it’s important to be responsible. Given the current situation, private gatherings are still limited to a certain number of people in many regions. So, if you decide to host a wine tasting, make sure you follow local rules to avoid risks. And better yet, try to do it in a spacious, well-ventilated space, or even outdoors.

That said, let’s get to it! We’ll tell you everything you need to know for a great day with friends or family, with wine as the star. Your guests will surely have a great time.

CHOOSING WINES FOR THE TASTING

Wine is an essential part of this plan, so we recommend you start your planning by choosing the type of wine you want to taste. First of all, you have to decide whether you want to taste several wines made from the same grape, or different ones. Red, white or rosé? From several D.O. or just one? If you aren’t experts, if might be best to taste different types of wine. That way it will be easier to observe their nuances.

To simplify a bit, you could choose several wines from the same winery. This is called a horizontal tasting. If you wanted to try different vintages of the same wine, that would be a vertical tasting. At El Coto, we have a wide variety of wines from D.O.Ca. Rioja that make for a high-quality, well-rounded tasting.

Vino blanco en copa

TASTING STYLE

After you choose the wine, another thing you have to decide is how you want to taste it. There are different styles to choose from, depending on what you want to achieve and the participants’ preferences. We’ll explain a few of them:

– Open tasting: participants know which wines they are tasting and get a short explanation from the host. After tasting, they share their opinions. This can be the best option for beginners.

– Blind tasting: if you’re looking to make things a bit more exciting, you can do a blind tasting by covering the label and trying to guess what type of wine it is based on the aromas and flavours. You can even close your eyes so the colour of the wine doesn’t give you any clues.

– Tasting in pairs: another way to make the tasting more original is to do it in pairs. So, with a partner, participants taste each wine and discuss their opinions before sharing with the rest of the group.

Whichever style you choose, it’s important that you or another one of the participants takes the role of sommelier to explain everything to the others. If you don’t know much about wine, it’s best to do some research on the wines you’re going to be tasting beforehand.

You’ll find all the information you need on our wines in our online shop.

CHOOSING THE LOCATION

You already which wines you’ll taste and how. Now it’s time to think about where you want to have the tasting, in the living room or kitchen, or even on a terrace or in the garden. In making your choice, remember to take into account how many guests you will have and make sure the location has:

  • Enough space for everyone to sit comfortably.
  • A large table or several tables together.
  • A chair for each guest.
  • A neutral smell, so it won’t affect the tasting.
Qué necesitas para organizar una cata

LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Now that all of that’s decided, it’s time to get into the details and see what you’ll need to make your home tasting a success. And to help, we’ve got this list for you.

  • Number of bottles of wine: three or four bottles tends to be a good amount for a tasting. But it’s important to take into account the number of guests and how many wines you want to taste.
  • Number of glasses: it’s best to have one glass per guest for each wine. So, if there are four of you and you’re going to taste three wines, you need twelve glasses. Plus, we recommend using the right type of glass for each wine. Don’t know which goes with which? We explain it all in this article on which type of glass to use with each wine. [Link to article “Which glass for each wine]. If you don’t have enough glasses, no problem. Just wash them between wines!
  • Ice bucket big enough to keep the wines you’re going to taste at the right temperature.
  • Corkscrew: you won’t get anywhere without it! If there are a lot of bottles, better to have more than one.
  • Paper and a pen for each participant to write their tasting notes after trying the wines.
  • Water and a glass for each participant to refresh their palate between tastings.
Cómo maridar una cata

FOOD OR SNACKS FOR THE TASTING

In addition to all of that, your tasting has to have some tasty snacks to go with the wine. It doesn’t have to be a lot or an elaborate production. In fact, that would be counterproductive as it could overshadow the wine. But there should be something for your guests to nibble on while they’re tasting.

And, of course, the snacks should pair well with the wines you’ve chosen. So, here are some options that go well with our wines.

  • El Coto Crianza is the perfect pairing for meat and fish, so for a tasting you can serve it with good Ibérico ham, chorizo, cured pork loin and/or aged cheese.
  • El Coto Blanco goes great with seafood and fish. So you can have it with cockles, mussels, anchovies, or bonito or salmon bruscetta.
  • El Coto Rosado with salads, pickles or veggie bruscetta, like tomato or baby greens.
  • El Coto Semidulce pairs perfectly with mild cheese, fruit and desserts.
Check out our shop!

Did you get that? Now you just have to start planning your amazing wine tasting. Enjoy!

