Last evening Noche Española was put on by Verona18 at the Copper Valley Golf Course Grandview room. Jaime Alderete, Executive Chef and part of the new management team, prepared some excellent and creative dishes for the evening. This was the new management’s first wine pairing dinner and it was a solid effort by all involved.
Upon entering the Grandview room, you were treated to 2018 Juan Gil Jumilla Blanco white wine. This is from 100% Moscatel grapes from the northern portion Jumilla. This area is just north of Murcia in the southeast of Spain. This wine is a light straw color on the eyes. Aromatic included both Jasmine and honeysuckle. On the palate a very dry acidic taste with gnarly mineral flavors with a soft finish of lemon. This was paired with Manchega, Jamon Serranto and slices of spicy chorizo.
Next up was a 2018 Albariño from O’Fillo da Condesa from Rias Baixas. The area is located in the northwestern area of Spain near Portugal. This wine on the eyes was a bright golden yellow. On the nose, orange blossom, lime and lemon zest. On the palate, grapefruit, salt and a tingly finish. One of the better Albariño I have tasted in the last year. This was paired with Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp) and Patatas Bravas (spicy potatoes). No idea what was in the sauce, but our entire table fell in love with the shrimp! The wine and shrimp provided the best pairing of the evening.
We then moved on to Spanish summer salad called Ensalada Verano de Espana. The salad was tasty but the dressing desensitized any wine pairing. This was more of an intermezzo, so nothing was lost.
This was followed up by one of the more creative Gazpacho (cold tomato soup) dishes I have experienced. This was paired with a 2017 Tridente Tempranillo using 100% Tempranillo grapes. This comes from the Castilla y Leon region about a 2 hour drive north from Madrid. The wine is dry farmed and then aged 15 months in French oak. A symphony of aromas and tastes filled the nose and palate. Blackberries, plum, leather, cedar and oak swirled around with beckoning enticement to sip the wine.
Now for a dish of Paella Valenciana with Saffron Risotto. This is a tradition dish from the Valencia region with ingredients including bell pepper, chicken, paprika, green beans, tomato, saffron, rosemary, seafood and other spices. While rabbit is commonly found in this dish, I don’t recall eating or seeing any! The wine pairing included a 2016 Atteca Granacha “Old Vines” and 2017 Termes Tinto de Toro, Tempranillo. Both wines were delicious and the Granacha “Old Vines” provided raspberry, cocoa, vanilla and black licorice. The Termes Tinto de Toro, meaning blood of the bull, is obviously very dark in color with flavors of black cherry, earthiness and pepper. This is balanced out with plum and boysenberry on the finish. Both wines were enjoyable with the Paella.
The grand finale was the Crema Catalano, crème brûlée. Topped with blueberries, raspberries and sprinkled with powdered sugar! This was a beautifully orchestrated and welcomed semi-sweet dessert after the Spanish meal. This was served with a choice of Vino Dulce de Pasas, Pedro Ximenez de Cosecha and/or Licor Cuarenta Y Tres (43), Diego Zamora.
Live Spanish guitar music filled the background from the talented Nicholas Lefler.
Everyone was genuinely impressed by the foods from Jaime Alderete and wines offered by Verona18. A lovely culinary excursion through Spain. A hint was leaked that in August a French themed dinner may occur.