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Facebook friends voted and the Grape Miniseries won for the topic this week! So for the first podcast of 2013 we tackle the King of the Spanish reds: Tempranillo. It has more...and less... to it than meets the eye.

After lots of wonderful thanks and fun comments, we get to this fascinating, native Spanish grape. A few notes on it...

  • The grape is from northern Spanish and gets its name from  “Temprano” which means early, since it ripens 2 weeks before Rioja's other important grape – Garnacha

  • The wine is deep-colored, lower in acid and alcohol, and has amazing ageability but a lot of times it's kind of bland on flavor. If it's got any flavor it's kind of like berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather, and herbs. It can be a lot better in a blend, as the folks in Rioja can tell you.

  • Climate and elevation is everything for Tempranillo -- it does best in cool climates and at elevation.  Yields HAVE to be controlled to produce a good wine.

  • We say it a few times, but the Tempranillo grape itself often lacks character, but it's lower alcohol, lower acid, great color, and earthy notes contribute great things to a blend.

  • We cover some history -- from the Phoenicians to the Conquistadores, from jug wine to pilgrimages.

After that dork out, we hit the regions around the world...

  • Spain: Rioja, Penedes, Valdepeñas, Ribera del Duero, Navarra, Castilla-La Mancha, Toro

  • Portugal: Douro, Alentejo

  • Argentina: The grape is called Tempranilla and it's kind of lean and mean

  • California and it's highs and lows

A quick bit on pairing and we're done! Hope you enjoy!

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If you like the podcast, please pass it on to your friends, review it on iTunes, drop a comment below, or join the awesome conversation on Facebook (Wine For Normal People page) and Twitter @normalwine!

And if you've got a question you want us to answer, post it on any of those places and we'll include it on the show!

Thanks for listening! We can't wait to hear from you!

Podcast music: "Café connection" by morgantjCC BY 3.0, ©2009 - Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) Map: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license

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