The initiative 'Better With Wine' that is promoted by the Ciudad Real wineries and hotel owners will be bringing the richness of Castilla-La Mancha's sweet and sparkling wines paired with delightful culinary works of art to those participating
Spain's richness of wine is beautifully complemented with the country's diverse and exquisite gastronomy, with a few interesting examples of food and wine pairing sessions to take place at the National Trade Fair on Wine (FENAVIN), to be held from May 10th to the 12th. This is the case with pairing of Castilla-La Mancha sparkling and sweet wines with Manchego cuisine, or with the exquisite game meat that is to be presented at the Trade Fair, and including samples of Andalusian cuisine paired with Cordoban Finos and Amontillados. These are attractive activities in which painstaking care has been put in right down to the final touch so that the participants will be able to obtain all the sensations, enjoying excellent wines in the company of delightful works of art that comprise all the gastronomic wisdom of a territory.
A new feature at FENAVIN will be the pairing of game meats with Castilla-La Mancha wines; the same organized by the Interprofessional Game Meat Association of Spain (Asicazza). Just recently created, the idea behind Asicazza is to make the merits of the product known to all and, "is there any better way to do this than with the region's wineries in an incomparable setting," comments Jaime Hurtado, the association's Manager.
Be the same in cooked dishes or stews, with stronger wines; or brine pickled delights and pates with lighter wines, game meat, with its low fat content, "is a perfect fit" in the diet of adults, youths and children, Hurtado informs. With a market that is dedicated to exporting, Asicazza wants to undertake the pending task of domestic trade, "we want the Spanish consumer to value the excellences of the diverse types of game meat, including the same in their daily shopping list; undoubtedly the consumer will have a change of opinion if farmhouse chicken and Montiel partridge are available," he assures.
Fully immersed in the development of the interprofessional association's strategic plans and in market studies on production and the scope of game meat, Asicazza's idea is to mainly direct the food and wine pairing session that is to take place at FENAVIN at the media, so they will learn about and transmit the exquisiteness of this meat, nurtured as it has been by nature, in combination with the very best wines that the region produces. The food pairing session will take place on May 11th, at 12:00 p.m. in the Gastronomic Samples Area, with a capacity that is limited to thirty persons.
The food and wine pairing sessions that are held in the 'Better With Wine' project are already a regular feature, representing an initiative taken by the Ciudad Real Hotel and Wine Producing Industries associations, the same financed by the Ciudad Real Provincial Government and aimed at promotion, training, excellence in wine service and the creation and establishment of wine culture amongst the population. At this edition, the 'Better With Wine' project will surprise the participants with a series of sparkling and sweet wines paired with the province's gastronomic delights. Although it was foreseen to try each type of wine on a certain day, the organization has finally decided to combine three sparkling wines and two sweet wines in the same tasting session "so that the pairing will be more dynamic, evocative and stimulating", with the same taking place on May 10th at 11:15 a.m. in the Gastronomic Samples Area: and on May 11th at 5:30 p.m. in the 'Custodio Zamarra' Hall. Cristina Miranda, of the Hotel Association, reminds us that the main objective behind the sessions is to ensure that the impresario and professional (from both the area and from outside of the province) will have the chance to evaluate the quality of our wines, pairing them with delightful works of culinary art that reinforce the nuances of each wine.
Montilla Finos with Signature Tapas
The Montilla-Moriles Designation of Origin Regulation Council from Cordoba will once again surprise both experts and novices alike with four types of wine (Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez) served with signature tapas. Manuel López Alejandre, Secretary of the Designation of Origin Regulation Council, as representative of the participating wineries, is delighted to once again participate in the Trade Fair (as they have been doing ever since the first edition), because "the results have been magnificent and we really are overjoyed, "he assures. The fact is that for this regulation council, FENAVIN represents the most commercial aspect of the sector, with a multitude of buyers so that the winery can do business, underlining that "the trade fair's approach is very good, not merely reduced to a meeting point where a glass of wine is enjoyed".
The Montilla-Moriles Designation of Origin, which was created in 1945, covers a surface of almost 15 million acres of vineyard, with a production exceeding 26 million liters, basically Fino and Pedro Ximénez, most of which are for the domestic market, mainly Andalusia, although also Madrid, Catalonia and Cantabria. Three million liters are exported to Canada, the United States, Latin America, Japan, Germany, the Benelux, Australia, etc.
As López Alejandre explains, a Fino wine is dry, slightly bitter and saline, while an Amontillado is more powerful in nose, with an amber-like color, accentuated, slightly more bitter and perfumed than a Fino wine. While the Oloroso, the expert continues, is an oxidative Crianza wine, easier for the taster to asses because it is lacking in flor yeast complexity, the Pedro Ximénez is the prototype of a sweet wine, tasting of raisins, dates, "truly like pure honey" in mouth, he comes to affirm.
These exceptional products will be paired with selected signature tapas. Hence, the Fino will be paired with a piccolino of Ibérico ham with olive oil submerged in a shot of Cordoban salmorejo; the Amontillado will be enjoyed with a suckling pig meatball and cream of potatoes with Piquillo peppers coulis; while the Oloroso will be combined with a morsel or "mini-hamburger" of Oxtail Stew with baby onions and Ibérico belly bacon; and the finale will be the Pedro Ximénez with a desert of rice and meringue milk pudding with a sweet wine gelatin.
In charge of the gastronomy will be the Casa Matías restaurant from Cañete de las Torres (Cordoba), whose manager, Matías Vega Ortiz, explains that the idea has been to reflect the typical cuisine of Cordoba, "as the Oloroso for example can be enjoyed as an aperitif or as a more traditional wine that fits perfectly with the oxtail stew and the Pedro Ximénez will also be paired with a very sweet cream with pearls of natural algae gelatin."
As an absolute enthusiast of cuisine and uncompromising champion of the wines of his region, Matías Vega points out that he is not a follower of the philosophy that red wine must be enjoyed with meat, "as these wines from Cordoba can be beautifully combined with any food, but always unhurriedly, leisurely savored in mouth," he concludes.