“Drink wine. This is life eternal. This is all that youth will give you.
It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends. Be happy for this moment.
This moment is your life.”
– Omar Khayyám
“Spanish??!! Oh my god, I love Spanish and I’m going to miss this one!” Mysaucepan laments.
Realizing she will be at work in Europe during the next tasting for The Wine International Group Sydney, she is determined not to miss any future tastings.
A simple suggestion from Dr. O to match the country of origin of the wine with its cuisine has fuelled members of The Wine International Group Sydney to seek out unusual and exotic drops for each of our wine tasting dinners. Not to be outdone, the food served during dinner these tastings has been ramped up a few extra notches to be in cultural sync with the wine.
It all began with an exquisite French wine and food tasting in his house. Tonight, it is Dr. Groovy O & G and Dr. Lady Groovy O & G‘s turn to host the wine tasting and Spanish is their chosen theme for the evening.
The Wine International Group Sydney
Meeting #44 ~ Spanish wine and food theme
Dr. Lady Groovy O & G concocts an enticing menu made up of Mediterranean classics ~ charcuteria, roast pork, paella, callos a la madrileña, patatas bravas and more.
It is customary for the host and hostess to serve sparkling wine and tonight, we are feted with a Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad.
Hints of lemon and earthy mushroom on the nose are followed by a crisp and delicate finish.
Paper thin slices of dark red ibérico shoulder, belly jamón and spicy chorizo from Victor Churchill look absolutely mouth-watering.
I am hit with flavours of ham on my palate that is sweet, earthy and not too salty. I can’t help but close my eyes as the taste of heaven slowly melts away in my mouth even before I can wash it down with another sip of Segura Viudas.
As per usual, the wine tasting is a prelude to the sumptuous dinner.
Dr. FV is unanimously chosen by the members to keep tasting notes. Here is a selection of wines for the evening and collective thoughts and impressions of members.
2014 Gran Feudo rosado
Founded in 1647, Bodegas Julián Chivite is the oldest wine-producing dynasty in Spain. The winemaking tradition has been passed down through eleven generations of the Chivite family.
Cork. 13% a/v. Clear light strawberry colour. Strawberry nose of medium intensity, with hints of spice. Dry, light-medium bodied, un-oaked, refreshingly fruity with low acid and low tannin. Drink it now.
2009 Raiza Rioja Crianza tempranillo
Cork. 14% a/v. Tempranillo 100%. Purple colour. Nose of dark berries, herbal, perfumed. Suggestions of onion and a vegetal note, but not in a bad way. On the palate it’s fruit sweet, with deep, dark berries. Dry, medium-bodied, elegant. The oak is integrated with medium acidity and tannins. Not particularly spicy or complex. Medium finish. Well balanced. Enjoyable Rioja. Drinking now.
2008 Tim Adams Reserve tempranillo
Screwcap. 13.5% a/v. Individual barrel selection after fifteen months in new and second use French oak. Deep purple colour. Shows typical varietal characters of deep, black berry fruit, plum, clove and cinnamon.
Medium to full-bodied, with a good fruit profile giving cherry, plum and touch of ‘Christmas pudding’. There’s some spice, integrated oak flavours, medium tannins. The flavours are pure and clean indicating its new world origins. Drinking well now, but could easily age for the medium term.
2001 Bodegas y Viñedos Alión Ribera del Duero
Cork. 14% a/v. Double decanted 2 hours. Fine sediment. Still a dark purple hue.
Complex nose showing smoky charcuterie, pastry, dark chocolate and an earthy savouriness. The palate follows the aromas, giving a savoury, spicy note to the black fruits, which are still partially evident. There’s a mineral acidity backbone with mild residual tannins.
It’s well-balanced and has a long finish. Could easily age further on the strength of this bottle.
2010 Opus One
Cork. 14%a/v. Cab Sauv 84%, Cab Fr 5.5%, Merlot 5.5%, PV 4%, Malbec 1%. 100% French oak treatment.
