Pronounced “tem-pra-nee-yo,” this Spanish wine can be difficult to find bottled as a stand alone varietal. Tempranillo is often blended with other wines such as Grenache and Rioja. This wine is not to be denied though it is big and bold, intense and tannic. Bottled as a single varietal, Tempranillo will give Cabernet Sauvignon a run for its money.

Things You'll Need

Grasp the popularity of Tempranillo. The name is, at best, obscure in the United States, but in Spain 4.5 million acres of land are dedicated to the Tempranillo grape.

Understand the characteristics of Tempranillo. This red wine is full of intense dark fruit flavors such as blackberries, plums and cassis, with earthy and herbaceous undertones and high tannin levels.

Learn Tempranillo’s aliases. This wine also goes by Ojo de Liebre, Tinto Fino, Tinto del Pais, Tinto de Torro and Ull de Llebre.

Know where superior Tempranillo is made. The best Tempranillo wines come from three wine-making regions in Spain, Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Ribera Del Duero.

Recognize when to drink Tempranillo. This wine is made to drink immediately and is suitable for aging due to its naturally firm tannins.


  • If you can’t find a single varietal Tempranillo, buy it in a blend. Just be sure that the dominant blend is Tempranillo in order to get a grasp of its flavors.

  • Look for Finca Antiqua Tempranillo “La Mancha” for an elegant single varietal Tempranillo.