I have travelled in Spain, and I have enjoyed the cuisine of Spain both at home and abroad - I love it. Diverse and regionally unique, perfect with the local wines, and creative in almost every aspect - Spain rocks when it comes to food. Like many European cuisines, though, Spanish food tends to incorporate a lot of meat or seafood in one way or another. Now, I don't particularly mind this and have enjoyed trips to the Museo del Jamón and have eaten my share of delicious Boquerones en vinagre, but I also live in a vegetarian household. My wife and three kids are full-blown, lifetime vegetarians, and I am about 90% veg. The one thing I miss in my culinary skills department is the ability to really cook meat - I just never do it. I can make you an awesome sandwich with cold-cuts, but ask me to properly temp a piece of fish or identify a cut of meat, and I may need a lifeline. So when I saw this article come across my desk this week, I wanted to share it. I love Spanish Tapas. and doing them vegetarian is much better for my world. When I was in Spain years ago, I bought a book called Tapas, and I use it regularly. Mainly for Gazpacho and a few other items we routinely have, especially in the summer months when we are often dining alfresco. That brings me back to the article linked above and published by the Foods & Wine of Spain Commission. I love croquetas and crispy potatoes, almonds and tangy olives. The choices are endless and delicious. And while we are always looking for ways to eat a bit healthier and limit the meat consumption - here you go. And even you prefer the traditional tapas with fish and meats, you will be equally happy with items mixed in on the table.
And since I am a wine guy and this is a wine school, I would be remiss if I did make mention of a wine to pair with your vegetarian Tapas. I would usually opt for a white or rose to pair, but I actually had a fantastic new red from Spain and one of the most famous producers - Familia Torres - just this morning. The Secret del Priorat, 2018. This is a blend of Garnacha, Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, coming from the powerhouse DOQ Priorat in northeastern Spain. this was a very approachable and soft spoken red with good length on the finish, well-balanced fruit profile and fairly decent complexity. Youthful but not simple. This is a good wine - perhaps not the best name or label (sorry Familia Torres, but the name sucks), but the wine in the bottle is actually quite good. Torres owns some fantastic vineyards in Priorat and makes a number of selections of greater complexity and style, and this wines fits well as an option on the softer and earlier drinking side - perfect with Tapas.
ABOUT THE Author
Brian Mitchell runs The New England Wine Academy, and is responsible for the content of this blog. With over 25 years of drinks industry experience, Brian has learned a few things, but everyday he is learning more. This blog helps to bring that knowledge to you.