A surge in popularity over the past two decades has seen Tapas elevated from humble bar snack to one of the World’s favourite ways to dine.
In recognition of this popularity Thursday, June 16th has been designated the inaugural World Tapas Day, so in the spirit of this new addition to the calendar I thought should offer some wine recommendations for all of you who are planning on joining in the celebration.
Given that Tapas by their nature are made up of a wide variety of ingredients, flavours and textures, so although I have given food matching suggestions for the selection of wines that I have picked out below, they will all work well with most Tapas.
For my first choice I have gone with Spain’s wonderful sparkling wine, Cava. Made by the leading house of Codorníu, La Rosca is a very modern, fruit driven example; zesty, lively and with loads of fresh apple and lemon fruit. Soft and rounded, it makes for a very easy to drink glass of fizz and in terms of food-matching it is the ultimate all-rounder on my list and it should go without saying that it also makes a great aperitif.
Next up a cool-climate white from Galicia in Spain’s Northwest corner. Pirueta is a classic Albariño, with citrus and floral aromas, along with a touch of stone fruit. On the palate it displays a mouth-filling fruity character perfectly balanced with the vibrant zingy acidity. It's easy to see why Albariño is now one of Ireland's favourite grape varieties. This is just the wine to go for with seafood Tapas, particularly Pulpo a la Gallega.
It being Summer, I couldn’t possibly put together a list of wines without including a Rosé! Wonderfully crisp and dry, Naranjas Azules is a beautiful pale-pink Garnacha Rosé. It is a super-versatile food-matching wine, great with everything from zesty salads to the delicious sizzling grilled prawn dish: Gambas al Ajillo, it also pairs well with white meat Tapas such as Lomo a la Plancha.
Following on from the Rosé; a red wine, and Tandem Ars Nova is one of the finest reds we have ever seen from Navarra. Rich, savoury and wonderfully smooth, this complex red spends at least 24 months including 9 in barrel in the cellar before release. All of this makes Ars Nova the perfect choice for richer, meat-based tapas such as Chorizo al Vino.
For my final selection I have gone with Spain’s most unique wine-style, Sherry. Now I know for a lot of people, thinking of Sherry brings up images Granny falling asleep on the sofa after Christmas dinner, but I can assure you that perhaps the best Tapas & Wine match of all, is a good dry Fino or Manzanilla style Sherry paired with some of the saltier tapas dishes such as Boquerones al Vinagre (Pickled white anchovies) or for a real treat with some Pata Negra Ibérico ham. There are lots of delicious examples of dry Sherry to be found, but a good place to start would be to try the iconic Tio Pepe.