The weather is hot, and our summer cravings navigate across an almost infinite sea of salads, cold soups – gazpacho, salmorejo, ceviche – carpaccio, and more. It’s about keeping up with the season and avoiding heavy winter fare. Eating light can be delicious too.
Raw shellfish, simply prepared, is among the food that immediately comes to mind in summer. Raw oysters drizzled in lemon invite the freshness of a sparkling wine with good acidity. The range of possibilities opens up, however, if we consider a dry white wine, not excessively aromatic so that it doesn't mask the flavours. Given how close Penedès is to the coast, the local preference is to pair oysters with Xarel·lo, which has proven to be a winning combination. Any Xarel·lo in particular? Vinyarets White, of course.
Simply perfect: Vinyarets White paired with an ideal summer dish.
The same style of wine also combines well with cooked seafood that is served cold, such as shrimp, prawns, or clams. Albariños, like Pazo das Bruxas, and Verdejos, like Celeste Verdejo, are both excellent choices.
When it comes to larger, meatier shellfish like lobster or spiny lobster, a salad with a dried fruit vinaigrette makes for an exquisite side, especially if paired with an oak-aged Chardonnay. Here Sons de Prades from Familia Torres is just the ticket.
In the search for absolute freshness, nothing beats cold (or cool) soups. Spain serves up salmorejo, gazpacho, and ajo blanco, which might initially seem difficult to pair given the complicated, acidic ingredients involved. Venturing further afield, we encounter other tantalizing options like Tarator – a cold Bulgarian cucumber soup with yoghurt and dill – or a cold creamy pumpkin and orange soup from Morocco. In this case, Verdejos, sparkling wines, and, above all else, the seductive green of a chilled Sauvignon Blanc like Fransola top the list. But if we're looking to match the cool, creamy sensations of a vichyssoise, a Chardonnay will add an “extra touch” that transforms the experience into a palate caress.
Fransola paired with a salt cod esqueixada salad with tomato, onion, and olives.
We shouldn't, of course, forget about the reds. On this occasion, we'll focus on light red wines with good acidity, fruit intensity, and just the right amount of tannins. These kinds of reds can be served at a cooler temperature without losing their personality and allow for interesting combinations – for example, a diced beef confit salad with a sweet-and-sour red fruit vinaigrette. Vinyarets Red or our brand new Secret del Priorat are two options that culminate the search for delightful palate sensations.
This concludes our brief guide to inspire the imagination – hopefully it has made you curious about pairing some typical summer dishes with Familia Torres wines. Cheers!
Summer afternoon at the Pacs del Penedès winery, a Familia Torres property