How do you approach food? Are you a vegetarian? Vegan? Carnivore? How important is organic? Biodynamic? What about GMO’s? Well today’s food and wine pairing features a delicious meal paired with a lovely USDA Certified organic wine that is verified as part of the non-GMO program. Even better the wine is from Spain!
The Wine: Spartico Non-Sulfite added organic Spanish wine. This wine was a blend of 50% Tempranillo and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. It had a screw cap closure. It poured a deep ruby into the glass; aromas of summertime berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and black raspberries, were joined by notes of baking spices, chocolate, licorice and vanilla; it was juicy and delicious, round acidity and dusty tannins coat the palate; this wine was not complex, yet it was pleasant and easy to drink; medium body; well-balanced and good structure make it an enjoyable Spanish table wine for an easy weeknight meal. 13% alcohol. Stainless steel fermentation. Only native yeast used in this vegan certified wine. Ready to drink upon purchase; no aging or decanting necessary.
The Food Pairing: Tempranillo is the classic Spanish grape. It is bold, rustic and delicious. Blending it with Cabernet Sauvignon only makes it more bold (no wilting violets here). The food will need to stand up to the weight of the wine. Additionally, I was guessing the tannins would be pronounced (turned out to be a nice dusty finish) so this wine would need to paired with some fat for balance.
My Choice: I took a slight risk my pairing. I chose a grilled tri-tip steak (easy) topped with a homemade chimichurri sauce (risky due to the spice.) Spicy food tends to pair better with a slightly sweet wine like a Riesling or Moscato or a fruity wine like Sauvignon Blanc. Big reds are not typically a go to wine for spice. However, chimichurri is an authentic Argentinian flavor; although I adore Torrontes from Argentina, the true wine of Argentina is Malbec. Furthermore, I know for a fact Argentinians enjoy Malbec with chimichurri so I was going to give it a shot.
The Results: Delicious! The meal turned out perfect! Both my husband and daughter said they felt like they were eating a restaurant meal! I cooked one steak medium rare and one medium, topped with the delicious chimichurri (that had a nice kick) and served with spiralized sweet potatoes and shredded Brussels sprouts that I tossed in EVOO, salt, and pepper, then roasted in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. The wine had a nice rustic quality that really balanced out beautifully with the steak and chimichurri, no problems with the touch of crushed red pepper heat at all. Furthermore, the wine had a soft sweetness from its chocolate and vanilla notes that blended beautifully with the sweet potato side. Another winner!
About Bodegas Iranzo from the Wines of Spain web site:
Bodegas Iranzo produces one of the oldest estate-bottled wines in Spain. The first recorded evidence of the Cañada Honda estate owned by the Iranzo Perez–Duque family dates back to 1335 in the form of a written grant by King Pedro I of Castilla. Bodegas Iranzo is the only vineyard in Europe located in a National Reserve Park. Since 1994, Bodegas Iranzo has produced wine exclusively from organically grown grapes; it is one of the first bodegas in Spain to be certified organic by the EU organic and to receive USDA National Organic Program certification.
About the vineyards from Bodegas Iranzo web site:
The present vineyard was designed and laid out in 1983 with a view to achieving two distinct but complementary objectives: the production of wines of the finest quality; and total respect for the environment. The volume of wine produced takes second place to both these objectives.
The vine cultivation system used encourages the creation of a micro-climate at the level of the plant’s organs, with optimum temperature, insulation and humidity constants for producing grapes that ripen perfectly, a fundamental factor in obtaining quality fruit with the minimum of human intervention.
The vineyard is fertilized using sheep’s manure from extensively farmed flocks in the local district. No special action needs to be taken against animal parasites, as the vines have not suffered significant attacks thanks to their balanced development and the conservation of the fauna which are not harmed by their cultivation practices that prey on such pests.
My Song Selection: This was a wine with mass appeal, it had nice flavors well blended with good structure; not complex but easy and pleasing. Therefore, my song choice reflects the same, mass appeal, good, with energy but not complex.
Get your own bottle of Spartico Organic Wine and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!