The Spanish is one of the most varied European cuisines and an emblem of the “Mediterranean diet”. Its recipes are a journey through time, from ancient ages to the future of gastronomy. We want to recommend some typical Spanish dishes and pairings with wines.
Spain is very diverse in terms of climate and topography. Each region has key ingredients that define the personality of its recipes, forming a single, tasty and a fascinating national identity.
The Spanish cultural foundations are marked by prolonged occupations: Phoenician, Greek, Roman and especially Moor. Each of these nations brings their spices and foods, such as almonds, oranges and lemons. In Andalusia, you can even find some recipes from Gypsy origin, as berza gaditana (a complex stew type dish prepared in a pot with beans, pork, sausages and vegetables).
Besides, Spanish cuisine has deep religious roots. Many sweet and savory dishes are prepared for different feasts of the liturgical calendar. Some are prepared only during specific periods of religious holidays, such as hornazo of Salamanca (a type of pie filled with meat, sausages, ham and egg), traditionally served during Easter, and that cannot be found for the rest of the year.
On the other hand, there are some common denominators in Spanish cuisine, such as the use of olive oil for the preparation of most dishes. Spain is the leading producer of this product and has over 250 varieties of olive oils and 27 appellations of origin.
Very popular are also grilled or cooked vegetables like escalibada (aubergine), a Catalan appetizer made from baked eggplant and red pepper and seasoned with olive oil. Try it with Casillero del Diablo Carmenere and enjoy the juiciness and flavor that intertwine and create a wonderful set.Some products are really fundamental and defining Spanish cuisine. During the long warm Iberian summer, nothing cools better than a cold portion of gazpacho made with tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper and onion. This dish, along with a glass of Casillero del Diablo Shiraz Rose, is the quintessence of summer.
The characteristic grain of Spanish cuisine is naturally rice. Rice for paella is round and corresponds to the variety called bomba. Paella can be cooked with meat, seafood or a mixture of both. Each region has its own version of paella. This dish was born in the eighteenth century in Horta de Valencia and quickly became popular throughout the country. After the Spanish civil war, the country wanted to develop tourism and find a national emblematic dish. The paella was the winner for several reasons: the rice was cheap, easy to prepare and above all, containing the colors of the national flag (tomato and red pepper and saffron rice).
Paella is a dish that allows us to match it with many wine styles, from whites to reds. However, I want to recommend Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay. This white wine from Limarí Valley, doesn’t only harmonize with the marine flavors of paella, but also its coastal personality refreshes and intensifies the complex flavors of the dish.
As I mentioned earlier, the proximity of the Mediterranean Sea is manifested in a wide variety of seafood, fundamental for the creation of the famous tapas. Besides olives, Spanish omelet, hash potatoes or patatas bravas, we can find many marine versions, such as garlic shrimp, squid in its ink, Galician octopus, grilled octopus (served with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika) or marinated anchovies. To accompany tapas, nothing goes better than a crisp and juicy wine with marked notes of citrus and tropical fruit. I invite you to try these seafood-based tapas with Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc.
And for all of you who enjoy desserts and pastries, Spain is a paradise. Each party and each region has its own version of flan, cake, rice pudding and cookies. In many recipes you can find honey, lemon, cinnamon, anise and almonds. One of the specialties is Spanish nougat, sweet dough obtained by cooking honey (or sugar) and egg whites, in which peeled and roasted almonds, are incorporated.After a hearty Spanish Mediterranean-style party it is required to finish the meal with a last step.
Do not forget that Spain is a producer of great cheeses like sheep cheese Zamorano and Manchego; blue cheese from Asturias, Murcia wine cheese and many others. For these delicious cheeses from sheep and goats, I recommend a white wine like Trio Sauvignon Blanc. With its medium body and well marked acidity, it complements perfectly these cheeses.But the Spanish cuisine also has its meat face. Hams and sausages of this country have world-class fame. Iberian ham, for example, is produced from the meat of pigs fed with acorns. There are different ham types, depending on the pigs’ food. The famous term “Pata Negra” is a common name and refers directly to the breed of the pig. Try it with Casillero del Diablo Merlot.
To conclude this trip through Spain, I have quick, easy and delicious recipe for you a. It is an almond cake (traditionally prepared for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela). Try it with Casillero del Diablo Late Harvest and feel the wonderful notes of this great culinary history.
Ingredients for a round mold (10-12 servings)
• 375 gr almond flour
• 375 gr sugar
• 8 eggs
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• Zest of one lemon
• Powder sugar for decoration
- Mix sugar and eggs.
- Besides, mix almond flour with cinnamon and lemon zest. Now mix the two.
- Prepare baking dish (with oil and breadcrumbs). Pour the cake blend into the mold.
- Bake 30 minutes at 180 °C.
- Garnish with powdered sugar.