Spanish Wine Tasting • Kelly, Chad and Family • April 19, 2019
Nebla 2016 Verdejo • Rueda, Spain • $10
Made with the leeser-known Verdejo grape. Dry, nutty and smooth. A full-bodied, buttery and aromatic white that is great with shellfish and seafood. Would be wonderful with grilled Sea Bass.
Castillo Rocio Brut Cava • Penedes, Catalonia • $14
This sparkling beauty is the National wine of the Catalonian “Empire,” and goes with just about anything. Fresh, crisp and acidic, it’s great with crusty bread apps (try it with Pan Amb Tomaquet, the bread and tomato dish that is served just about everywhere in Spain. Also, try it with potato chips and popcorn (no kidding)!
Pairing: We paired this wine with a light and fluffy crab salad on endive dish. Click here for the recipe.
Cune Tempranillo Rosado • Rioja, Spain • $14
This is a light, crisp and tart rosé wine made with the Tempranillo grape. It’s reminiscent of grapefruit juice and fresh strawberries, with a hint of creamsicle and vanilla in the finish. Perfect for charcuterie and cheese boards, light salads with fruit and of course, seafood dishes.
Pairing: The tartness of the wine needs to be balanced out with something sweet, so I went with this flatbread that uses honey and “bursted” grapes to add sweetness, and tangy blue cheese to give it a whang. You can add pretty much anything to the flatbread that you imagine, but try to think in terms of sweet and sour for a rosé pairing. Click here for the recipe I used.
Seculo Mencia 2015 • Bierzo, Spain • $10
A jammy, fresh and “round” red wine, made from the rare Mencia grape, that is full of raspberry, cherry and vanilla notes. Reminds me of the “mixed berry”-flavored jelly from Smucker’s. This wine would go with roasted poultry and summer BBQ.
Pairing: Although counterintuitive, this lemon-dressed sausage dish from Food and Wine Magazine is perfect with red wines. The acid from the lemon and the earthiness from the arugula balance out and compliment the savoriness of the wine. I tweak the recipe by adding red onion and garlic to the roasting pan. Use your imagination!
Bodegas Fernandez Escudo de Plata Monastrell • Jumilla, Spain • $16
This is our oldert wine of the night, from 2012. Made with the French Mourvedre (Monastrell) grape, it’s showing signs of age, turning from fresh and fruity to smoke, leather, tobacco and even mint and eucalyptus. Even so, it still has a fruity backbone in there, a strong blackberry and black currant spine. A beautiful example of what happens to a red wine as it ages.
Pairing: Thanks to its location in Europe, Spain has a cultural diversity unlike many other European countries. There is a strong Italian influence on the Mediterranean coast, where this wine comes from. For that reason, I went with a spicy, savory Vegetarian Bolognese recipe. Shiitake mushrooms and Parma cheese rind are what make this dish so savory and meaty, but the fennel, bay leaf and red pepper flakes are what give it soul.