Pouring Joy into Your Wine Glass: Alegría Cariñena | Wine Enthusiast
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Pouring Joy into Your Wine Glass: Alegría Cariñena

The dictionary describes joy as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness, yet where does this sense of elation come from: external sources or internal choices? The answer is both. To borrow from Marie Kondo, one should edit life down to the things that “spark joy.” For many, the fruity, lively, and accessible wines of Spain fit neatly into this consideration. To celebrate the notion of finding joy in everyday living, the Spanish region of Cariñena has launched a 2-pack of wine that celebrates Alegría.

Alegría Cariñena Tasting Bo

Packaged with colorful, modern design to match the personality of the wines inside, Alegría pays homage to the Spanish term for “joyful living.” From Ibiza to Barcelona, the Spanish way of life is one that sparks joy; the Alegría wine pack offers American consumers a real taste of that spirit. Alegría Cariñena appeals to consumers who are fond of Spanish food, wine, and culture—and to those who wish to know more. The selections are a celebration of the style, flavors, and unique origins of the Cariñena region as represented by the wines of Bodega San Valero and Grandes Vinos.

Cariñena is a village, a grape, a wine appellation, and a way of living. Wine production is the lifeblood of this historic land of big sky, rocky vistas, and strong winds; a place where gnarled old vines cling to steep hillsides. Situated in the northeast region of Aragón, Cariñena stands out against the rest of Spain for its stylish and charming wines, affordability, and treasured old vines.

Cariñena Old Vines

Cariñena is the historic birthplace of Garnacha, a grape variety that enjoys worldwide popularity. Known as Grenache beyond Spanish borders, the grape’s vibrant, aromatic profile brims with strawberry, raspberry, and black cherry. Transparent and generous, the wines find favor with sommeliers who recommend the wines as a hidden gem from Spain . While new to many wine lovers, Cariñena is the second oldest wine region in Spain (after Rioja), earning the official “Denomination of Origin” in 1932.

The other key grape of Cariñena—is Cariñena, or Carignan as you may know it – making the region one of the only named for a grape variety. Carignan produces medium-bodied wines of earthy, fruity intensity with red berries, baking spice, and umami flavors. Whether bottled as a single varietal or part of a blend, the wines of Cariñena exude style with modern attitude. They also offer great value—many affordable labels earn high scores, boasting a great quality-to-value ratio compared to more expensive wines.

How can a region with historic, low-yielding vines sell high-quality wines for a song? The answer is two-fold. Cariñena is home to more old-vine Garnacha than anywhere else in Spain. Fifty-to eighty-year-old-vines are common in Cariñena, with plantings ranging in age from 30 to 100 years. Higher altitude plantings of Garnacha lend further complexity to the vines. Cariñena’s wines were undiscovered for years as the region overcame the hardships of World War II and Civil War. Times have changed and the wines are enjoying a renaissance in quality and popularity.

The Alegría box holds two delicious bottles from Cariñena: Celebrities Old Vine Garnacha and Monasterio de las Viñas Reserva. The first wine defines Garnacha from Cariñena: The older the grape vines, the higher the quality. The second wine, tied to a monastery built by the Cistercian monks in the 11th century, features a red blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and the region’s namesake grape, Cariñena (Carignan).

If you’re searching for things that spark joy, treat yourself to the Alegría Cariñena wine pack.

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