What is Tempranillo

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Tempranillo is a favorite choice of red wine for many people who enjoy flavor-forward Spanish wines, but no matter what your preference, you should give this wine a try!

What is Tempranillo?

Tempranillo is a red wine made from the grape of the same name, which is native to northern Spain. The word comes from the Spanish “Temprano” or early, a reference to the early ripening of the grapes, although different regions in Spain have a variety of different names for this type of vintage.

When drunk on its own, the wine tastes young and fruity, medium-bodied, and is often described as having hints of strawberry if grown in cooler regions, or notes of chocolate if grown in warmer regions. However, since the flavor of this Spanish wine isn’t as distinctive as some others, it’s a popular grape to combine in red blends. It also ages well, usually in oak barrels, where it absorbs the flavor of the barrel to provide a rich and memorable flavor.

Tempranillo has a few health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and improving heart health, thanks to the presence of antioxidants and fiber in this beverage.

A glass of red wine placed inside bunches of grapes, alongside a basket containing a wine bottle.

Know your red wine. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Tempranillo vs Rioja vs Malbec

  • Wines grown from the Tempranillo grape can come from a variety of places all over the world, including Australia, Argentina, and the Pacific Northwest.
  • That being said, riojas are exclusively produced in the Spanish region of Rioja and must follow strict guidelines for aging if they possess that name. However, that often may include Tempranillo grapes.
  • Malbec is named for the grapes of the same name, and while the wine originated in France, it is primarily grown today in Argentina and is widely known as a South American wine.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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