Cómo maridar pescado y marisco

How to choose a good wine to pair with fish and seafood

By Sin categorizar, Uncategorized

To pair fish and seafood, you can always resort to the easy option of white wine, right? Well, even though it’s a good choice, there are some other matters to take into account when picking out a wine to pair with these food groups. The surprising thing is that they’re not necessarily always white wines. Let’s take an in-depth look… 

Qué vino elegir para el pescado

How to pair wine with fish

Did you know that some kinds of fish pair better with certain types of wine? This is basically because white fish and oily fish don’t have the same properties. As such, their flavour and mouth feel won’t be exactly the same with all kinds of wine. Let’s take a look at what the best kind of wine is for each of them! 

White fish

What’s the different between oily fish and white fish? Basically, the level fat content. White fish is the lighter of the two categories, and also a huge source of nutrients for our bodies. This type of fish includes hake, cod, whiting and even some fresh-water fish, such as bass, wedge sole, eels and many more.  

All of them are generally paler in colour, with a softer texture and a lighter flavour than oily fish. What can we pair them with? To find the perfect wine to go with white fish, all we need to do is consider how it’s cooked: 

  • Pan-fried or baked white fish: for simple fish dishes that aren’t overly fussy in terms of sauces and side dishes, the best option is always a white wine. A good example of this would be our El Coto Blanco Verdejo or El Coto Blanco 
  • White fish in stew or with sauces: in this case, while a white wine could be a good choice, we could play around with stronger wines. For example, a rosé or a smooth red would be better options.  
Find your perfect wine in our online store

Oily fish

Much like white fish, oily fish are a great option for including in our diets. Although people have drawn attention to the possible presence of traces of mercury in them, they are delicious products with great health benefits. Some of the most popular ones are tuna, sardines, anchovies, bonito, etc. 

Oily fish stands out as a great source of vitamins such as B1, B12 and D, and other useful minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. They are also rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. What’s more, their fat content (much higher than in white fish), is unsaturated, meaning that they contain important fatty acids such as omega 3.  

Specifically, their notable fat content and stronger flavour mean that there are far more options when it comes to pairing them with wine. In this respect, oily fish works well both with fresher white wines and other stronger varieties. We really love pairing oily fish with a balsamic product such as El Coto Crianza Garnacha 

Don’t forget to take a look at these 7 recipes for pairing with white wine!
Cómo maridar vino y pescado azul
Vino para maridar con marisco

Which wine to choose for seafood

Now that we’ve cleared up any doubts about finding the right wine to pair with fish, what about seafood? What rules should we follow? Don’t worry about it. Seafood is easy to pair with wine for sure-fire success.  

For this food group, there’s nothing better than fresh, light and aromatic wines to really bring out their flavours. In this case, white wine is always a safe bet. For example, some of our best El Coto de Rioja wines are El Coto Blanco, due to its naturally fresh in the nose and mouth, or our 875m Chardonnay, a notably creamy wine that also goes perfectly with seafood and rice dishes or a paella 

But that’s not all! If you want to move away from white wines, another great option is pairing seafood with a rosé with some sour notes. You’ll be blown away by this pairing. 

I’d love to try 875m Chardonnay!

What do you think? Now you’ve got a better idea of which wines to pair with fish and seafood. Are you still not sure about how to pair wines with all kinds of food? Don’t forget to take a look at our blog with some crucial tips to learn how to do it in a flick of the wrist.  

Which wine is best for each kind of food? Let’s go over the basic rules
Diccionario del vino El Coto

Wine Dictionary: Find out about Joven Wines and Magnums (J – L – M)

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New month and, of course, a new instalment of our Wine Dictionary! Want to expand your wine vocabulary? We’re taking a look at the most popular concepts and words from this world to help make you an expert. This time round, its letters J, L and M 

Joven, legs, lees, maceration and magnum are our 5 words for this edition. Are you familiar with them? Don’t miss all their characteristics and oddities. Here we go! 



This is the first of four wine categories by ageing. And, unlike the rest of the groupings (Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva), a wine classified as Joven hasn’t been aged at all. This means, after it has finished fermenting, it is bottled in its first or second year and released directly for consumption.  

Young wines typically maintain more fresh primary attributes and are less full and more fruit-forward than the rest. This makes them less astringent and they stand out for having great aromas. 

Learn more about the ageing and fermentation of wine


You’ve probably seen someone swirl their glass of wine and watch it before they taste. Do you know why? This motion is used to observe what is called the wine’s legs, among other things. This is just the streaks left by the droplets on the inside of the glass.  

Wine legs aren’t just poetic, they can be a valuable source of information in a tasting because these streaks tell us, for example, about the viscosity or alcohol content of the wine.  

If the drops fall slowly, it means the wine is denser and more full-bodied. If it’s slower, though, the wine is lighter and has less alcohol.  

