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Grandes Pagos de España Wine Tasting

At Oylmel in Washington DC

At Oyamel in Washington DC

This week we attended the Grandes Pagos de España wine tasting seminar in Washington D.C. We were delighted to have the opportunity to attend the seminar at the bright and cheerful Oyamel restaurant, focused on Mexican cuisine. Oyamel appears to be a popular restaurant as, closer to the lunch hour, people were arriving for lunch and vibrant conversations.

The restaurant is conveniently located only a couple of blocks from the Archives metro stop which we reached by way of the Green Line. Upon entering Oyamel we were in a restaurant colorfully decorated with orange and yellow colors.  A portion of the ceiling seemed to explode with summer flowers colored with orange hues. Throughout the bright restaurant numerous models of animals added to the decor. The room set aside for our wine tasting had a ceiling filled with small colorful animals. The colors and shapes made one wonder if they were representative of real animals.

Yesterday Terry wrote a great article about the Grands Pagos de España event describing the special features of Grands Pagos d Expaña and descriptions of the nine wines we tasted. I was very interested in the wines, but I was also interested in the wine and food connection. Part of the wine tasting included several appetizers created at the Oyamel Cocina Mexicana.

Mexican appetizer

Mexican appetizer

We enjoyed several appetizers provided by Oyamel.

  • Mini quesadilla de chicharrones
    Crispy local pork belly, Chihuahua cheese and five chile salsa
  • Gorditas de pato
    House-made masa cakes topped with duck confit and salsa chile árbol and served with a relish of local apples, habanero, and piloncillo
  • Taco de suadero
    Braised, roasted and grilled local brisket in a house made tortilla with salsa verde, onions, and cilantro
  • Taco pescado Baja California
    Seared Mahi Mahi with fresh cabbage, house-made mayo, pickled ancho chiles and onions
  • Empanada de hongos y queso
    Sautéed local mushrooms and Chihuahua cheese in a crispy handmade corn tortilla
  • Sopes de papas con chorizo
    A crispy house-made masa cake topped with potato, black beans, house-made chorizo with Mexican crema

Terry wrote about his favorite wines. Wines touch people’s senses in different ways, and so at this tasting my favorite wine was the second one from Palacio Quemado. To me it was unique and special.

Anyone interested in Grandes Pagos de España wines should visit the organization’s website. The wines from these participating wineries are making their way into the US.

Before the seminar I asked Jean Belondrade, from the Belondrade winery, if the Belondrade wines are distributed/imported on the East Coast. He explained that the wines are available on the West Coast and will eventually be available in New York, Washington DC and Maryland. However, some of the Grandes Pagos d España member wineries already have distributors/importers in New York, Atlanta and Washington DC. Others are searching for importers for their wines.Gramona, Palacio Quemado, Los Aguilares, and Cérvoles are seeking distributors in New York, Atlanta and Washington DC.

When visiting your favorite wine shop ask about the wines from Grandes Pagos de España.


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