Six exquisite culinary delights were combined with six Castellano-Manchego wines, which are absolutely perfect "for an aperitif or short business lunch," the same representing an initiative of ASICCAZA, with the Minister of Agriculture for Castilla-La Mancha in charge of opening the doors to the session
"If two powerful products, such as wine and wild game meat, are combined, the harmony they create is absolutely visible," affirmed the renowned Spanish wine maker at the activity organized by the Spanish Interprofessional Association of Wild Game Meat, which is presided over at FENAVIN by Florencio Rodríguez, with José Luis Martínez, Minister of Agriculture for Castilla-La Mancha and President of the Castilla-La Mancha Tierra de Viñedos Foundation being in charge of opening the doors to the event.
With the capacity of the event limited to 30 persons, rather scarce for what was needed, Chef Javier Huertas of the Restaurant Santa Cruz delighted the audience with a series of exquisite wild game dishes paired, or rather harmonized, with Castilla-La Mancha wines.
Ingots of duck foie with wild forest berry jam; Grandmother Cándida's partridge pate on a bed of raspberry coulis with cherry oil; loin of deer in its own juices with caramelized pine nuts; quail drumsticks stewed in a panache of wild mushrooms; Piquillo peppers stuffed with wild boar meat and dried apricots stewed in its own juices and, finally, mushrooms stuffed with Manchego Galiano in the company of sweet potato crocante and Ibérico shavings.
These exquisite delights were harmonized, or paired, with the following Castilla-La Mancha wines: Chardonay Virgen made by Viñas de Tomelloso; Yuntero Rosado 2010 from Manzanares; Garnacha de Cien y Pico from Manchuela; Canforrales Selección 2009 from El Provencio; Casalobos 2006 from Picón and Grial de Abalon 2003 made by Arva Vitis de Manzanares.
Prestigious winemakers also participated in the tasting session, none other than Vicente Sánchez-Migallón, (former president of the International Union of Winemakers) and Ignacio de Miguel Poch, consultant to various wineries, among them, Casalobos; along with the President of ASICCAZA, Florencio Rodríguez and the Association's Manager, Jaime Hurtado.
Generating synergies between different products and changing the concept
Florencio Rodríguez underscored that this "gastronomic blend" takes advantage of the synergies of the different products to achieve a good offer on the market at any time of the year. José Luis Martínez also thanked ASICCAZA for organizing the food pairing session, commenting how good of an idea it was to generate synergies between the different food sectors, something that he considers to be of paramount importance.
In view of the coming spring and summer season, Vicente Sánchez-Migallón underlined that "we must change the concept of the never-ending winter meals when game meat is involved, as game meat is also suitable for shorter events, such as aperitifs or business lunches and, indeed, wild game meat does have something to say in this respect." Further along in the session he also referred to a healthy diet: "Game meat is obtained from an animal that lives in nature, reared in absolute freedom, hence, representing one of the best and healthiest food products to be consumed in moderation, as it barely has any fat content."
A beautifully cooled Muscatel with wild boar
Ignacio de Miguel also stressed this rather liberal point of view, brandishing the words "freedom and the power of taste over and beyond any imposition." "My two passions are hunting and wine, and despite the fact that I enjoy a Syrah wine with boar meat, I think it is just fine that someone else may prefer a nicely cooled Muscatel wine with boar meat, why not, as nobody can impose what we want to harmonize, word that I consider much better than pairing."
ASICCAZA is a non-profit association in which organizations representing the production sector (such as Associations of Owners of Game Reserves, Spanish Royal Hunting Federation…) and the transformation sector (game meat cutting plants) are grouped together. Improving the quality of the products they champion is one of the organization's goals, for which in the year 2009 it certified the first quality mark for game meat in Spain, "Calidaz".