Tempranillo vines, Clos la Plana vinyard, Penedes region, Spain By Mick Stephenson

While it lacks in Gallic sophistication or Italian diversity, Spain has one or two very impressive tricks up it’s sleeve: Nowhere else on the planet does the grape Tempranillo come close to the vibrancy and purity of fruit that you find in a full-throttled Rioja or Ribera del Duero. Here it develops, glorious, red currant, cranberry and vanilla characters usually tempered and balanced by judicious use of oak (which is Spains other area of expertise).

Spainish wine also offers brilliant value: there are wines on our shelves whose price has remained basically static for the last decade. Which leaves you more money to spend on your sausages-there is no better partner to a bottle of crimson-fruited, gently spiced, grainy Iberian red.