Spanish wine flavour flamenco heralds paella celebration

YOU can put away the bunting now. National Paella Day is over for another year.

If you didn’t celebrate on Tuesday don’t fret; I’m sure the food police won’t be a nuisance should you decide to enjoy the Spanish national dish on another day.

Here are a few Spanish wine ideas to pair with your rice repast when the time comes.

The paella I cooked included chorizo, prawns, chicken, red pepper, peas and leek. With a flick of turmeric and home-made chicken stock. The mix of rustic flavours, from delicate seafood through to spicy chorizo, did not give my paella an obvious wine partner.

Fillaboa Albarino 2010 review
Fillaboa Albarino 2010

But top of my list is Fillaboa Albarino 2010 (£14.99, M&S online and selected independents). This comes from the Rias Baixas DO wine region in northern Spain, where the growing albarino grapes are cooled by Atlantic breezes. It partners well with seafood but also has the strength and depth to stand up to chorizo.

Fillaboa is bright, and full of stone fruit with a long finish. After a forkful of paella I was surprised as a pineapple layer sprang into life.

Franck Massard Herbis Verdejo Viura 2010 (£8.99 www.nakedwines.com or £6.49 if you’re an investing angel supporting wine growers). is a blend of two classic Spanish grapes. Viura, also known as macebeo, is one of the three main grapes in cava. If this white was being mixed for you in a cocktail bar you’d wink at the barman and say ‘easy on the lemon’.

I’m all for citrus flavours but not when they are all you can taste. Ok with a chorizo-packed plate of paella but this wine has a lot of growing up to do.

Segura Viudas Torre Galimany Brut Nature Gran Reserva Cava 2007 (£10.99, www.sohowine.co.uk) is a revelation with paella. This rich cava was one of the first with oak barrel aging on the market and it has a great complex character. Its plentiful, fine, bubbles and aroma of honey, toast and fruit cake, were surprisingly delightful with the rustic platter.

Emina Pasión, Ribera del Duero 2009 (£12.99, Ocado) comes from one of Spain’s most highly-rated areas and is 100 per cent tempranillo grape. It is medium-bodied and fruity with cherries with an overture of blackcurrant ice cream. (I know, I know.) I enjoyed Pasión on its own, as the seafood was overpowered by its rich flamenco of flavours.

Beronia Dos Maderas Crianza 2008 (down to £6.99 from £13.99 as an introductory offer from Ocado) is also made from 100 per cent tempranillo, from the award-winning Beronia winery in Rioja Alta. It is oaked in barrels in two types of oak; American oak staves add a vanilla undertone and French barrelheads give the wine a spicy edge. Smooth tannins with a decent finish, the Beronia had a softness which matched the paella comfortably.

Carlos Rodriguez Rioja Joven 2010 (up to £8.49 www.nakedwines.com) is one of the new style, lighter riojas, lighter and a tad too fresh at first encounter.

However it’s with food that this sprightly senor comes into its own. The strong paella flavours compete beautifully. This wine is more fiesta than siesta but well worth uncorking.

Finally, Berberana Seleccion d’Oro 2008 (Morrison’s down to £4.49 from £8.99 until April 1) from the Vino de la Tierra, part of the Castile region of Spain. It is rich, firm, but vibrant with an aroma of red fruits and a layer of vanilla.

It was lovely with the spicy chorizo and red peppers.

First published  in the Liverpool Post on March 29 2012