The Powerhouse Duo of Spain. Muy Bueno!
Snug Harbor Wines
If you have been paying attention to the world of wine, Spain has been a rising star because of two primary grapes, Tempranillo and Albariño. What makes things a bit confusing for the consumer is that Spain (like Italy) doesn’t follow labeling convention similar to France where just about every wine there is labeled from a region.
Albariño is a grape that is primarily associated with the region of Rais Baixas. This Northwest corner of Spain is a seafood-driven seaside region where the wine goes well with the dishes of the region. Across the border in Portugal, the grape is known as Alvarinho.
Tempranillo, on the other hand is a grape, and has many faces from many regions but is most linked with the wines from Rioja. However, another region just south of Rioja is also a hotbed of Tempranillo…Ribera del Duero, where the grape is called Tinto Fino. Both regions produce great expressions of the grape.
Here are some tasting notes for Spanish wines and two of the Martian Ranch wines we are featuring this week. All are available at Snug Harbor Wines!
Bodega la Milagrosa Milcamopos Ribera del Duero 2014– Black fruit, pepper, and coffee notes. Medium body, spicy, cherry notes and well balanced. Ripe fruit tannins.
Martian Ranch Tempranillo “Gravitas” 2014– Black fruit, tobacco, and spice on the note. Medium to full body, hints of black currant and chocolate, well balanced.
La Cana Albarino 2015– Lime and wet stone aromas. Crisp stone fruit flavors and a rich finish.
Martian Ranch Albarino “UFOric” 2014– Floral, citrus and stone fruit on the nose. Great acidity and tropical notes finish clean.
What to eat this week…
Staying with the Spanish theme, here is a great paella recipe for you.
PAELLA VALENCIANA (Yield: 6 servings)
1 ½ lb. chicken thighs
1 ½ lb sausage
3 c. Spanish paella rice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 fresh tomatoes seeded and grated, or good quality canned tomatoes, pureed
1 T sweet smoked paprika
1 large pinch saffron threads, reconstituted in ¼ c. white wine
3 qt. chicken, fish or vegetable stock
2 bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
1 lb. shrimp
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a 16”–18” paella pan or large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken skin side down, searing until golden brown. Flip and continue cooking until firm but not fully cooked. Remove from heat and repeat with sausage, adding more oil if necessary. Add sausage to chicken and set aside. Add more oil and once warmed add rice and garlic, coating it well in the oil. Toast the rice for several minutes until the edges become translucent. Add the tomatoes and paprika and cook until fragrant.
Add the saffron and wine, stirring to combine and allow the wine to reduce by half. Add the stock, salt to taste, and simmer. Stir infrequently. When the rice has nearly absorbed all of the liquid and is tender, add the bell pepper strips, chicken, sausage and shrimp to the top of the rice. Cover the pan and lower the heat to cook the seafood, about 10 minutes more. Remove the lid, cover with a kitchen towel and allow paella to rest for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.