Deep purple colour. What an expressive nose. Cassis, cedar, chocolate, vanilla, violets. There’s plenty of oak on the medium-full palate, but it blends harmoniously with dark, silky textured fruits.
The tannins are round and velvety, giving really good length. So well balanced. Delicious now, with great ageing potential.
What is a Spanish fiesta without the iconic dish of the Catalans?
Dr. Lady Groovy O & G‘s seafood paella is studded with black mussels, calamari, prawns, hearty slices of chorizo and green peas.
Ribbons of red capsicum and fresh continental parsley complement al dente saffron rice and crunchy socarrat wafting with seafood aromas.
Roast pork belly, calvados apples, garlic & fennel flavoured sauerkraut
Served in Chinese soup spoons, the sweetness of calvados apples is beautifully matched with succulent savouriness of pork belly and a tangy tinge of sauerkraut lingering in my mouth.
Super crunchy pork crackling adds texture to an eye-closing mouthful.
Spanish style gambas
Dr. Lady Fez‘s Spanish style gambas is aromatic and succulent with garlic and parsley.
Dr. Lady FV‘s take on patatas bravas is true to its Spanish tradition. Potato wedges are soft and creamy in a rich and delectable tomato sauce.
Callos a la madrileña
I brought along a humble Callos a la madrileña that has been a staple in Spanish taverns for centuries.
Softened beef tripe and chickpeas get along so graciously in a rich tomato gravy laced with sweet paprika, pimiento powder and fresh garlic. I used chorizo instead of pig’s foot and resisted the temptation of adding green peas to be true to its Madrid origins and tradition.
For dessert, we feast on Tecula Mecula, marshmellow & almond delight and creme caramel made by Mrs Dr. O, Mrs. Lena P and Molly.
Dr. Groovy O & G presents two luscious stickies to accompany the desserts.
1986 Bodegas Toro Albala Don PX Gran Reserva &
NV Barbadillo Pedro Ximénez Jerez-Xérès-Sherry La Cilla
1986 Bodegas Toro Albala Don PX Gran Reserva – 17% a/v. Dark mahogany. Intense nose of caramel, raisins, molasses, dark chocolate, cloves. Palate follows suit, with its heady mix of sweet flavours, balsamic notes and soft, luscious texture. Decent persistence on the finish.
NV Barbadillo Pedro Ximénez Jerez-Xérès-Sherry La Cilla – 17.5% a/v. Mid-brown colour. Nose and palate are not as intense or complex as the 1986 Don PX had beside it.Here we still get dried fruit aromas mixed with caramel. There’s more sweetness on the palate, which also shows some heat. Needs a strong blue cheese, or ice-cream.
With these awesome stickies, we bid farewell to yet another beautiful wine tasting accompanied by a marvelous Spanish fiesta. Mucho gracias to our host and hostess for their amazing effort complete with Spanish attire and music.
Here’s to the next one!
Callos a la madrileña recipe
A traditional dish from Madrid, Callos a la madrileña is beautiful when accompanied with fresh, toasted bread.
It is important to use good quality chorizo.
I did not add a single drop of olive oil and yet, I end up with flavoursome fat after searing chorizo in my stock pot, let alone fragrant chorizo aromas in my kitchen.
Callos a la madrileña
- 500gm “BBQ cloth wipe” beef tripe, sliced into strips and blanced in boiling water for 3 minutes and set aside *
- 4 large ripened tomatoes roughly pureed
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons dried mixed herbs
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 teaspoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoon pimiento
- 4 chorizo sausages, boldly sliced
* If using “honeycomb” tripe, then cut into small slices and simmer in 2 litres of salted water until very soft. Rinse in cold water, drain then add into tomato puree in step 3 below.
- In a medium heat cast iron pot or equivalent, dry sauté chorizo slices until caramelized, then drain excess fat.
- Deglaze with white wine, then add garlic, black pepper, sweet paprika, pimiento and stir for 5 minutes in low heat.
- Add tomato puree, bay leaves and dried herbs and simmer in low heat for 45 minutes.
- Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Serves: 4 people
So dear readers, do you have a favourite Spanish dish to share with us?