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Tempranillo is a variety of dark skinned grape producing medium to full-bodied red wines.  The grape is the dominant varietal in Spain's Rioja wines and sometimes referred to as Spain's "noble grape". Until recently Tempranillo was thought to be related to the Pinot Noir grape, but recent genetic studies tend to discount this possibility. Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano ("early"), a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most red grapes. The wines are ruby red in color, with aromas and flavors of berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather and herb. Tempranillo wines are perhaps one of the most food friendly wines around. They offer versatility and value - without forsaking flavor and lift. Consider pairing them with their hometown favorites - tapas, pork, grilled or roasted entrees.