Just how true is this when talking about wine? Do you ever try to pair your food and wine and get stuck in a rut? Not too sure what would go with your Albariño or your glass of English sparkling wine? Well, going off my experience travelling around Europe, I have to say that I am a true believer of keeping both food and wine local!
Back in the days when travelling was a bit less restricted, you would often find me in a typical Majorcan wine bar or in a fine restaurant in the gorgeous city of Madrid. The Spanish are so passionate about everything they do, especially regarding their food and wine. I love the tradition of Tapas and how you automatically get a bar snack with a glass of Rioja or Rueda. Whether its crisps, some Manchego cheese or serrano ham, the idea is to enjoy some food with your wine choice. It is a fantastic experience.
Successful food and wine pairings have probably evolved over time. The idea of the signature food of one region developing over the years, along with the winemaking of the same region, proves to be a perfect match! We also must consider environmental characteristics, the climate, terroir and local traditions behind particular cuisines.
One of my favourite pairings is Pa Amb Oli, which means ‘bread with olive oil’ in Majorcan. They also add tomatoe to the bread and even some garlic, which is rubbed on one side of the warm crusty bread. I also love Pa Amb Tomàquet, which is with the toppings of jamón serrano, cheese or anchovies. It can be served at any time of the day, or just as an accompaniment to dinner or lunch.
What would my wine choice be to go with this dish? Well, I would go for a Majorcan red wine. Angel Negre, a wine from Bodegas Angel, Viñas de Sa Basseta (Santa María Del Camí). This delicious wine is an interesting blend between 2 international grape varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and indigenous grape Manto Negro. Manto Negro is a cross of 2 extinct varieties, and it produces smooth, light coloured wines, which are high in alcohol.
This rule of thumb generally works for me. However, having some knowledge about the different components of food and wine, such as acidity, sweetness, and umami, helps you to find a sensational match! That deserves its own blog!
In the meantime, I’m off to enjoy a glass of Crémant and some ‘fromage de chevre’!