‘Paella’: just hearing this word being pronounced in Spanish makes me feel hungry, and automatically I start thinking of the array of wine styles that would pair deliciously with this typical Spanish dish, obbvioulsy depending on the desired ingredients! So, is there an ideal wine to pair with this exquisite, traditional, Spanish dish?
Let’s face it Cava, would pair with most Spanish dishes, with its crisp acidity, salinity, and ripe fruit aromas, it’s a winner all round! A rosé wine, especially Spanish or Portuguese style, would also pair wonderfully, with their more vivacious personalities, not-so-shy red fruit characteristics and fuller body on the palate. Definitely reach for a rosé if you have some chicken (or chorizo, as they throw in here in the U.K!)
In terms of still whites, Verdejo, Airén, Viura, a gorgeous Albariño, or a fuller-bodied white Rioja, these will all go down a treat due to their freshness, and vibrant fruit aromas. Red wines, well, let’s just say, it’s not just Rioja for Spanish reds, other regions with high-quality red wines are found all over Spain in regions such as, Toro, Ribera del Duero, and Priorat. One of my favourite black grapes is Monastrell (Mourvèdre in French), this would be great with a ‘Paella de Carne’ (traditional meat Paella) due to its meaty texture, robust tannins, and herbaceous bouquet.
Don’t forget, there are rules of thumb with food and wine pairings, but you do also have to sip something that excites you as a wine drinker, you need to enjoy the moment, so although the science may work, if your palate cries out for rose and only ever rosé wine, then have a rosé! That’s the beauty of food and wine, it’s all about the pleasure, the moment, and who you choose to share that with, if anyone!!
This brings me to my recent Paella experience on the beautiful island of Mallorca. Paella from my favourite ‘Just Enmig’ restaurant in Can Pastilla. I went for a mixed Paella this time, and it was gorgeous. For my wine pairing, I chose a still, dry, white wine called Can Rubi La Mar de Bé, Sauvignon Blanc. I chose this wine as it is ‘Vi de la Tierra Mallorca’, a wine grown in the vineyards of Mallorca, and the Sauvignon Blanc grape is so aromatic and fruity, that it contrasts perfectly with the seafood flavours and the sea-kissed characteristics of the dish. The tremendous acidity is great with the fatty texture of the meat. The wine also displays hints of dried citrus, vanilla, and a slight almond finish. And…just look at the label!! It cries out to be paired with a seafood-inspired dish.
The sun was shining, the view was incredible, and the food and wine were a match made in Spanish heaven! Exactly how wine should be enjoyed. As much as I loved this wine choice with the mixed paella, my all-time favourite wine & paella pairing is the exceptional, award-winning sparkling wine from the family-run winery Bodega Vega Tolosa:
Vega Tolosa Brut Nature Chardonnay Gran Cuvéé, Vegan and Organic.
Paired with; Paella de Marisco/Seafood Paella
Limited edition, 18 months bottle ageing, traditional method.
This was definitely the type of wine you will always remember, which expresses the traditions of 5 generations working hard to create the perfect bottle of bubbles! Caring for the environment, and the palate! Do have a look at this fantastic winery Inicio – Vega Tolosa, I have never been disappointed with any of their wines!
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