A wine for each can of preserves

conservas

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.

anchoas_conserva

What about anchovies?

gitana

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?

 

 

 

 

Empanada Gallega, Octopus and Albarino

On today’s post, I will discuss 2 Galician dishes that can be matched with one of the greatest Spanish grapes, Albarino. One of the most beautiful aspects of wine drinking is that you can match the wines with the regional foods where the wine come from.

An empanada galicia is a large, pie-shaped  hails from Galicia, Spain. Galicia is  an “autonomous community” within Spain, with its own language – Galician. They first appeared in Medieval Iberia during the time of the Moorish invasions. A cookbook published in Catalan in 1520 mentions empanadas filled with seafood among its recipes of Catalan, Italian, French, and Arabian food. It is believed that empanadas and the very similar calzones are both related from the Arabic meat-filled pies, samosas

Any empanada recipe can be prepared in the shape of a pie, and might be called an “empanada gallega”, but the Spanish version has certain unique characteristics. Empanadas are in, Spain, Portugal, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Philippines,a type of stuffed pastry.The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

The dough of a Galician empanada is slightly different than typical Latin American-style empanada one, as it is made with olive oil and yeast. The Spanish traditional filling is a delicious mix of onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, tuna, and might include hardboiled eggs, and seasoned with smoky pimenton paprika. The empanada is often baked in a paella pan, thought you can also do it in a pizza pan.

Pulpo a la gallega -Galician style octopus- is a century old recipe,  because octopus has been consumed in this autonomous region for longer than we can count. Octopus was one of the few types of seafood that was transported from the coasts to the interior towns and in fact it was far more appreciated in the interior than near the sea.

When America was discovered many products appeared in the Spanish gastronomy, including a  spice obtained from some crushed red chiles , in Spanish they call it pimentón, in English: paprika.

Not only does paprika give a tempting reddish tinge, but it was also great for preserving food in those time before frozen products and easy land transportation were available.

But it wasn’t until a few years later that pulpo a la gallega became and actual dish. Some 125 years ago, when muleteers went to cattle fairs, they bought large amounts of octopus and then they’d prepare it with olive oil and paprika. Quite simple.

The name in galician for pulpo a la gallega is “pulpo a feira” (fair style octopus) for a very simple reason. During the cattle fairs the farmers would buy or sell cattle, sell their farm products, etc, and buy groceries such as salt, sugar and other products they didn’t have daily access to.

The trip to the town where the fair took place took a long time and most people would stay for lunch or dinner. Those who stayed near the fair venue could eat octopus (as we’ve mentioned before, it was a very typical dish in fairs).

The “pulpeiras” (specialized in octopus) would cook the animal in copper cauldrons and serve it in wooden plates. It is said that the copper pot gives it an incomparable taste that it’s impossible to obtain with any other material.

Wines for these Spanish delicacies:

Voir la photo agrandie du produit. Cette photo s'ouvre dans une visionneuse et peut comporter des obstacles à l'accessibilité.

Pazo de Senorans Albarino 2013. SAQ Code: 00898411. Price: $27.30

On the nose, medium intensity aromas of lemon,green apple, and diverse stone fruits. In addition, diverse  floral notes such as acacia. In the mouth, mineral driven with pear like flavors alike. Fresh, firm and with a racy finale. 90\100

Voir la photo agrandie du produit. Cette photo s'ouvre dans une visionneuse et peut comporter des obstacles à l'accessibilité.

Terras Gauda O Rosal 2014. SAQ Code: 10858351. Price: $24.00

On the nose the wine displays a generous nose of ripe peach with aromatic hints of bay leaf, mint, orange blossom, tangerine  and orange peel. On the palate it displays lots of  character  with a classic body and sensational fruitiness. Succulent and dense, it shines with  an elegant creamy sensation. 92\100

Have a good week!!