Tempranillo (pronounced temp-rah-nee-yo) is Spain’s number one grape, which produces a medium-bodied red wine with medium tannin and medium acidity.
Tempranillo is a fruit-forward wine, with the red and purple flavours of plum, cherry, tomato hitting hard, while dill, cedar, leather and tobacco notes pop up later. It’s a very smooth wine, and the tannins will have its delicious taste hanging in the mouth for just the right amount of time. Tempranillo is often described as having the structure of cabernet sauvignon, but the fruitiness of grenache, and as a general rule Australian tempranillo is fruitier than the more earthy Spanish variety.
When it comes to food pairings, tempranillo shines alongside a variety of dishes. Its versatility makes it an excellent companion to Spanish cuisine, particularly grilled meats, tapas, and traditional dishes like paella and chorizo. It also pairs well with roasted lamb, beef, game meats, and hearty stews. The key to these pairings is that the wine's acidity and tannins cut through the richness of these dishes, creating a harmonious balance and enhancing the dining experience.
Medium-bodied reds like tempranillo are best served slightly below room temperature, at around 15-16C. This can be achieved by putting the wine in the fridge for 30 minutes before drinking, or for those ready to get down on one knee and make a firm commitment to wine, by buying a purpose-built fridge.