HOW TO STORE WINE AT HOME

By Sin categorizar

This special time of year, when we tend to toast and celebrate more than usual, as well as having guests over, it’s not uncommon to end up with several different bottles of wine at home. And, as they pile up, we wonder: What do I do with them? Where and how should I store them? And what if they’re already open? We’ll tell you how to store wine properly at home, for open and unopened bottles. Here we go!

 

Because knowing how to store wine at home is essential to enjoying it. It doesn’t matter how incredible a wine you buy if you don’t store it properly.

Mejor posición para guardar el vino

1. STORING WINE BOTTLES AT HOME: STANDING UP OR LYING DOWN?

There’s no categorical answer to these questions. We recommend storing the bottles you’re going to drink in the next few days or weeks upright so that any sediment will fall to the bottom of the bottle. It’s different if you’re going to be storing wine for a long time at home.

 

Have you ever visited a winery? Well, if you have, you’ve probably seen that our bottles are stored on their side. We do this because it keeps the cork in contact with the wine at all times, which helps preserve the taste and aromas of the wine. This way, the cork never dries out, making it more flexible and airtight.

 

The only exception is sparkling wines, because they have carbonic gas that tends to rise, keeping the cork damp.

2. RIGHT TEMPERATURE FOR STORING WINE

Not everyone has the space or budget for a temperature-controlled wine cellar at home, which is highly recommended if you’re truly a wine-lover and always have several bottles at home. So? How do you store it?

 

The most important thing is to make sure the wine isn’t exposed to temperature changes. We know it’s hard, but the best is to keep the bottles at a constant 10 °C – 16 °C. The warmer the room, the harder it is to keep them in good condition, as heat accelerates the ageing process.

 

If you have a basement or garage, where it tends to be cooler and damper with a more stable temperature than the rest of the house, that’s the best place to store wine at home. If you’re going to store wine in the kitchen, keep it as far as possible from heat sources like the microwave or oven, and out of any drafts that could cause sharp temperature changes.

Temperatura guardar vino
Guardar el vino sin luz

3. STORE WINE AWAY FROM DIRECT SUNLIGHT

Another thing to consider is light, both natural and artificial. Try to store your wine in the darkest space possible because it can get ‘light strike’ as light reacts with the riboflavin in the wine.

 

If you can’t keep them out of the light completely, we recommend putting your bottles in a wooden box, like the one our Coto de Imaz Reserva pack comes in.

4. HOW LONG WILL AN UNOPENED BOTTLE OF WINE LAST?

Another question we tend to ask when buying wine is how long it should be kept before drinking? Well, this is more complicated because you have to factor in several things, such as the type of grape, age, vintage, ageing of the wine, etc. And most importantly, how it is stored.

 

As a general rule:

 

– Drink young wines within a year of being harvested.

– Drink Crianza wines, like our El Coto Crianza, within five years.

– Drink Reserva or Gran Reserva wines, such as our Coto Real Reserva, within 10 or 15 years.

 

But, as we’ve said, this really depends on all sorts of factors, so it’s best to ask the professional you buy the bottle or bottles from, at the shop or winery, for their suggestions. A properly stored Crianza will be fine after more than 5 years, for example.

Cuánto dura el vino sin abrir
Cómo conservar el vino en casa una vez abierto

5. HOW TO STORE AN OPEN BOTTLE OF WINE

If you aren’t going to finish the whole bottle, make sure to store it properly so it will still taste great when you come back to it. It’s best to keep the wine at a stable temperature. So don’t put it in the fridge, wine cooler or outside if you’re going to drink it at 18 °C the next day.

 

You can put the same cork back in, tightly, or use a vacuum or standard stopper. Then keep it upright. To make sure the wine will have the same flavour and characteristics, you should drink it within 24-48 hours.

Want to buy some wine for what’s left of Christmas?

Check out our shop!

Before you go, don’t miss these articles!

WHICH GLASS FOR EACH WINE: FIND OUT HERE!HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD WINE: 9 TIPS THAT WILL MAKE YOU AN EXPERT

HOW TO CHOOSE THE WINE FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER

By Sin categorizar

Choosing wine can be complicated, for both hosts and guests. Do they prefer red wine? Or white? Should I try to pair wines with the dishes? Should I get several types and styles and let them choose? And for guests: How do I know what to take?

All of these doubts about choosing a wine are heightened for holiday meals because this is a very special time of year and we want to make sure we get something that our hosts or guests will love.

