When it comes to wine and food pairings, Familia Torres gives us plenty to play with, thanks to its varied selection of wines and appellations of origin. Today we're taking a look at white wines and the many exciting possibilities they offer in terms of successful matches..
About Light Whites
Waltraud (Riesling – DO Penedès), Pazo das Bruxas (Albariño – DO Rías Baixas), Vinyarets White (Xarel·lo – DO Penedès) and Celeste Verdejo (Verdejo – DO Rueda) all fit the category of crisp, light white wines. With their notable acidity, these wines fill the nose and palate with fresh, fruity, floral sensations that range from relatively light to almost airy.
When combining them with food, we should pay particular attention to this magnificent acidity and make sure that we do not accentuate it further. If we consider some classic suggestions, these wines pair beautifully with fish, because their acidity in combination with lemon – or as a substitute thereof – can lighten these dishes, even if the fish in question is relatively oily or the recipe very rich.
Pazo das Bruxas (DO Rías Baixas) stands out for the clean acidity that accompanies the midpalate. The finish is long and persistent. It pairs perfectly with an esqueixada, a salt cod salad with tomato, onion, and olives.
Similarly, these clean-tasting wines, which don't tire the taste buds, go well with a wide range of starters (white meat like poultry, white fish, or salads, as long as these don't come with a sweet dressing). The refreshing effect of these wines, with their crisp accents, also makes them the ideal counterpoint to balance the exuberance of certain stews or roasts.
Waltraud (DO Penedès) is an elegant, firm-bodied, silky wine, a perfect match for the salad pictured above.
Even though all of these wines share a common attribute – their excellent acidity – they present different organoleptic profiles depending on the grape variety: fresh hay, grass, green pepper, apple, citrus, peach and apricot, quince, and flowers can all be found in the full spectrum of green and yellow notes.
With their lively freshness and moderate alcohol, these wines make for a delightful drink.
About Full-bodied and/or Oak-aged Whites
Milmanda and Sons de Prades (both Chardonnays – DO Conca de Barberà), and Fransola (Sauvignon Blanc – DO Penedès) are excellent ambassadors of this group of wines, notable for their lush profile, subtle acidity, and some tannic structure imparted by oak ageing. These wines are surprisingly full on the palate and have good ageing potential. Generally speaking, they display notes of exotic fruit (mango, pineapple, papaya) and dried fruit.
Sons de Prades (DO Conca de Barberà) is a flavourful white wine with delicate extract and a clean, dry finish. It pairs perfectly with a romescada de rape (a monkfish and seafood stew with tomato-garlic-almond romesco sauce) or arroz meloso, a succulent rice with fish and cuttlefish.
These wines welcome creamy textures: recipes that call for cream or butter in their preparation. The fatty content of the dishes reduces the astringency of the wood tannins in the wine, while the acidity of the wine cuts through the richness of the food.
“The simplest trick to bring out the flavour of wines with wood-imparted nuances is to add a pinch of toasted nuts to the food, so that the flavour of the food extends the flavour persistence of the wine.”
Tarragon, honey, or a tiny dash of vanilla can fulfil a similar function. A sauce seasoned with the aforementioned flavours and served with meat or poultry will bring out the nutty, creamy, and occasionally toasty aromas of the wine.
By understanding and appreciating the different nuances – either varietal or derived from the winemaking process – of a white wine, we can discover, fine-tune, and accentuate proven pairings and enjoy them to the full. Every wine is a tiny universe in a bottle, seeking the proximity of our most earthly dishes.