Wine pairings ideas for some popular Spanish Tapas

Nothing screams Spanish more than Tapas, snack-sized plates are meant to share over good conversation and drinks.  Tapas bars are how the Spaniards wind down time; and for lunch, Tapas run on a different, more flexible clock. Tapas bars will put any club-sandwich and french fries to shame with their succulent dishes; each is packed with flavors and texture unique from one another as if they are meant to pair perfectly with different varieties and styles of wines.boquerones en vinagre

Boquerones en vinagre

Fresh anchovies marinated in vinegar and olive oil is a great way to start the meal.  High acidity content of this dish begs for wine with the similar taste;  Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice, especially those of New Zealand.  Bright acidic tastes compliment one another, the vinegar does an an edge over the wine which helps highlights its subtle sweetness.  Good alternatives for this dish can be a glass of Larger or any high-acidic white wine.

Pan Con Tomate

Pan con Tomate

The Spanish version of bread and butter is Pan con Tomate, freshly grilled bread rubbed with ripe tomato drizzled with a touch of olive oil and sea salt.  With this, a glass of Penedes sparkling is to die for.  Sweetness in both tomatoes and wine shine over the natural acidity in this dish, nuttiness in Penedes sparkling echos with the bread’s toasty sense.  If sparkling isn’t at hand, Penedes also produces very tasty dry and crisp white wine from the same grapes used in its sparkling wine.  They too can pair well with Pan con Tomate.

Jamon Serrano

Jamon and Jamon Iberico

It wouldn’t be Tapas without a few slices of Jamon.  Whole leg of ham cured by mountain air is the heart of soul of Spanish culinary.  A popular pairings for Jamon is with Sparkling wines, its high salt content really brings out the sweetness in sparkling wine.  For fattier cuts such as from the Maza, a better pairings calls for dry Manzanilla sherry; dry sherry has enough body and texture to cut through a fatty cut of Jamon while enhancing its natural nutty flavors.

Paprika seared prawns with caramelized garlic

Gambas al Ajillo

Sauteed shrimps in olive oil ad Garlic-sherry sauce and a touch of sweet Paprika, this is finger-licking good.  Shrimps pair well with citrus, in addition of garlic, Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre, Verdelho and Roussanne will do great.  Bright acidity helps cleanse the palate bite after bite while citrus notes enhance the natural ocean-fresh flavors of shrimps or any shellfish. 


Pulpo a la Gallega

Boiled, then grilled octopus tossed in olive oil and smoked Paprika is a Galician specialty, usually served with finger-potatoes.  Galicia locates in the far northwest of Spain, the area grows the best Verdelho and Albarino.  No wonder, both these wines pair effortlessly with this paprika-rich octopus dish. For a more adventurous pairings, try red Rioja Joven (young red wine from Rioja).

scallops white wine cream sauce

Vieiras con Romesco

Romesco is simple yet tasty sauce originated from Catalunya, Northeast of Spain.  A blend of roasted garlic, peppers and nuts is all it takes to make this sauce.  When served with seared scallops, a small flash of cream helps bring the sauce together.   Albarino could pair nicely with scallops alone; but with heavy sauce, this dish demands a more robust white wine with more texture and body, such as Oak-aged Chardonnay or Rueda Verdejo.  The nutty flavor in Romesco sauce may also pair well with Navarra Rose’.


Setas al Ajillo

Mushroom is abundant in Catalunya; but when it comes to mushroom and wine pairings, it’s hard to surpass Aged red Rioja.  If there is a perfect pairing, as if they were meant to be together: Sauteed garlic mushrooms and a glass of red Rioja Reserva. Aged red Rioja is praised for its complexity and texture, layered with flavors of earth, leather, smoke and dust -it is the perfect match with grilled or sauteed mushroom.   For Pinot Noir fans, mushroom goes well with Oregon, California central coast Pinot Noir and of course red Burgundy.

Iberico Burger

Iberico de Ballota Sliders

Iberico pork isn’t limited to just Jamon, the highly flavor pork can be very versatile in everyday cooking.  Grilled peppers and Spanish mayo top over Iberico pork burgers, talk about goodness in one bite.  It is a rich dish and needs a big wine to rival.  Argentina Malbec, Zinfandel and Toro Tempranillo are all great choices for this mouth-watering bite.


lamb rack Cordero Asado

Young Lamb rubbed with sea salt and Mediterranean herbs, then grilled over open fire, as simple as it sounds, the lamb turns out juicy and packed with flavors. In Ribera del Duero, Spain, locals like to pair it with their Tempranillo Reserva. This is an popular dish enjoyed from all over the world and can be pair with a variety of medium to full-bodied red wines, such as Red Bordeaux, Priorat, Red Rhone Valley, Napa Valley or Coonrawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, and Barossa Shiraz. 

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1 Response

  1. Jimmy says:

    Absolutley wonder ful food and wine pairings.

    Spainsh Jamon Iberico is ESSENTIAL with great wine.

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