We love Rioja in this country; posh Rioja Reserva sells like hot cakes in restaurants, wine shops and supermarkets. This must be aged for three years before release, and has spent a minimum of twelve months and usually more, in oak barrels. The idea is the wine comes ready to drink. A good Reserva will be rich and smooth with subtle sweet vanilla flavours, but you need to start off the ageing process with good wine. Cheap Reserva is frequently watery and smells of cheap wood. This Monte Real Rioja ignores the traditional Rioja categories and simply calls itself Rioja. It is lightly oaked, but the snappy dark cherry fruit is to the fore, and finishes with some light tannins. A great everyday wine to enjoy with chicken or red meats. €10 from O’Briens.