Sometimes there are things in this world that can surprise. And for there to be a white vegan wine that I, Reverend Jeff, is well, nuts.
The Vivanco 13 Rioja could be considered a red wine drinkers’ white. This vegan wine has the full body of a nice tempranillo with a hint of floral but more herb-y with dried apple notes instead of the sour apple notes that you’d expect from other white wines. Its acidity was well-balanced and the flavor faded nicely but was not forgotten. This vegan wine just rolled down my throat, which could be dangerous. It is a blend of Viura, Malvsía, and tempranillo blanco grapes. Supposedly the tempranillo blanco is a rare albino grape exclusive to Rioja. This grape is relatively new at just over 30 years old and grown in small quantities. Containing such a rare grape would make you think this was something precious.
Considering the rich beauty of the reds from that region, it is no surprise this white Rioja has power. What is most surprising is that I found this bottle for less than $10 at Blue Z Liquor store in Queens, the type of liquor store that had a bulletproof glass counter window in the 90s. You know the one, the liquor store where you picked up some ‘Boone’s Farm‘ through a slot. This vegan wine should be pretty easy to find.
Spain holds a special place in my heart. It was the first European country I visited, it is the birthplace of chocolate as we know it today, and it HAD the oldest comic book museum stationed in a gentleman’s basement in the suburbs of Barcelona, which has sadly closed. The history of Spanish comics is quite interesting as Spain wasn’t part of the “world” during WWII, an event which had an impact the Golden Age of comics creating so many of the patriotic tinged heroes we still love today in the United States and Western Europe yet Spain has its own rich comics world.
In my searches for vegan wine, I have found fewer vegan wines from the old world versus the new so this one was a welcomed surprise! I was so shocked I dropped the bottle! By the way, the bottle was modeled on a 18th-century bottle that you can see at the Vivanco Museum of the Culture of Wine.