Rioja is known as the grande dame of Spanish wines. Whether white or red, Rioja pairs up wonderfully with intense Latin flavors and especially well with a shellfish paella or a spicy chorizo.
Admittedly, Peru is more known around the world for its Pisco – a grape brandy similar to the Italian grappa commonly used to make Pisco Sours – but its wine industry has made strides in recent years. Cabernet Sauvignon, Torrontes, and Muscat all thrive here.
According to Tarcisio Costa, the Brazilian-born beverage director and co-owner of Alfama restaurant in New York City, Brazil is the third-largest wine producer in South America with six different wine producing regions, most of them concentrated in the Southern region. Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc are popular Brazilian wines.
It's a good bet that wines from Uruguay are not on most folks' radar. But according to the trade group Wines of Uruguay, Tannat is the most common grape cultivated in the country, and indeed, it is not often found in other parts of the world.
Though Tempranillo is a classic Spanish grape, it's perhaps most well-known among American wine lovers in its Argentinean form.
Miguel Angel Guerrero’s vineyard provides a stunning backdrop for his restaurant Almazara in Baja California, Mexico.
While Valencia is often overshadowed by Spain's better-known wine region of Rioja, its harvest season is actually longer. Compared to Rioja’s average of 15 days, the harvest in the Mediterranean region lasts almost three months, from the end of August through mid-October, due to its more drastic swings in climate: warm and temperate near the coast, with hot dry days and cool nights further inland. In Valencia, you’ll find grapes with names like Bobal, Monastrell, and Macabeo.
The most popular wines in Latin America come from Argentina, Chile, and of course, Spain. There are, indeed, surprises. Read story here: