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Four Spanish wines to brighten a summer’s afternoon

John Wilson: All are lighter in alcohol and will provide refreshment on sunny days – either here or in Spain

Over the past few decades, Spain has enjoyed a good reputation for its red wines, but most wine lovers wisely tended to steer clear of the whites. There weren’t very many available; there was Viña Sol from Torres (still on sale), some oaky oxidised white Rioja and a few anodyne wines from La Mancha.

How things have changed. Following on from the success of Albariño, now one of our favourite white wines, we now have a range of great Spanish white wines, including Verdejo from Rueda, Godello from Valdeorras, Xarel-lo from Catalunya, Viura from Rioja and many more.

Most of these regions lie in the cooler northern half of Spain. But now warm, sunny regions such as Valencia, Malaga, Alicante and even Jerez (famous for sherry) are producing fresh, crisp, light white wines from a wealth of local grapes. While our images of southeast Spain include sun, heat and sand, there are plenty of cooler climate areas high up in the mountains away from the tourist resorts.

For the moment, the local grape varieties certainly fall into the lesser-known category. The Alma Godello from Galicia featured here is made from Godello, a variety that is recognised as one of Spain’s finest. The other three, all form the southeast of Spain are produced from Macabeo, Muscatel, Malvasia, Verdil, Merseguera and Tortosina, names few wine experts would recognise. All are lighter in alcohol and will provide refreshment on sunny days – either here or in southeast Spain.


Alma Godello 2022, Monterrei

12.5%, €13.56 (down from €16.95)

Light plump pear and apple fruits with good crisp acidity. Try it with crab salad or grilled white fish.

From O’Briens

En la Parra Blanco 2022, Utiel-Requena, Organic

12%, €13.95-15.95

Floral with juicy light pears and a lively refreshing acidity. Perfect poolside wine.

From Baggot Street Wines, Brindle, D8; The Lovely Food Company, D9; Cass & Co. Dungarvan.

Cullerot 2022, Celler del Roure, València

12.5%, €20-21

Succulent plump ripe stone fruits, lemon zest, with a spicy edge and a dry finish. A versatile wine that will go with most fish and shellfish.

From Pinto Wines, D9; Clontarf Wines; Mac Curtain Wine Cellar, Cork; Lilith, D7; A Taste of Spain, D2; 64 Wine, Glasthule; Blackrock Cellar; Liliput, D7; Martin’s, D3; Sweeney’s, D3.

Pepe Mendoza Casa Agrícola Blanco 2021

13%, €24.95

Floral with citrus peel, pears and fresh fennel and dill, finishing bone dry. Try this with scallops or grilled black sole.

From Avoca; Baggot St. Wines; Blackrock Cellar; Jus de Vine, Portmarknock; The Winehouse, Trim.