We have created these special dinners for pure enjoyment AND because we want to always add a new dimension to learning a thing about wine. This is the next episode in our quest to shed light on what pairing wines and foods can be. The culinary world has greatly changed during my professional career and this is my opportunity to show another dimension to it all. Nothing fancy……..just plain good!
Although we explore the Mediterranean both on the food AND wine front, we don’t really play on the Spanish theme too often…this is THAT night! Spanish slanted foods and a trio of really tasty, interesting Spanish “country” wines paired.
Just as a reminder, “country” styled wines typically are those that are served at cafes/neighborhood eateries with their casual fare. They are so very different from the “trophy” wines that win all of the awards, high scores and accolades and need to spend years in the cellar before consuming. They are more for tastiness and enjoyment NOT for swirling, analyzing and taking notes. They unpretentiously and deliciously wash down the foods and freshen the palate between bites
The challenge is finding the “good” ones, as not all café styled wines are created equal. We will feature three very tasty, interesting and unique renditions for this evening. We have worked hard to get these wines because they are so different and each provides a glimpse of their respective region, their indigenous grape variety and each done in a VERY different style.
Chef Keith Endo created dishes for each and we hope the wines and the pairings will not only taste good, but will shed light on what can be.
WINE: Tres Ojos Garnacha “Old Vines”–It was pure joy when we first ran across this wine back in the 1990’s. Its wonderfully delicious, charming profile brings such joy when taking a big gulp after an especially hard day’s work. Hard to believe old vine fruit grown in a sun baked, flat, semi arid, wild countryside of Calatayud can be so downright tasty & satisfying. AND, it is remarkably food friendly on top of that!
Spanish Styled Meatballs—roasted red bell peppers and a savory, bay leaf and pepper red wine sauce
WINE: Fillaboa Albarino “Rias Baixas”–While the native Albarino grape variety is generally considered to be Spain’s most promising, interesting white wine grape, there are still far too many lackluster renditions being produced. The Fillaboa, instead, shows the true potential Albarino truly has. We love its vivacious, outgoing, “bright eyed & bushy tailed” personna and how delicious and wonderfully food friendly it innately is. We wanted to showcase a classic wine pairing with paella.
VINO Paella—Chef Keith’s rendition of a Galician classic
WINE: El Cortijillo La Mancha–La Mancha is located on a plateau right in the heart of the Iberian peninsula. Being one of the largest growing regions of Spain, the area is in general relatively flat with extreme temperatures in both directions. Yes, this is “country” wine and the reds, like this Tempranillo while quite delicious and gulpable, can still have intriguing rusticity, some mojo and grit. Ole.
Smoked Paprika Scented Pork—mushrooms, onions, smoked ham-bean stew & OK Poultry egg
This was some kind of interesting dinner!
featuring a very different slant on wine & food pairing.