But don’t trust this test blindly! There are many factors that can affect wine legs, for example the glass you are using (above all if it has soap residue) or the temperature difference between the wine and the glass. So, don’t forget this is just one small part of the tasting experience. 

ind out the right serving temperature for each type of wine
Vino blanco en copa


After some wines have fermented, a natural sediment forms at the bottom of the container. This material is called lees and it is made up of various substances from the grapes, such as yeast, fatty acids and polyphenols.  

The lees are an essential component for enriching the wine, as they naturally protect and stabilise the wine, locking in aromas and giving it volume and viscosity.  

How? With the French technique known as batonnage. With this technique, winemakers stir the settled lees back into the wine periodically to extract more from them. It can be done in stainless-steel tanks, using a stainless-steel stirring rod, or in the barrel directly 

Our Coto de Imaz Reserva Blanco, for example, undergoes this process during its 12 months ageing in new steam-bent French-oak barrels, giving it spectacular complexity and fruitiness. Have you tried it yet?  

Don’t miss all our wines in our online shop


In previous posts, we’ve talked about terms like winemaking, ageing and fermenting wine, but we still have one very important concept to cover: maceration.  

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, macerating means “to leave food in a liquid so that it absorbs the liquid and becomes soft, or to become soft in this way.”  

In the wine world, the ‘food’ is none other than the grape skins, which are submerged in a liquid, which obviously is the fermented grape must. This process gives the wine colour and extracts different aromas and other substances, like tannins.  

And how is wine macerated? That depends on what type it is. For example, our Coto Rosado undergoes a very special maceration (done very quickly at a low temperature for a variable amount of time) plus, we then press it afterwards. All of this results in a delicate, fresh, tantalising wine. 

We show you in-depth how we make our rosé wine

Finally, speaking about maceration, we have to differentiate four different types 

  1. Carbonic maceration: a specific technique for making red wines. In this process, the whole grape undergoes enzymatic intracellular fermentation. It is mainly used to get light, aromatic young wines. 
  2. Cold maceration: as the name indicates, this process uses lower temperatures to enrich the primary aromas of the wine. 
  3. Warm maceration: also called thermovinification. This technique yields more colour in the wine. Here the crushed grapes are quickly warmed and then cooled before fermentation. Normally, it reaches a maximum temperature of 60 °C to 75 °C.  
  4. Alcohol-enriched maceration: one of the least common methods, only used for certain types of wines. 


Although there is a standard size for wine bottles (specifically 75 cl), there are many other formats. One of them is what is known as a Magnum.  

These bottles are becoming more common and hold more than the standard bottle. Magnums contain 1.5 l (the third from the left in the picture).  

This type of container is perfect for a more balanced wine. This is due to the fact that there is less micro-oxygenation in these bottles and they are less sensitive to temperature change. For example, we use them for our Coto de Imaz Reserva Magnum, a perfect option for a special occasion with friends and family. 

Did you know that, after this size, all the bottle names are from the Bible? We tell you all about it in this post. 

How many types of wine bottles you know?

Clever! What do you think? If you’re left wanting to learn more about winemaking terminology, don’t miss the rest of the posts in the Wine Dictionary on our blog. Check them out! 

Wine Dictionary: 5 words to discover (A-B)Wine Dictionary: What is the bouquet? A balsamic wine? (B-C)

Decanting wine: what does it involve and why do we do it?

By Uncategorized

Decanting wine is an art. A technique that, when it’s done well, can take our wine-drinking experience to the next level. Do you want to know what it’s all about?

Keep reading to find out what decanting a wine involves and why this process is important and learn how to do it at home step by step.

Para qué sirve decantar un vino

What does decanting involve and why do we do it?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, ‘to decant’ means “to gradually pour (wine, port, or another liquid) from one container into another, typically in order to separate out sediment.” Though this definition is correct, it hardly teaches us anything about the art, don’t you think? What this definition doesn’t tell us is that decanting a wine is also a technique for brining out the different notes in the drink.

By decanting, we improve the qualities of a wine, since we release the flavours and the aromas that could be hidden in the bottle until we open it.

As such, decanting plays three main roles:

  1. It aerates the wine (since it brings the wine into contact with the air)
  2. It improves its bouquet
  3. Gets rid of or filters out the sediment in the bottle
Is the any terminology that you don’t quite understand? Take a look at our wine dictionary

Which wines can you decant?

Now we know what decanting means and why we do it, there’s another question that we need to clear up: do we need to decant every single wine? The answer is no.

In general, it is only recommendable to decant red wines since they tend to accumulate more sediments. However, regardless of the type of grape, this process is only done on vintage wines (such as our Coto de Imaz Reserva) or if a wine has been in the bottle for a long time.

Find your perfect wine in our online store!
Botella 50cl Coto de Imaz
cómo decantar vino fácil

When should you decant a wine?

In our article on how to store a wine at home, one of our recommendation was to lay the bottles horizontally to conserves the wine’s flavours and aromas. However, when it comes to decanting, the best thing to do is to set the bottle upright a few hours before serving.

What does this do? Basically, it helps the sediments to separate from the wine and sink to the bottom of the bottle, ensuring that they don’t end up in the glass.

