June 28, 2022 by Arden Montgomery
Best Wine for Spanish Food
The flavors of Spanish cuisine are distinguished for their boldness, their breadth, and their utter deliciousness. Foods with storied regional histories as well as a habit of integrating sumptuous culinary traditions from neighboring countries combine to bring us such iconic dishes as tapas, paella, and gazpacho. These munchable mains are of course to be preceded by the proverbial charcuterie board of cured meats, cheeses, and fruit and veg dishes produced within the Iberian peninsula.
Spain has also given the world an array of sweets to follow the savories, with treats like flan, churros, and pantxineta. We’re getting hungry just thinking about it.
As is true for many countries, Spain’s food and wine cultures go hand-in-hand, and pairing the right bottle with the right comida de España is an artform in and of itself. A properly selected viticultural beverage will bring out the complexity in any Spanish dish, while itself shining through to delight the palate. Let’s talk about how to make this happen at your next fiesta de cena.
How to pair wine with Spanish food
Traditional Spanish fare is complex and varied, and it can be difficult to pin down one vino that pairs across the board. So the first thing you need to do when choosing your next bottle for the job is to take a look at the main ingredients in your dish or spread and go from there.
Riojas or other red wines are best matched with dense, heavy dishes that rely on cream, cheese, red meat or pork as they are bold enough to both stand up to stronger flavors, and cut through fats and oils. If you prefer white, look for acidic varietals like Sauvignon Blanc or a drier Riesling to achieve the same effect. These bottles are also an excellent pair for seafood as they won’t overwhelm the more delicate flavors offered by mariscos. If your main dish is very pepper-forward, lean away from acidic or tannin-heavy wines and into something sweeter to help soothe the sting of a spicy meal.
When all else fails, the bottle to reach for may prove a rosé. Spanish cuisine relies heavily on that most beloved allium garlic, and a pink pairing will always uplift and complement the resulting flavors.
Best wine to pair with Spanish food
- 2019 Anza Diego Magaña Rioja – $31
We’re kicking off this list with probably the best pairing for Spanish food within the Argaux collection – Navarra native Diego Magaña’s signature Rioja blend.
The sumptuous Tempranillo-forward red is a testament to both the varietals of the region – this blend incorporates Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo, Viura and Malvasía Riojana – and the terroirs offered by the Spanish soils in which the 50-year-old vines are grown. Smooth tannins, a distinct chalky texture, and notes of cherry and purple flower beg to be paired with a strong queso, or this chorizo and shrimp paella.
- 2019 Anza Diego Magaña Rioja – $31
- 2019 François Carillon Bourgogne Chardonnay – $30
An acidic and citrusy Chard that we would take sailing down the Riviera any day. Finished in oak barrels, the sustainably farmed white wine offers notes of lime, pear and peach that complement a salinity which make the bottle compatible with a range of savory treats.
A decidedly French vino, this wine loves vacationing in Spain, especially if this grilled oregano chicken is on the menu.
- 2020 San Salvatore ‘Vetere’ Paestum Rosé – $30
A sangria-ready rosé that will surely feature at all of your summer gatherings this year. This wine comes decked out with its own array of fruity flavors that promise to enliven your experience of any green salad, or soothe the fire after downing an especially spicy salsa.
We recommend matching these notes of sensuous pink and red fruits and flowers with a Spanish-style green chili shakshuka or this lighthearted gazpacho.
- NV Conquilla Cava Brut (half-bottle) – $13
The perfect sparkly sip to accompany your 4 PM tapas.
Cava is a traditional Spanish bubbly that has flown under the radar and at incredibly low prices in the wake of Prosecco’s wild popularity (take our advice: buy Cava now before the general populous gets wise!)
Cava is the beverage for Spanish finger foods, and this one in particular will pair marvelously with tortilla de patatas, grilled squid, or roasted red peppers with vinegar and garlic.
- 2019 Origin Bates Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon MAGNUM – $150
If it grows together, it goes together, as the saying goes. Much of the country of Spain lines up longitudinally with the west coast states, meaning Spanish food and Californian wines are serendipitously well matched. This beautiful Cab Sauv makes that pairing abundantly clear with the prominent illustration of a majestic Spanish bull right on the label.
Deep flavors of dark fruits, an utterly smooth texture and silky tannins make drinking this wine feel like sipping liquid black velvet. Naturally, it is an intuitive pairing with Galician sirloin steak, and a flamenco soundtrack.
What Argaux has to offer
This list of delectable wines from the Argaux collection is by no means an exhaustive one. The choice is yours when it comes to which wines to pair with what foods, and we have a cellar full of selections to suit all tastes and sensibilities.
If you feel like doing some viticultural explorations from the comfort of your own home, check out our ‘Gaux baskets, which include hand-selected bottles from the Mediterranean coast, Champagne, France, California, and more.
If your goal is to drink wine and learn while doing it, may we suggest the blind tasting kit? 2 – 4 wrapped bottles, accompanied by a detailed tasting guide, allows you to build your tasting expertise while having fun, on your own or with friends.
Or, if you’re looking for the perfect bottle to go with a special evening, download our pocket somm app and get professional advice from our on-staff sommeliers.