Simple guide to Spanish wines

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When we think of wine, its very likely that a few specific places around the globe come to mind, one of which undoubtedly being Spain. There’s no denying that Spanish wines are world renowned for their flavor, variety, textures and uniqueness. Like taking a swim on a hot day, or shooting for a B- and getting a solid A, Spanish wines, simply put, are just the best. Here is a simple guide to understanding Spanish wines.

Tempranillo

Often referred to as Rioja because of the region in Spain where this grape varietal originates, tempranillo wines are perhaps the most common reds found in Spain, and will most likely be the bottle you buy when friends come over because of its price and popularity. Tempranillo wines can be subdivided into four different styles: Rioja, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. Rioja being the cheapest, typically costing €4-5 ($5-6) for a good bottle, and having been aged for a year, up to Gran Reserva where it is aged for a total of 3 years, 2 of which are in oak barrels. A good bottle of Gran Reserva is usually in the ballpark of €28 or more ($35+).

Garnacha

Garnacha, also known as Grenache in France, is a popular grape varietal north of the border in France but actually originated in Spain. Garnacha can be divided into young and old with the younger grapes tasting more like sweet strawberries and the older, aged grapes more of a deep, red licorice. A bottle of young garnacha, great for making a sweet sangria, is in the ballpark of €9-14 ($12-18) and the older of the two, known as fine garnacha, ranges in price from €20 to €28 ($25-35).

Sherry

Authentic Sherry, often refereed to as the whiskey of wines, only comes from one place on the planet: Andalucía in the South of Spain. Like Champagne from France, or Bourbon from Kentucky, a true, genuine Sherry can only be found in the hot and dry Spanish region of Andalucía. Known by North Americans as a sweet wine, Sherry in fact comes in two varieties, sweet and dry, and is a great companion of certain foods such as olives, cured meats, and cheese AKA all the good things Spain has to offer.

Monastrell

Monastrell, also known as Mourvèdre in France, is yet another popular grape varietal in France that ultimately has its origins in Spain. Found in a wide reaching area of Spain ranging from Valencia on the East coast to La Mancha towards the center of the country, Monastrell wines are popular for their chocolate and black-pepper hints, and has even been known to have hints of vanilla and mocha the longer they are aged in oak barrels. A good bottle is in the price range of €8 to €14 ($10-18).

Mencía

Last, but not least of all, Mencía wines come from the Mencía grape varietal found primarily on the West coast of the Iberian Peninsula in Portugal and Galicia, Spain. Commonly blended with other grapes before bottled, Mencía wines are medium bodied with floral aromas and not too many mouth-drying tannins. A good bottle is anywhere from €16 ($20) to €24 ($30).


Extra resources on Spanish wines:

 

 


 

 

If you found this post to be helpful, take a look at our other posts as we discuss a variety of topics related to Spain. If you are interested in teaching and living in Spain for a year, send us an email at rvfspain@gmail.com letting us know so we can contact you to set up a free 20 minute consultation!

Steriotypical Spanish Breakfast in Photos

1. Cafe con Leche

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You can have it on the go at your local bar:

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Or make it at home:

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2. Meat and Cheese Plate

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3. Magdalena’s

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Credit: saborapan.blogspot.com.es

4. Pan Tostado con Tomate y Aceite (Toasted Bread with Tomatoe and Olive Oil)

5. Tortilla

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6. Croissant

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If you found this post to be helpful, take a look at our other posts as we discuss a variety of topics related to Spain. If you are interested in teaching and living in Spain for a year, send us an email at rvfspain@gmail.com letting us know so we can contact you to set up a free 20 minute consultation!

Teach English in Spain

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North American Language and Cultural Assistants program (Credit: http://www.ielanguages.com)

 

If you’re a native English speaker and are not living in Spain, soaking up the Spanish sun, travelling around Europe on the weekends and making money while teaching English, then you need to seriously consider all your life choices that have left you in such a dark and forbidding place. Teaching English and working in Spain is simple, exciting and very feasible! If you have a Bachelor’s degree of any kind and are a U.S. or Canadian citizen, then you are eligible to participate in the North American Language and Cultural Assistants (NALCA) program, allowing you to teach English in Spain!

What is the NALCA program?

The North American Language and Cultural Assistants program (also known as the English Auxiliar Program) is run by the Spanish government to bring in, you guessed it, North Americans to teach English in the Spanish school system. NALCA has been going on for quite some time, which is surprising because very few people outside of the program even know it exists. For the American college student who just graduated and still doesn’t know what to do career-wise or the Canadian TEFL teacher wanting a change of pace, the NALCA (English Auxiliar) program is the surest, easiest and most guaranteed way of living and working in Spain for non-EU citizens.

How much does the program pay?

You would be earning anywhere from €750 to €1,000 ($925 to $1,230) each month depending on the cost of living in the city you are placed. That might not sound like a lot but because of the low cost of living in Spain you would have more than enough. If used well, the money you make alone from teaching in NALCA will pay for your housing, food, everything you need and weekend trips around Spain and Europe. That’s not even taking into consideration the extra money you might make from private English tutoring on the side where a native English speaker can easily charge €15-20 per hour.

How much would I be working?

