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A Spanish Food and Wine Night

2015 Martin Códax Albariño from the Rias Baixas pairs with paella.

Kathy and I provided wine for a food group that meets quarterly for a themed dinner. The spring dinner focused on Spanish dishes. We were asked to provide the wines. An appetizer prior to the presentation included Spanish-Style Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo). For the dinner there was paella, gazpacho and Spanish-Style Grilled Vegetables with Breadcrumb Picada. The wines we selected included a sangria we made with Bobal, a 2011 Mas Codina Brut Nature Reserva, a 2015 Martin Códax  Albariño from the Rias Baixas wine region and a  2012 Lan Rioja Crianza.

For wine dinners, I like to make a short wine presentation before we sit down at the table. During the 20-minute presentation we served the sangria made with Bobal from the Utiel-Requena wine region. The presentation ended with the origin of the word tapas, and to extend the concept, we made tapas while I poured the cava. The tapas of choice was Pa amb Tomàquet (Catalan Tomato Bread). These simple to make tapas include a slightly toasted or grilled slice of bread. You rub a garlic clove on the bread followed by rubbing a tomato onto the bread. Sprinkle olive oil and add a pinch of salt. We paired the tapas with the cava. This idea was a result of two visits to the Penedès, the heart of cava country. We had several meals where we would make Catalan Tomato Bread and drink cava.

The paella included mussels, shrimp, chicken and a spicy sausage. We suggested that the group try all three wines with this dish. The cava was palate cleansing, the Albriaño worked well with the shrimp and chicken. The spicy sausage worked well with the Lan Rioja Crianza, mostly Tempranillo. To the tomato based gazpacho there was a tray of items such as different peppers, onions and crabmeat to add if one wished to. Once again the wines paired well with this dish. The Albariño matched with the eggplant dish.

We enjoyed matching the wines with the foods. Spanish wines are very food friendly. They pair well with a variety of foods.

We enjoy offering dinner wine presentations and everyone seems to appreciate the insight regarding the various wines.


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