All you Need to Know to Pairing Spanish Wines and Holidays Food

Spanish wines are becoming deservedly better known by American wine lovers. The wide diversity of regional productions, quality, body and aroma make Spanish wines an excellent companion for most kinds of food from tapas to paellas, traditional dishes and avant-garde new cuisine. New York Restaurants offer a great variety of Spanish Wine but what better place than a Spanish cuisine restaurant will offer traditional Spanish wine. Alcala Restaurant  is in the heart of NYC with a fabulous food-wine combination to complement a delightful experience.

So if you are thinking in your Holidays meals, here’s what you need to know to pair your dishes with the best Spanish wines.

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Alcala’s Wine Selection

1)   Jerez, Sherry, is a unique dry wine from Andalucia, south of Spain. Not well understood, these varieties range from light versions Manzanilla and Fino, to bone-dry Amontillado and Oloroso. Dry Jerez should be served chilled and is an excellent match for tapas, shrimps, oysters, scallops, clams and other shellfish, and a great counterpoint for cheeses, specially aged cheeses.

The sweet variety of Jerez Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez or Moscatel make them great to pair with dry foods, artisan cheeses, nuts, sweets and cakes, coffee and chocolate.

2)   Cavas – Cava is the Spanish equivalent to champaign mostly made in Catalunya with the same standards as in France. Cava is very versatile, can be used as an aperitif and also in bubbly drinks as in mimosas. Cava is an excellent match for Spanish tapas, selfish, appetizers, spicy dishes, Serrano ham, and of course with modern cuisine and why not, deserts and cheeses.

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Alcala’s Spanish Paella

3)   Rosados, Rosé wines, refreshing, delicious and quite versatile Spain’s Rosados range from La Rioja famous Tempranillo in the north; Valencia and Calaluña Rosats in the Mediterranean region; and Castilla and León Cigales.Rosados pair well with seafood, pork, Latin American cuisines and paella.

4)   Spanish Red Wines, Tintos are increasingly been featured in specialized magazines ranking among high in many American wine lists. Because of their balance, this variety offers a great range of options for food pairing from tapas to the most sophisticated modern cuisine. Excellent Tintos range from Galicia’s Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras; to La Rioja well-aged reservas and gran reservas, to Duero Valley Ribera del Duero.

Other big Spanish reds include Toro, Jumilla, Penedés, Priorat which rank among some of the best red wines in the world.  These varieties are excellent companions for steaks, pasta, rice and vegetable dishes.

5)   Spanish white wines, Vinos Blancos are a favorite choice among wine lovers, which is the case of albariños from the Rias Baixas region of northwestern Galicia. Other excellent whites include Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra, Valdeorras and Monterrei ranking among the world’s greatest white wines.  And don’t forget stellar chardonnays from Conca de Barberá and Penedés, to mention some in the Cataluña region; Rueda in Valladolid and Basque Txacoli, and finally the superb La Rioja whites.

Whether by-the-glass for a conversation with friends, with tapas or full more formal Holiday meals, Spanish wines offer many possibilities of food pairing.

These wines marry well with a wide range of food from the simplest grilled selfish to traditional seafood stews and black rice paellas, surf and turf dishes, tapas and sophisticated modern cuisine. So go ahead and rediscover your favorite feasts of the season, ­— your friends and family will surely appreciate it.

Happy Holidays to everyone!!

Jesus Martínez

Chef – Alcala Restaurant New York