That’s why we want to help you choose the wine for your Christmas lunch or dinner based on several factors that may be in play so you’ll have the best options ‘on the table’. Don’t miss it!

Qué vino elegir cena Navidad

WHICH WINE TO CHOOSE IF YOU’RE COOKING OR KNOW WHAT’S ON THE MENU

The best way to choose the right Christmas wine is to know what’s on the menu. For hosts, or guests who can find out what’s cooking, the best thing to do is to choose the wine based on the dishes that will be served at your Christmas lunch or dinner:

 

– The perfect wine for the appetizers: How many people spend more time on the appetizers than the main Christmas meal? Rosé wines like El Coto Rosado are great for this point in the festivities, as they pair wonderfully with nearly any sort of canapé. Another option is a good white, like 875 m Chardonnay, which is marvellous if you have ‘heavier dishes’ among the appetizers, like smoked salmon or cod, cheese or even as the perfect pairing for foie.

 

– How to choose wine to go with the meat: if the main dish is going to be meat or a roast, like the traditional suckling lamb, goat or pig, don’t hesitate to pair it with a powerful wine like our Coto de Imaz Reserva. Another very special option that will have everyone at the table speechless is our Coto Real Reserva , which pairs beautifully with game, duck magret, squab and, of course, red meat.

Vino blanco maridaje cena

– Discover the Verdejo and Viura grapes. Did you know that Viura is the most characteristic white grape of D.O. Rioja? Our El Coto Blanco, made mostly from this grape, is perfect with grilled or baked fish and seafood. However, if you prefer, you can also go for El Coto Blanco Verdejo, made from the most characteristic grape of D.O. Rueda, with fine, intense aromas of tropical fruit, fennel and aniseed. Both are perfect with fish and seafood, so you can’t go wrong!

 

– Get off the beaten path with a dessert wine: few people think about having wine with dessert, so it’s a fantastic addition to your menu or as a gift. And to top off Christmas dinner, what better than a sweet or semi-sweet wine like El Coto Semidulce, with citrus and pineapple aromas. And for those who love dark chocolate, don’t forget that a powerful wine like a Gran Reserva could be the best pairing for your dessert.

Want more information on how to choose a good wine? Don’t miss this article!

HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD WINE: 9 TIPS THAT WILL MAKE YOU AN EXPERT
Qué vino regalar

WHICH WINE TO CHOOSE FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S BEING SERVED

Another situation that could arise is having to choose the wine for Christmas dinner without knowing the menu, to take as a gift or contribution to a celebration with friends or family. If you’re in this boat, have a look at these recommendations we hope will be helpful:

 

1. If the person organizing the meal is from a region of Spain with local wines (and there’s a lot of them!), take a bottle from that D.O. Your host will surely appreciate the thought behind the gift and then you can toast with the chosen elixir some time during the meal, depending on the type.

 

2. When choosing wine for Christmas dinner, it is also important to find a wine that fits any menu and that everyone likes. And there’s no better example than our 875 m, made of Tempranillo grapes from the 2018 harvest. This wine has lovely aromas of cherries and red fruit, plus notes of mocha and cacao. It’s perfect for those just starting out in the wine world or if you want a wine that is powerful yet fresh and elegant, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Vino blanco en copa

3. One option when you have more doubts than certainties is to go for a sure bet: if you don’t know the other guests or the menu, try to choose a good red and a good white to take, that way the cards will be stacked in your favour! We recommend asking the experts at your local store or specialized wine shop, or you can go for a sure thing like our El Coto Crianza.

 

4. Finally, if there’s a wine you enjoy and think the others will too, don’t hesitate to take it! The other guests may have different tastes or it might not pair perfectly with the dishes served, but you’ll enjoy sharing your preferences and discoveries in wine over the Christmas meal.

 

Before you go, have a look at this article on what to give someone who loves wine:

ESSENTIAL GIFTS FOR WINE-LOVERS

ESSENTIAL GIFTS FOR WINE-LOVERS

By Sin categorizar

Secret Santa, Hanukkah, Christmas… or just because! This time of year, everyone is thinking about gifts for family and friends. But we know it can be hard to choose or come up with a good idea. You have to think hard to find a way to surprise them!

If the person is a wine-lover, you’re in luck because there are loads of options to choose from! This article is full of ideas and inspiration for a holiday gift for the wine-lover on your list.

Complementos para amantes del vino

1. WINE-RELATED GIFTS: ALL SORTS OF ACCESSORIES

Our first suggestion for a gift any wine-lover will adore is an accessory to go with wine or that anyone who enjoys a good bottle will love.

