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Tom N.

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WTN: The food in Spain is never plain with wine again

by Tom N. » Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:02 am

Spanish wine and food night at Loplops

This was a special slow food meal featuring Spanish food and wine, served in four courses/3 wine flights. Each course except the last had an accompanying wine or two.

Course one: Tentenpie (tappas appetizers)

1. Orange and red onion salad
2. Spanish green and black olives
3. Salted almonds (wonderful roasted almonds with sel de mer)
4. Alioli (garlic mayonaise) with hot and regular chorizo (Spanish sausage)
5. Manchego (Spanish sheep cheese)

Wine: This clear straw yellow wine had a nose of acetone, pine needles and a hint of ripe peach. Dry tart taste with pine needle notes and long bracing finish. Surprisingly good match with salted almonds and also a good match with manchego. Not really good with the hot chorizo. I am not a big fan of dry sherry, but if you are going to drink it, tappas are the way to really enjoy it because this wine just is not good without food. Alvear's Fino Montilla (sherry) Andalusia. Here is my tasting note on this wine from the first time I tasted it: This light straw colored wine had a nose that had sea breeze nuances over a nutty core with a few green herbal notes. Bracing acidity attacked the palate with some pine resin and nuttiness. Very dry with a medium finish. This wine screamed for food and went well with capers and olives, especially nice with an olive tapenade.

Course two:

1. Spanish beans (called soisson in French) with chorizo spiced with thyme and garlic and topped with olive oil. These mild but tasty beans were wonderful.

2. Saffron shrimp with saffron, garlic, and fresh orange juice. Really nice melding of flavors in the saffron sauce with the orange juice accent.

Wine #1. A clear ruby red wine with a really nice nose of plum, cassis, blackberries and a hint of blueberries. Cassis and cherries on the palate with a nice midpalate slide of silky tannins and a nice but average medium length finish. Valle de Salinar Crianza 2001 Yecla, Murcia. Blend of mourvedre, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah international style. Matched well with the thyme and garlic of the Spanish beans and chorizo. Good match with the saffron shirmp also, but not as good as with the beans.

Wine #2. A clear ruby red wine with an oaky (a bit too much for my liking) nose that also had smoke, cherries and hint of plum. Vanilla and plums on the midpalate with a smooth medium to long back of the palate tart fruit finish. Izadi Crianza 2001, Rioja, mostly tempranillo. Best match with the saffron shrimp that brought out the sweet fruit in the wine. Enhanced the heat of the chorizo sausage. Oak was fairly well integrated (needs more time though) on the palate but the oaky nose overpowered the fruit, IMO. My tasting note the first time I tasted this wine: This deep ruby red wine had a nose that first hit as spicy oak and than fanned out to cloves, coconut, and black pepper with a hint of smokiness. This wine had good balance with nice fresh sour cherry acidity with a tingly midpalate feel of grippy tannins that smooth out into medium long finish. I thought the oak needed some time to integrate in this wine, other than that a very good wine that matched well with the mediterrean cheese spread and smoked salmon.

Third Course:

Spanish Pot-au-Feu. This was an absolutely delicious Spanish stew of chorizo, pork shoulder, chick peas, potatos, carrots, butternut squash, tomatoes, and flageolets spiced with garlic, pimento, saffron, and cumin.

Wine: Clear deep crimson wine with plum, black raspberry, black cherry and a smigden of vanilla on the nose. A medium to full bodied wine that had sweet black raspberry and cherry fruit on the palate. A nice delicate finish that was medium to long. Marques de Rescal Rioja Reserva 2000. Great food wine that was an exquisite match with the stew. Best food wine of the night and WOTN for me. Tried to save some for the last course, but was unable to.

Fourth course.

Dulces

1. Almond bar.
2. Dark chocolate torte. Great dessert for the dark chocolate lover with great creamy texture and bittersweet taste. (Oh, how I wished they had Banyuls to match)
3. Batata Doce. (slice of white cheddar with a sweet potato gel on top) Unusual dessert that was a great contrast in tastes (sharp cheese and sweet) that worked well together.

Overall impression: The food was fantastic :lol: and the wine very good, but not exceptional. The only exceptional wine experience was the excellent wine-food matches that were concocted by our chef: Mary Ledlow.

Tom Noland
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Re: TN: The food in Spain is never plain with wine again

by robs_r » Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:57 am

Hi Tom!

My notes on two wines you had are pretty similar, I liked the Izadi quite a bit more:

  • 2001 Viña Villabuena Rioja Viña Izadi Crianza - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alavesa, Rioja (2/23/2005)
    Very young with some oak on the palate, but very nice sweet fruit. This will be great in two years and will keep.
  • 2000 Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reserva - Spain, La Rioja, Rioja (1/16/2005)
    Nose of wood and tobacco. Medium body. On the palate there is some wood (but it doesn't taste like new oak), tobacco and dark fruits that appear to step forward wit some air. Well integrated and balanced. Food friendly acidity. Drinks nice and will hold for a couple of years without problems.

Posted from CellarTracker
Robert Ruzitschka
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Robin Garr

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Re: TN: The food in Spain is never plain with wine again

by Robin Garr » Thu Apr 06, 2006 9:16 am

robs_r wrote:My notes on two wines


Hey, Rob! Glad you found your way here.
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Tom N.

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Re: TN: The food in Spain is never plain with wine again

by Tom N. » Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:02 pm

robs_r wrote:Hi Tom!

My notes on two wines you had are pretty similar, I liked the Izadi quite a bit more:

  • 2001 Viña Villabuena Rioja Viña Izadi Crianza - Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alavesa, Rioja (2/23/2005)
    Very young with some oak on the palate, but very nice sweet fruit. This will be great in two years and will keep.
  • 2000 Marqués de Riscal Rioja Reserva - Spain, La Rioja, Rioja (1/16/2005)
    Nose of wood and tobacco. Medium body. On the palate there is some wood (but it doesn't taste like new oak), tobacco and dark fruits that appear to step forward wit some air. Well integrated and balanced. Food friendly acidity. Drinks nice and will hold for a couple of years without problems.
Posted from CellarTracker


Hi Rob,

I liked the Izada, just felt it needed some aging, like you mention, perhaps 2 years. Actually, I liked it better this time than the first time I tasted it. The fruit came out better with the food we had in this meal because of great wine-food matching. I just did not like the oak dominated nose on this wine because I had trouble getting any fruit in the nose, and I really love a fruit and spice nuanced nose in wine. I had some older (77 and 84) cote roties at the MoCool tasting this past summer that I nosed for 10 minutes before I even tasted them! The nose had such great fruit and spice that it was heavenly just to drink in the fragrances.

Tom Noland
Tom Noland
Good sense is not common.

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