They are always there. In some lonely house drawer, or in our pantry. They are a fast solution when we are very hungry or when do we receive an unexpected visit. I am taking about tin cans. For years they, have been underestimated perhaps for being too practical and for their mundane presence in all the houses, but for a while their quality has been improving and they have become in some cases true objects of desire.
Not long ago I read an article on tin cans in the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo. The title was: Latas de conserva: de comida de subsistencia a producto de culto. In english, it means: Tin Cans: from subsistence fare to cult products. The article explains well the high quality and almost artisanal aspect of the Spanish tin industry. I highly recommend that you read it. Having lived in Spain, I can corroborate this fact. You can find amazing preserves for 3 or 5 euros.
In the last few years, the popularity of high quality tin cans has exploded in Quebec, Canada. From every hipster restaurant from Au pied du Cochon to Le Vin Papillon and Maison Publique, you see on the menu a plate consisting of a conserve or two. However, it was not all the times like this.
In my recollection when I came to Montreal in 1994, there were maybe 2 or 3 fine grocery stores where you could gourmet tin cans. I used and still go on a regular basis to la Libreria Espanola, where they have an excellent selection of Spanish Tin Cans. Les Douceurs du Marche in the Atwater market has some good stuff as well.
Wines and Tin Cans.
The combinations are endless , due mainly to the wide range of products and flavors of the preserves, and to the great variety of Spanish wines of premium quality that we enjoy today in the Canadian market.
For clams and mussels, I like different whites such as Marqués de Cáceres Verdejo Rueda 2015 ( SAQ # 12861609, $14.00. LCBO VINTAGES #: 461400, $14.95) or Paco & Lola Albarino 2015 ( SAQ # 12475353, $17.20. LCBO VINTAGES #: 350041)
For the fish and seafood preserves that involve some type of sauce, I will choose an intense and aromatic Verdejo such as El gordo del Circo ( SAQ # 12748171, $20.95. LCBO VINTAGES # 441220, $17.95). With sardines and sardinillas, I will choose a wonderful rosado such as Torres Vina Esmeralda 2016 ( SAQ # 13204803, $17.00. LCBO VINTAGES # 490920. $13.95.
What about anchovies?
Txakolis, would be muy first choice of wine when to drink with anchovies. Sadly, there is very little in Canada and the tiny amounts are only available in private imports. With anchoas en conservas, I will go for La Gitana Manzanilla ( SAQ # 12284039, $22.05. LCBO VINTAGES#: 745448, $16.95 for 500 ml. The pungent and umami like flavours of the anchovies would compliment nicely the briny and chalky notes of La Gitana.
Asparagus and Artichokes.
For me, it is hearsay talk is difficult to match wine with the abvove two vegetables. For the delicates flavours of the Asparagus, I would choose a Baron de Ley 2016 ( SAQ # 10357572, $14.30). A mostly monovarietal Viura, with its non intrusive floral and citric notes will not disturb the delicate notes of the asparagus.
For the picky artichoke, the perfect partner would be another manzanilla. This time, I would choose the Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe Extra Dry ( SAQ # 00242669, $19.45, LCBO # 231829, $17.95. A lovely wine that displays notes of green almonds, tobacco with green apple peel.
Whate are some of your experiences matching preserves and wine?