Here are a few ideas of accessories and trinkets for wine-lovers and a short explanation of what each one is for:

  • Vacuum pump: this device sucks the air out of a wine bottle, creating a vacuum.
  • Stopper: some are simple and others hermetic, with a better seal. They’re used to close the bottle tightly, instead of the cork, so the wine will last longer. There are loads of fun ones, in all shapes and colours, and others that are more elegant, with a silver finish, for example.
  • Pourer: the simplest ones help you pour the wine properly, without dripping. They’re easy to clean and can be reused. There are also others that help aerate the wine as it is served.
  • Cooler sleeve: for those who prefer sparkling or white wines, a cooler sleeve is a great gift!
  • Books on wine: finally, another amazing option is a book on wine. You can find loads of interesting titles like ‘Tras las viñas’ by Josep Roca and Inma Puig, or ‘La cata de vinos’ by Lluís Manel.
Packs regalo vinos

2. GIFT PACKS OF WINE WITH SPECTACULAR BOTTLES

Another Christmas gift for a wine-lover is a gift pack with several bottles. They’re sure to enjoy it and thank you for it! We have several gift packs you can choose from, depending on the person’s preferences:

  • Wooden box with 6 bottles El Coto Crianza: our essential must-have is a great option if you want to give a sure bet. You can’t go wrong! Our Crianza is the perfect wine to open any time during the holidays.
  • Pack 3 bottles Coto de Imaz Reserva: our great Reserva wine, made with Tempranillo grapes, is perfect for those who enjoy a fuller wine.
  • Pack of 2 bottles 875 m: this young wine, made of Chardonnay and Tempranillo grapes, is the perfect gift for anyone who loves discovering new young wines that have a lot to say. Our 875 m has floral and tropical fruit aromas that enchant anyone who tries it.
  • Wooden box 6 bottles El Coto Reserva 50 aniversario: this wine is, without question, the most special gift you can give this Christmas. Why? Because it is the first Reserva we’ve made of our El Coto, with just 3,000 bottles produced to commemorate our 50th anniversary. There’s nothing more special or exclusive!

These are just some of our gift packs. Want to see them all?

Check out all our gift packs for this Christmas!
Botellero o vinoteca

3. BOTTLE RACK OR WINE FRIDGE: DEPENDING ON YOUR BUDGET!

Another idea for a present for someone who loves wine is a bottle rack. Think about how much space they have at home and how many bottles they normally have on hand when deciding the size and capacity of the rack: 10 bottles, 25 or even 75. In terms of the materials and format, there is a whole range of options to choose from! You can go for a simpler one in wood for a more classic look or in chrome with a more spectacular shape for those with more modern tastes.

If you have a bit more to spend: a wine fridge would be a great option! Wines are best when stored on their side at a constant temperature, ours included.

Regala experiencia enoturística

4. WINE-TOURISM EXPERIENCE

We love this gift! Even though we can’t do it yet …

Giving experiences is always fun, and if they’re related to wine: even better! You can give a visit to several wineries, one winery with a tasting, a weekend getaway to La Rioja to enjoy El Coto… They’re sure to love it!

Since we can't go to wineries, let's drink wine at home!Or give wine...
Maridaje con vino

5. WINE PAIRING WITH GOOD CHEESE AND CURED MEAT

For the full experience without leaving home, a Christmas present for someone who loves wine and good food is: a full pack of cured meats, cheeses and wines! You can buy it ready-made or put it together yourself, choosing each item, for a gift that is very special and personal.

We recommend any of the Ibérico products from Dehesa Barón de Ley, such as the salchichón ibérico, chorizo ibérico or acorn-fed ham. You can pair them with any of our red wines, although don’t think a white wine is totally out of the question. Not at all!

Our Coto Imaz Reserva Blanco, with its complex aromas and butteriness, is great with game, red meat and beef. Dare to try this combination?

Check out our wines and choose which goes best with your gift pack
Regalar copas de vino

6. A NEW SET OF GLASSES FOR THEIR FAVOURITE WINE

And now the final suggestion on our list of gift ideas for wine-lovers! This one is very flexible as a gift on its own (for a Secret Santa, for example) or with another gift.

Choose a pretty, good-quality set of glasses. But, most importantly, choose a set that is right for the type of wine they normally drink.

Want to know which glass to choose based on their favourite wine? Don’t miss this article with all the tips you need!

WHICH GLASS FOR EACH WINE: FIND OUT HERE!
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