Classic Pairings: Oxtail stew with Spanish Rioja

Mountain ranges isolate Rioja from coastal influence.  Close to the coast, but Rioja is generally dry and hot especially in Rioja Baja. Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa are further up north stretching up the mountain ranges, these two regions are blanketed with cooler climate.  Rioja is world renowned for its red wine, usually a blend of mostly Tempranillo, some Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The Earth speaks through a glass of Rioja, showcasing elegant earthiness, spice and herb.

Wine and Food Living

beef stew with shaved parmesan

France has Burgundy, Spain is proud of Rioja, earthy wine at its finest. Many regional dishes, a la Riojana or style of Rioja, are seemingly meant to pair effortlessly with red Rioja.  Oxtail is a great example.  Cheaper cut of meat, yet can be transformed into something out of this world.  Removed after quick pan-seared in olive oil, then onion is caramelized in rendered chunks of Chorizo, Chorizo a la Riojana and no less.  All simmered for hours in red Rioja, blending all flavors together for a bite to remember. 

Aged minimum of 3 years with at least 1 year in Oak, nothing will taste better with this Oxtail stew than Rioja Reserva.  Intense and rich mouthfeel, full body wine laced with earthiness and spice, sip by sip will have you question your senses.  Rioja Reserva has the structure to balance through this hearty dish, while spices and herbal scents provoke your palate for just another bite.   This is what wine and food pairing is all about, simple and effortless, or better described rather as wine and food living.  Cheers!

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