How should you decant a wine?

Although decanting essentially involves pouring the liquid from the bottle into another vessel, there is a certain technique involved and certain materials you should use in order not to ruin the product.

The most practical option is to use a decanter, an elegant vessel with a wide base and a thin neck, preferably made of glass. This is the perfect vessel because it allows the wine to come into contact with the air and be aerated, but, at the same time, the aromas that it gives off do not suddenly dissipate.

4 basic steps to decanting

Once you have all the materials ready and you’ve had the bottle in an upright position for the time necessary, (you could even do this the day before), you can start decanting!

Follow these steps:

  1. Check that the sediment has settled at the bottom of the bottle. You can hold it up to a light to get a better look at what’s in the bottle.
  2. Then pour the wine into the decanter slowly and smoothly. Try to get the liquid to slide down the walls of the vessel so that it doesn’t splash against the bottom. If not, you could ruin the wine. Stop once you start to see the sediment.
  3. Holding it up to a light again, check that no sediment has ended up in the decanter.
  4. Allow the wine to rest for a couple of minutes just before you serve it, (never too far in advance), and you’re ready! Raise a toast and sample the wine.

What do you think? Get the most out of the body and personality of your wine and enjoy an authentic experience for the senses.

If you still want more tips and facts about wine, don’t forget to take a look at our exclusive content selection:

How to host a wine tasting at home with friendsHow to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew
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…


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
Tipos de botellas de vino

Types of wine bottles by shape and size

By Uncategorized

When you order a bottle of wine, you may look at the shape, size, colour. There are many types of wine bottles with different shapes and sizes, and it’s all for a reason. Although the shape of the bottle doesn’t really have a clear influence on the wine, the size and colour do. Did you know that?

For example, the colour of the bottle has a lot to do with what is in it. The most common are black or green bottles. This is because those colours protect the wine from light, so they are most often used for Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines, which can spend a long time in the bottle. On the other hand, we have clear bottles, which are more common with white wine and rosé. With these younger wines we also like to see the colour at a glance.

But now let’s get serious about the differences between types of wine bottles by shape and size that we can find today.

Tipos de botella segun su forma

Types of wine bottles by shape

Bordeaux bottle

We’re going to start with the Bordeaux bottle, which is the most commonly used to bottle wine all over the world, although there are some variations. It gets its name from the French city of Bordeaux and has straighter “shoulders” and a shorter neck than other types.

Our Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva, in addition to being spectacular, comes in a Bordeaux bottle, like most of our wines. Have you tried it?

Burgundy bottle

After the most commonly used bottle, let’s turn to the oldest type of bottle on record: the Burgundy bottle. As you can see, the main difference lies in the shoulders, which are much more sloping than the Bordeaux bottle and the longer neck.

Our 875m comes in a Burgundy bottle

Alsace bottle

This is the longest, thinnest and most svelte of all the bottles on the market. It is mainly used for white or rosé wines and comes in light colours. There are some wineries, however, that use it more daring colours.

Champagne bottle

The main characteristic, not of shape but of manufacturing, is that a champagne bottle has much thicker walls than the others. Why? So it can withstand the pressure of this type of wine. Another characteristic of this bottle, which is somewhere between the Burgundy and Alsace bottles, is the cone-shaped punt on the bottom, which also serves the same purpose.

Sherry bottle

This bottle is most commonly used for the fortified wines that are so traditional in southern Spain. The design is of Spanish origin, of course, with very marked shoulders and a particular neck that broadens at its base. This type of bottle is most commonly seen in black glass, as this type of wine is typically stored for a long time.

Can you identify the bottle type for each of our wines?

Types of wine bottles by size

Now that we’ve seen the types of bottle by shape, we’re going to go over the types of bottle by size (in centilitres). As you’ll see, after the Magnum, all the names are from the Bible. Did you know that?

  • 18-37 cl: Piccolo or Split
  • 50 cl: Demi or Half
  • 62 cl: Jennie
  • 75 cl: Standard
  • 150 cl: Magnum
  • 300-450 cl: Jeroboam or Double Magnum
  • 600 cl: Imperial
  • 600-640 cl: Methuselah
  • 900 cl: Salmanazar
  • 1,200-1,280 cl: Balthazar
  • 1,500-1,600 cl: Nebuchadnezzar
  • 1,800 cl: Solomon

The most common bottles are 75cl, but more and more people enjoy and value the quality of Magnum bottles, like our Coto de Imaz Reserva Magnum.

Why? Because with this type of bottle, as there more wine, there is less micro-oxygenation and fluctuation in temperature. This gives us a more balanced wine. Plus, it’s perfect for sharing with a group of friends on a special occasion!

At El Coto we have many special formats

Before you go, one interesting fact. Did you know the biggest bottle in the world was made in China by Wang Chen winery? It contained no less than 1,850 litres, or roughly 60,000 glasses of wine. You’d need too many friends (well, a whole town really) to drink it but if you fancy a fun plan with wine, keep this in mind.

Botella Magnum Coto de Imaz
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