Malaga wines whose names you won't forget

The Malvajío 'bad luck' wine .
The Malvajío 'bad luck' wine . / SUR
  • In recent years there has been a tendency to give unusual names to wines, and Malaga wineries are no strangers to this trend

These days, there are many Spanish wines attracting attention with striking names, such as Cojón de Gato (cat's testicle), Teta de Monja (nun's tit) or Habla del Silencio (speak of the silence). Malaga wineries haven't been afraid to follow the trend.

Some names can be closely identified with the local area (such as El Chavea, a term for a young boy or child) and others refer to historical characters, such as bandits and war heroes. There are even some that allude to judicial expressions. Here are some of the ones that are difficult to forget and are made in Malaga.

La Ola del Melillero

Outside of Malaga this is difficult to explain but the Ola de Melillero (Melilla wave) is a phenomenon that occurs on the beaches of Malaga when the high speed ferry that travels the route between Melilla in Africa and Malaga arrives in port. The resulting swell often catches people out on the beach. The name corresponds to a dry white wine made with Pedro Ximénez grapes, from Bodega Victoria Ordóñez & Hijos.


The Malaga sommelier Luis Palma swore that if he recovered the motorcycle that had been stolen in London he would return to Spain, sell it and with the money he would buy a vineyard. He got the bike back and rode it back to Spain ending up in the Axarquía where he bought the small vineyard Retumba (meaning echo or resonate). This sweet Muscat wine, has received public and critical acclaim.


In Ronda, the González Beltrá bodega has a red and a rosé called Perezoso but the meaning of this adjective (lazy) has nothing to do with the wine. It actually refers to the small pools that are still preserved in the Finca Nogalera, at the foot of the Tagus. Known locally as 'perezosos', they were where the fruit was washed before being taken to the market.


The name Píxel seems to give an air of avant-garde to this wine made at Bodegas Bentomiz. But the name alludes to the grapes with which it is made. That is, Pedro Ximénez, which is often abbreviated to PX in text, and Muscatel. The owners of the winery, Clara and Andrè, decided to create an original acronym of both varieties for their surprising dry wine.

Pasos Largos

Pasos Largos (Long Steps) was the name of one of Malaga's most notorious bandits and his name has been given to this red 'coupage' from the winery of the same name, located in Ronda. But it is far from being the only bandit's nickname used to name wines made in Malaga. Among others, there are Pernales and Vivillo, both from Málaga Virgen, and El Lero, from Bodegas Lara.


There are several traditional Malaga words in the nomenclature of some wineries. Among them is this wine created by a bodega in Mijas, which makes 'garage wines'. The name of the company is Malvajío, a local word for bad luck, which has been used to name one of its reds.

El Chavea

In the iconic Antigua Casa de Guardia winery, they also have a wine with a very 'Malaguita' name. It is El Chavea, a word used in the city and surroundings to refer to a boy or even a child. El Chavea is a natural sweet wine made from Muscat of Alexandria grapes and without aging.


Bodega Quitapenas (drown your sorrows) has been in Malaga for so long that few even think twice about the meaning behind its name. It produces several wines with that label (Dorado, Plata, Dry and Vermouth, among others).