What to DRINK with That: Classic Dishes From Spain

DRINK editor Treve Ring asks local wine experts how they would approach pairing dishes and flavours. For this edition we are looking to classic dishes from Spain.

Our Experts:

Shane Taylor (ST)
Wine Director, CinCin Ristorante + Bar

ShaneShane’s career in service extends from experience in several restaurants and hotels in the United Kingdom and U.S., to eight years at the top of Vancouver’s wine scene at Toptable properties. Shane’s early days were spent at the Relais Gourmand White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine. In the U.K. he served at Glenapp Castle and Chapter One, both Michelin-starred, before moving to Canada in 2005 to join Araxi and then on to Assistant Wine Director of Blue Water Cafe. He holds the
WSET Diploma as well as Advanced Sommelier from the London-based Court of Master Sommeliers, and is currently readying to take on the Master Sommelier designation.

Jorge Barandiaran (JB)
Front of House Manager, Wolf in the Fog

JorgeLeading Wolf in the Fog’s unique wine program, Jorge Barandiaran encourages guests to move away from their ‘go-to’ wines to try something new and he enjoys working with Chef Nutting to collaborate on creative wine and food pairings. Fluent in Spanish and French, Peruvian-born Jorge has travelled extensively and surfed beaches on every continent, with just an icy dip in Antarctica left on his list. Peru and Indonesia have been highlights of his travels but Jorge’s passion for wine was sparked by visits to France and opportunities to explore his French step-family’s extensive wine cellars there. Stints at C Contemporary Fish Restaurant, Blue Water Café and Tofino’s Pointe Restaurant further honed his skills and palate.

What to DRINK With:

Pork Shoulder, Chorizo and Olive Stew (sherry, paprika, thyme, potatoes)

JB. Although I am Peruvian, my mother cooked a lot of Spanish food when I was growing up. At home we would often drink Rioja, which is what I would recommend for this dish. I would look for a younger, medium bodied version with bright, juicy acidity to cut through the fat in the pork and not get lost in the acidity of the tomatoes.

ST. This is a full flavoured dish with spice that requires a wine with enough body and substance to hold its own. Paprika and chorizo can be a tricky match as a wine with too much alcohol will accentuate the heat. A Navarra rosé has moderate alcohol and a savoury character that will pair nicely. Or look to Cru Beaujolais, a criminally underappreciated region and wine style. The acidity of gamay and complexity of flavours in the glass will work well with the spice and savoury qualities of the pork shoulder. A wine from Morgon will do nicely.

Bacalao (salt cod, onions, garlic, tomato, peppers)

JB. If you can find one, a barrel-fermented godello would be my first choice. I love how the flavours of wood spice, found in lightly oaked or barrel-fermented Spanish white wines, work with salty garlic, tomato and peppers. A good godello has a beautiful mouth-filling richness that can stand up the weight of the cod and has enough acid to balance out the oiliness of the fish. A verdejo would also work here.

ST. Albariño from Rias Baixas in the north west of Spain is required. These complex whites have the acidity, body and flavour to match and a saline quality and minerality to pair with the salty full flavours of Bacalao. Look for one of the southern sub-regions such as Contado do Tea or O Rosal as they will have more body than the northern sub-regions. You could also choose a Greco di Tufo, a heavier, full flavoured wine from Campania. Greco has great acidity, is full bodied and has flavour complexity. The salt, garlic and tomatoes can cause wine pairing mayhem but the Greco more than holds its own.

Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade. In addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for WineAlign, ...

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