Pairing with Spanish Classics

These wines are perfect for Spanish fare


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Lamb and Roasted Red Peppers

Since we’re dealing with classic dishes of Spain we had to include at least a little lamb, no pun intended! This recipe is ‘Spanish Style”, and I’m not sure what that actually means, though it appears to be an iteration of a Spanish staple. I like the jist of the recipe, though why on earth would I use Kalamata olives in a “Spanish Style” dish? Maybe that’s what the quotation marks mean. Find your self some good spanish olives, there are tons of them to chose from, and use some fresh red chilies, or even better, authentic Pequillo peppers to make this dish Spanish Style. Quotation marks never made a dish taste better.

Lamb and roasted red peppers, it’s a match that screams out for Bordeaux, and Cabernet Franc-rich St Emilion in particular. But this is an authentic Spanish style dish, so we need to find an authentic Spanish wine to match up with the flavors at work here. There’s plenty of fat in a lamb shoulder, so we’ll need a wine with good acidity and little tannins, and then there are the flavors, deep and rich from the meat with the great vegetal counterpoint provided by the peppers.

Many wine writers have compared Mencia, a grape grown in the Bierzo region of Spain with Cabernet Franc, and while I don’t see too much similarity in the flavor profile of the wines, there is certainly a distinct similarity in the texture of the wines. Mencia is a lovely wine for lamb, bursting with crunchy red fruits, sapid and slightly tannic, it’s a blend of brilliance and rusticity that encapsulates the finest attributes of the modern Spanish table.

OK,  I already said it so it’s out of the bag, Mencia is sort of, kind of like Cabernet Franc, so where else would one go to find a similar wine than: Chinon of course. Chinon in the Loire Valley is the heart of the world’s Cabernet Franc production and their fresh, juicy, yet rustic red fruited versions are the world’s very best. Many, if not most, retain the vegetal edge that will serve as a bridge for this very successful wine and food pairing. I’m a fan of Bernard Baudry’s Chinon Grezeaux, give it a try it and let me know what you think!

Find the Recipe Here

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