Monday, February 02, 2009

Spanish Wine and Food Synergy

Recently, I opened up a bottle of the 2004 Bodega Luzdivina Amigo Viñademoya that I purchased a while back. ($13.99, Garagiste; available elsewhere from $7-$18) When I first tasted it, I wasn't that impressed.

It was just a simple, rustic red with aromas and flavors of boysenberries and a little bit of earthy funk. Nothing memorable, nothing to spend time writing about.

But I corked it with some inert gas, and tried it again a few nights later. This time I paired it with a traditional dish from Rioja: patatas a la Riojana. A cross between a soup and stew, it's full of earthy potatoes, has some spicy kick from the inclusion of chorizo and peppers, and lots of flavor from the garlic and onion. I used Anya von Bremzen's recipe from her fabulous cookbook, The New Spanish Table. Here's a slightly different version that's available online.

Wow. What a difference the right food made to this wine.

Sipping it along side the soup, with its smoky pimenton and potatoes, made the flavors of boysenberry expand out to include blackberries an cherries. The earthy funk turned into a pleasant background note that kept the wine from becoming too fruity and flat. A wine that I had mixed feelings about was transformed into a good QPR bottle.

Wine and food synergy--that moment when you realize the combination of what you're eating and drinking is greater than the sum of its parts--happens all too rarely. When it does, it can result in a memorable meal and make you glad that you gave the wine a second chance.

1 comment:

Miguel said...

The question is, It is worth wait so many days for have a good wine? If you go to a restaurant, you would phone a few days before: he guy, open the bottle of wine, in a few days I will go to eat. ;)

Why there are wines that need days for open it's flavours?