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In part three of the three part series with Ana Fabiano, we discuss the royal reds. The reds are the muscle or the core of the Rioja wine region. 90% of the production are reds ranging from semi-aged to very aged and collectible. 

The Crianzas are aged for a minimum of 2 years with one in oak barrels. The Reservas are aged minimum of 12 months in oak and at least 24 in bottle before release, and the Gran Reservas are only made in the best years and are aged for a minimum of five years (two years in oak and three years in bottle).

I made roasted chicken with chorizo and onions over saffron risotto which paried beautifully with the Crianza, while my mushroom risotto was an ideal complement to the Reserva. The Gran Reserva stood up perfectly to my grandmother's roasted lamb recipe.

These wines will make you swoon. I am a convert. The combo of their versatility, taste, and price have made the riojan wines my go-to wines for casual to formal dining.

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