Hey gang, Valkor here. Last week Alacran and myself trekked the streets of NYC, to take part in our first ever wine tasting - Spain's Great Match: Wine Food Design. This was not only a great opportunity to check out a wine showcase, but also to kickstart the new direction TOV is headed, taking it back to its beginnings and becoming the "guy-ccentric" website I've always wanted it to be. We have a few more drink related articles coming soon, but for now I'll let Alacran take the helm on this one as he gives you the 411 of this amazing and imformative event.
Spain's Great Match 20th annual wine and food tasting is a great way to get to know Spain one sip at a time. Coordinators of the event have chosen more than 300 wines from all over Spain, each one with a different style, technique, and flavor. Also on display was a variety of Tapas, olives, and cheeses to complement the wine. Now with more than 40 kiosk and only 4hrs, Valkor and I tried to get to know as many wines as humanly possible but, this two man crew was overwhelmed. During our walk around we became very familiar with "Drink Ribera. Drink Spain." kiosk, which had my favorite cured ham - Jamon Iberico. The carver from La Rioja was nice enough to keep Valkor and me happy, dishing out slice after slice of this amazing meat. We did do more than just eat and drink, we met with quite a few representatives, Importers and Distributors; to learn about their vines, climate, and a variety of techniques. There were three scheduled seminars teaching more in-depth: two about Rueda wine and Ribera Del Duero, the last was about Mediterranean food and how it plays a role in health.
Now, food pairing is essential and on this subject I had much to learn. The Tapas and cheese on hand gives you an idea of what flavor could match your choice of wine; I've always known that you cook with wine you like to drink, but some wines make certain foods pop in the kitchen and some on the table. We did find a few people very happy to teach us a thing or two. Susan over at the Taron Kiosk gave us a lot of great advice as to what parings she likes; For the Taron Blanco she prefers smoked salmon, Taron 4M Roija she prefers BBQ Porkchops or Ribs, and for Taron Reserva Rioja nothing better than a Med-well (Med-rare for me – Val) Steak. Alejandro at the Bodegas Thesaurus kiosk also chimed in with some interesting combinations with his Dorium Joven; he prefers BBQ/Rotisserie Lamb and with his Dorium Roble and pasta with either mushrooms or Truffles
Next we attended a seminar, "Wines of Ruedas" with Marnie Old, who gave us a brief intro on nine modern, classic, organic and experimental Rueda White wines. What makes a Rueda White wine? It's all in the grape called Verdejo, a thin-skinned highly acidic grape. All of the nine Rueda wines were great but, for me two were just amazing - De Alberto & Habis. De Alberto gave me the "drink before Christmas dinner" sensation; it had a warm nutmeg/cookie scent with a sweet flavor. And the Shaya Habis is complete opposite, almost a summer after feeling with its scent and flavor that are very light but it has enough kick you can't ignore.
When it comes to wine I know very little other than to drink it, so Spain's Great Match was a great opportunity to learn and sample a wide variety of not only wines but cheeses, olives and that delicious Ham. If you're in the Miami area Spain's Great Match will be coming your way on the Nov. 12th. And instead of reading about Jamon Iberico, which I could write a whole article about, you'll get to taste it and fall in love with it as much as we did.