World Tour of Wine

Priorat Bodegas La Cartuja with Garlic Pan Fried Chorizo

The Spanish wine region of Priorat is just South of Penedès and is one of Spain’s newer regions.  Even though the region has been producing wine for quite some time, it really hit its stride in the 1990’s.  The region’s terrain is sprinkled with volcanic minerals, which give the grapes a unique flavor.

I wanted to try a red from Spain, and settled on a bottle of Bodegas La Cartuja 2011.  I am slowly starting to get the pairing bit, so I decided to pair my wine with another tapa – Garlic Pan-Fried Chorizo and Bread.

Ok, this wine is delicious.  It has a beautiful ruby-red color and smells of plums, warm cooked fruits and dark cherries.  The palette is multidimensional.  It has the initial taste of the same warm cooked fruits and cherries as the nose, but it also has hints of spices, black pepper and tannins.

la cartuja and chorizo

My tapas did not turn out as pretty as the cookbook picture, but it was still tasty.  I used fresh chorizo, instead of pre-cooked (whoops), but I think in the end it added to the dish.  The bread sopped up the juices from the fresh chorizo, making the small bites rich and spicy.

I was a little concerned the wine wouldn’t hold up to my dish, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The spiciness of the wine paired well with the sausage, and made for an overall yummy experience.

The La Caruja is 70% Garnacha, 30% Cariñena, and reminded me of Maison Bleue’s Grenache (which I also love).  Yum!

I also tried a glass of Protocolo Vino de la Tierra de Castilla 2010 Tempranillo.  This wine was also quite tasty and had the same warm cooked fruits and stone fruit palette and nose as the La Cartuja.  It did lack the spice of the La Cartuja, but paired nicely with my steak sandwich.

The wines of Spain have so far been very impressive and helped to grow my understanding of wine and my palette.  I am looking forward to more!



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