We love our wine ( like most travelers), traveling all over southern Spain. Is there anything we should be concerned about when ordering red wine as far as prices? We are just average people that usually enjoy the house wine? What should we exspect to pay for a bottle? Thank you
Order a vino tinto and you should be able to get a glass of house red for 5 euros or less. We were in northern Spain last fall and I think we got a bottle at our splurge dinner for around 35 euros, but mostly got wines by the glass. I'd expect a decent bottle could be had for 20 euros, maybe even less, and of course you could look for something pricier, too.
In southern Spain, depending on the time of year and your inclination, a glass or pitcher of sangria might be worth ordering (great with calamari).
You will have no problems ordering & enjoying the house red by the glass. We find Spain to be a budget friendly country! If you will be near Jerez you might visit a sherry bodega too.
It's not at all unlikely that there will be several choices of 'house' wine of different varietals, by the bottle, in that region. Many times the bottle will be placed on the table and you'll just be charge for the usage.
(We easily finish the bottle. But one time, the food was so good we decide to get a few more courses, went a over a third of the way through a second bottle--to pair with an outrageous 'Botifarra with flecks of foie gras'--and were charged quite fairly for those two glasses.)
Always ask your waiter for a 'house wine' pairing suggestion.
As for Calamari, or better yet, 'Fritto Misto!', I would recommend pairing with a crisp, white Verdejo from Rueda.
The wine in Spain is plentiful, delicious, and inexpensive. Of course, you can spend much for a bottle, but the local varieties served in the restaurants are excellent. Ask the waiter is my suggestion as well...
The concept of house wine is very different in many parts of Europe from the US where it means cheap wine. Many bars and restaurants are associated with a wineries and take pride in their house wines. Most house wines will be better than some of their cheaper bottles. We always order a house wine unless we know it is marginal from prior experience. We are rarely disappointed with house wines in Europe. Sometimes the wine is close in price to bottled water.
Thank you, all very helpful :-)
We are making our third month long visit to Spain and Portugal in a couple of weeks. We have found house wines in Iberia to be excellent in general, and usually buy by the glass or caraffe. Vino tinto gets you the house red. Although "crianza" is technically the second level of aging and oak for rioja, generically it is a slightly better house wine than tinto. 2.5 to 3 euros will get a glass of crianza in most average bars and restaurants with maybe 4 euros in nicer places. BTW, liquor costs way more in Spain than wine,which is considered food.
I'm not a foodie. When I eat it's local, authentic, and affordable. I never paid $5 for a glass of wine in Spain, though you might pay that at a nice restaurant or upscale bar in the big cities. I wrote some prices down after our trip to Spain on my trip review (Spain: clean toilets, affordable lodging - I know bad name). As I recall vino tinto (regular red wine) ran about 1,40 - 1,60 euro, crianza (aged one year, better wine) ran about 1,80 - 2,2 euro, reserva (aged two years, best wine) ran about 2,60, you can also order gran reserva (but we never tried any).
In Barcelona we found many high prices in upscale bars along the Ramblas. Away from the Ramblas wasn't too bad. We went to one Cervezaria/cafe near Park Guell and ordered the fixed price lunch special. They brought a bottle of red with our lunch, included in the price (it wasn't the best wine we had in Spain).
I found, like Italy, the house wine is sometimes great and other times not. I'd try the house first. If it's really not that great, order something else. I personally liked the wines from Valdepenas best, but it's really personal taste - most like Rioja (from northern Spain).
You should also try the Sherry. I'd suggest touring some Bodegas in Jerez. I'm not a Sherry drinker but it fits in Spain (as Vodka fits in Russia/Scandinavia and Beer fits in Bavaria).
Jerez has the only "open to the public" Bodegas we found in Spain. Everywhere else you needed to call ahead a day or two to let them know you were coming. There are wine museums in various wine towns too. They are old Bodegas that are worth seeing and have a wine bar where you can try different local wines. They're open to the public but have limited hours and usually close for siesta - call ahead to check their hours before you visit.
Brad's post reminded me of the wine museum in Ronda. It was lots of fun, room after room with quirky collections, and lots of wine to taste.
....House wine is normally included with a meal. So no need to pay anything......
That is news to me. In all of our travels over many years we have never encountered wine being included in the price of the meal. The exception might be fixed price menus but never with regular service. Must be going to the wrong places.
I'm with you Frank, I've rarely had meals in Europe, and especially Spain, where the wine was included in the price. It may be more common for prix-fix menus, and those can be great values. I've had that in France for sure. But fixed menus are less common in certain areas and not always what people order. I've traveled Spain pretty extensively, and don't recall even a single meal where the wine was included. Occasionally I've gotten a free aperitif, but it's more rare than in Italy.