¿Un Tinto? … Un Toro

Wine is more than just a beverage, at least in Spain. Wine is merriment, wine is accompaniment, wine is la tierra, wine is history.

Sadly, Spanish wine is not as well known in the US as is Italian or French, and I’ve made it my mission to introduce my friends and family to my favorite Spanish wine regions. Especially, you guessed it, Toro.

DO Toro location

Toro wine will always hold a special place in my heart, because it’s from Zamora. Zamora, as you well know, is Mario’s hometown, the place where he spent 20+ years of his life, and he feels the same way about its Romanesque architecture as I do about the rolling cornfields and endless skies of the Hoosier state. I can’t remember my first sip of Toro wine, but once I went Toro, I never really went back.

Toro wine hasn’t had the success of Rioja or even Ribera del Duero, and it’s likely because, up until a few years ago, Toro wine was, well, not palatable to the majority. As Mario likes to say, it was a wine to “tomar con cuchillo y tenedor,” a wine to drink with a fork and knife. But that’s changing, and this weekend Toro celebrated its 25th anniversary of its Denominación de Origen (Designation of Origin) with a wine festival, held in the Plaza de Toros, one of the oldest in Spain.

For €5 apiece, we were able to enter, taste five wines, and eat all the chorizo and queso that we desired. Not a bad deal, especially since most of the vendors didn’t seem to care if we gave them our little stubs anyway. Nice!

The wines I tried were as follows, and no, I took no notes, so I’m not really able to give you commentary on them. My bad. I’m not an expert; I just like wine.

As you can imagine, after this we were all a bit happy-go-lucky, even though we tried our best to eat cheese and chorizo (“para amortiguar”), so set off to find sustenance, wandering the streets of Toro.

Cheers!

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13 comments

  1. I keep meaning to try some Zamoran wine because you blog about it so much, but I’m still a diehard Albariño lover! Maybe when I leave Galicia…

  2. 5 euros is fantastic for something like that, I’m not sure that you could do something like that at that price here in the states, and food and drink is generally more expensive in Europe from what I understand. I’m not familiar with Spanish wines other than Rioja, which I’m generally quite fond of, but I was always under the impression that they’re not really a wine-producing country and Rioja was about the only thing they had, so it’s good to know that’s not the case at all.

    I used to be into wines quite a bit (you ever watch Gary Vaynerchuk’s show?) and haven’t messed with it in about a year (kind of an expensive hobby if you’re going to really get into it), I need to get back into that at some point.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

    P.S. Does Spain make any good beer, do you know?

    1. Yes, I know — 5 euros is a really great deal.

      Most people have heard of Rioja wine, because that region is a bit more palatable to the general population (for example, most Toro wines have a higher alcohol content — like 14% or 14.5% vs. 13% for Rioja wines), and they did a better job advertising back when.

      Spain is definitely a wine-producing country! I’m not sure how you got that impression.

      1. Well, it’s just that Spanish wines never really took off here in the states (I think very recently they’ve gotten a bit more attention, but a lot of that has to do with wine becoming a much more popular drink/hobby here in the U.S. in the last 5 years or so), everyone has always been all about the French and Californian and, to a less degree, Italian wines. Spain might be right up there with them in terms of quality and variety, but they’re not recognized as such here (which would indicate they need to do some marketing).

        Cheers,
        Andrew

  3. 2 of the 3 bottles of wine I had at our Mary Kay party were Spanish wines I got from the Bloomingfoods wine festival! They were fab. =) I try to branch out to them more now..especially because they make me think of you!

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