You would be working anywhere between 20 to 25 hours each week, and only four days a week. Not bad! Your free day would either be Monday or Friday, allowing for long, three-day weekend trips to travel around Spain or visit another country in Europe or Northern Africa with ease.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is typically from January 1st of each year to Mid-April. The program itself doesn’t begin till September/October of each year and runs to June/July of the follow year.

Can I renew the program after each year?

Yes! The program is renewable for up to three years. After initially being accepted and working for a year, you will be asked by your school if you are interested in renewing again for a 2nd year at the same school. It is only possible to renew at the same school where you worked your first, or second year, otherwise you will have to reapply for the entire program again if you would like to be placed somewhere else or in a different city, and at that point you are at the mercy of the Spanish school system in terms of where you are needed most.

Challenges of the program

The paperwork! NALCA is an incredibly rewarding and exciting opportunity but it does come with its fair share of paperwork and bureaucracy. Moving to another country to live and work is never as simple as it sounds, but it is possible, especially if you know what you’re doing. RVF Spain Consultants is the expert on all things related to moving, living and working in Spain and we offer one-on-one, personalized assistance for all those wanting to work and teach in the NALCA program in Spain. We guarantee to walk you through everything, from the VISA to applying to the program, applying for and receiving temporary Spanish residency, opening a Spanish bank account, making sure your phone works in Spain, and a plethora of other related services to save you stress and a perpetual headache.

Teaching English in the NALCA program is not only itself rewarding and worthwhile, it is a fantastic opportunity to experience an exciting culture, learn a new language and travel the world. Start your journey to teach English in Spain today!

 

NALCA (English Auxiliar) program requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree of any kind;
  • U.S. or Canadian citizenship;
  • NO prior teaching experience of any kind is required;
  • NO age limit.

 


 

If you found this post to be helpful, take a look at our other posts as we discuss a variety of topics related to Spain. If you are interested in teaching and living in Spain for a year, send us an email at rvfspain@gmail.com letting us know so we can contact you to set up a free 20 minute consultation!

How to get phone service and internet for those visiting Spain

Sim card

One would think buying a SIM card or purchasing a phone plan in Spain would be
simple enough but, like most things in life, it can be very confusing and
overwhelming, especially if you don’t speak the language and have no idea where
to start. If you’re lost in the Spanish world of phones and all you want is to have
wifi that works and minutes to be able to call friends and family, then read on
weary traveler!

Where to begin?

If you’re simply passing through and aren’t planning on staying in Spain for more
than a few days or weeks, then there’s no need at all to purchase a Spanish phone
plan. So what are your options? Outside of stealing McDonalds wifi every few
hours, the cheapest and simplest option would be to purchase a 1 or 2 GB SIM card
that can easily be put in your phone that would give you the predetermined
amount of data and minutes in Spain for 30 days.
A 1GB SIM card typically costs €5 and a 2GB is usually in the ballpark of €10. If
you’re new to Madrid or Barcelona, or any Spanish city for that matter, and need
your phone to use as a mobile map, then the 2GB SIM card should work just fine.

What brands should you purchase?

Vodafone, Lyca Mobile, Orange, Lebara, Movistar and Yoigo. Vodafone, Orange,
Movistar and Yoigo are the four biggest brands, but Lyca Mobile and Lebara will
get the job done just fine, and will most likely be even cheaper.

Where can you buy these mysterious SIM cards?

Any of the above mentioned SIM cards can be purchased at their respective stores
scattered around Spanish cities (a simple Google maps search while you’re stealing
McDonalds wifi would be sure to tell you where). They can also be found at your
typical corner store as well as below ground at metro entrances.
Make sure to have your passport on hand as the only way to purchase one of these
SIM cards, or any type of phone plan in Spain, is with proper identification. After
paying for the SIM card, make sure to ask the employee to put it in your phone for
you, and program it if necessary. Often times they have to activate the SIM card by
calling it from a special phone.

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Try to safeguard your normal SIM card till you’re back in your home country by keeping it tucked away in your suitcase for the remainder of your trip. And how can you go back to the service from your typical carrier? It’s as simple as throwing out the Spanish SIM card and replacing it with the old one.

 


 

If you found this post to be helpful, take a look at our other posts as we discuss a variety of topics related to Spain. If you are interested in teaching and living in Spain for a year, send us an email at rvfspain@gmail.com letting us know so we can contact you to set up a free 20 minute consultation!

Mouthwatering Photos of Spanish Food

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Black Rice/Black Paella (arroz negro)

 

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Mediterranean Paella

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Tapas!

 

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Potatoes with Mojo Sauce (Canary Islands)

 

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Spanish Tortilla

 

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Classic Spanish Beer: Mahou

 

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Jamón Serrano

 

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Sliced Jamón Serrano

 

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Chorizo

 

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Black Rice/Black Paella (arroz negra)

 

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Tapas (Patatas Bravas, Calamary and Chorizo)

 

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No Spanish table is complete without a barra de pan

 

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Fried Calamary

 

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Spanish Sangria

 

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Patas de Jamón Serrano

 

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Spanish Olives

 

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Wine (Popular reds include: Rioja, Tempranillo, and Garnacha)

 

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Roasted Piglet

 

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Dessert! Churros with Chocolate

 


 

If you found this post to be helpful, take a look at our other posts as we discuss a variety of topics related to Spain. If you are interested in teaching and living in Spain for a year, send us an email at rvfspain@gmail.com letting us know so we can contact you to set up a free 20 minute consultation!