Spanish red wines are some of the best in the world and its famed Riojas and Penedeses are widely available and remarkably affordable. Better value still -- and barely known even in the rest of Spain -- are the honest traditional wines emerging from Madrid province's own underrated vineyards.
Three of the top wine-producing regions in the Madrid province are Colmenar de Oreja, San Martín de Valdeiglesias, and Chinchón. Colmenar de Oreja's prize-winning red and white Jesús Díaz wines are made from the Malvar and Airén grapes, while San Martín de Valdeiglesias's strong (13%-13.5% alcohol) Señoría de Valderrábano reds are made from the Garnacha variety. Chinchón (of anis fame) also produces a hearty and palatable red called Viña Galinda. Look for these and other Comunidad de Madrid wines from Arganda del Rey and Villarejo del Salvanés in the supermarkets (2.75€-4.50€ a bottle) and restaurants (7€-12€ a bottle). They're worth a try.
For wider information on Spanish wines in general, contact Wines from Spain, c/o the Commercial Office of Spain, 405 Lexington Ave., 44th Floor, New York, NY 10174-0331; tel. 212/661-4959.