Day 12 of our 25 Days of Gift Ideas is about Food & Wine pairings. Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein was my guest on Episode 18. His first book, “Perfect Pairings” was such a success, he released “Daring Pairings” this year. In Daring Pairings, Evan ventures into wine’s new frontiers, exploring the flavors and pairing potential of thirty-six distinctive grapes from around the world, including Argentina, Spain, Italy, Greece, and France. He offers advice on crafting unforgettable wine and food pairings, suggests wines for everyday and special occasions, and recommends producers and importers.
A copy of Daring Pairings ($23 on Amazon) is the perfect gift when paired with some fantastic wine, so why not add a few bottles of Emeritus Pinot Noir to the book? Emeritus founder Brice Cutrer Jones was my guest on Episode 6. Brice, who also founded the Sonoma-Cutrer label, is making some amazing Pinot Noir on 150 acres of vineyards in two Sonoma County locations – the home ranch, Hallberg Vineyard, which is in the heart of the Russian River Valley, and William Wesley Vineyard in the coastal mountains of the Sonoma Coast. The wines are available online when you join their mailing list.
I was very happy to be invited to Cape Cod last night by the people at Tapena Wines. They were hosting one of their “Grab a Fork” events at The Port, one of my favorite lower Cape restaurants. Tapena picked up the tab for some fantastic tapas while guests enjoyed the delicious wines from Tapena. Tapena is made by the Ferrer family, whose Spanish wine experience dates back several centuries. Today, the Ferrers operate over 11 wineries in Spain, perhaps best known as the owners of Freixenet, one of the world’s favorite sparkling wines.
All the Tapena wines are very food-friendly, and are crafted from varietals native to Spain – Garnacha ( a beautiful violet hue, dark fruit & spice on the palate, full bodied); Tempranillo (rich and bold with a soft mouth feel, cherry fruit on the palate, a long finish with a hint of coffee & chocolate); Verdejo ( a pale yellow hue, vibrant nose of tropical fruit, bright stone fruit on the palate, crisp & lingering finish) and a Rose (Garnacha, Monastrell & hint of Shiraz – bright strawberry aromas, fresh cherry flavors with a crisp & refreshing acidity). The grapes are cultivated in the heartland of Spain – Tierra de Castilla. Grown outside the highly regulated DO system, these wines benefit from a broader diversity of soils, microclimates and approved grape varieties.
The many guests really enjoyed sampling the variety of different Tapena wines which all went great with the tapas – there were clams casino, quesadillas, bruschetta, tuna and spinach in phyllo. People were surpised and pleased to learn that the wine retails for approximately $10 per bottle – many thought it tasted much more expensive! Guests also got to enter to win copies of “The Spanish Table” cookbook, t-shirts, and a beautiful Tapena copper firepit. It was a really great experience.
The Tapena Grab a Fork tour continues tonight at EmBargo in Hyannis as well as next week in Chicago & Dallas. You can find out more at tapenawines.com or on facebook.com/tapenawines.