I had a chance to attend the Spanish Pantry, 2009 event yesterday afternoon at Gotham Hall:
We met Spanish wine producers, sampled some very delicious riojas and even sampled some typical Spanish food (yes, I dared to!)
Here are some pictures of the foods available:
Marcona Almonds (didn't sample, natch):
Baby eels (passed on those too):
Black salt (black from carbon, tasted artisanal and looked dramatic):
Manchego Artesano (OMG):
Iberico Jamon (OMGx2):
I stuck to the cheese platter mainly as manchego is a favorite and I tried the jamon, er, several times. And yes I can have hard cheese even though I’m lactose intolerant. (Here’s Steven Pinker talking about that on Colbert Report at time index: 3.26).
As for wine, I didn’t take any pictures but I can tell you what was quite good and maybe you can find them at a retailer or wine bar near you.
I tried some bubbly cavas, the Spanish version of champagne. Cavas del Castillo de Perelada was my favorite: not too dry but not too sweet and would retail for about $10USD (as would most of the below - or less!).
A chilled rose by Bodegas Monte Odina called Monte Odina Rosado 2008 had a deep pink color, a full fruit taste and a very clean finish. It would be my choice for a summer tipple.
My favorite white by Vintae was Libalis 2008. It turned out to be based on the Muscat grape, not surprising as I love that in Greek wine as well. Chilled, heavy fruit, almost raisiny; more sweet, not as dry-yum.
My favorite red was a cab blend from Jordán de Asso called Jordán de Asso Barrica 2005. It was fruity and light, very potable--I was doing more drinking than tasting.
Overall, I realized how every drinkable Spanish wines are for my delicate palate (I don’t love bold, big reds, or too much spice or tannins) and how very affordable they are for my wallet. I hope many of these tasty libations find their way to New York distributors and restaurant tables very soon.