Classic pairings: Pulpo a’ feira with Albarino, Verdejo or even better with Rioja Joven

Seems like a foreign land, isolated from the rest of Spain, Galicia tucks away in the Northwest corner of Spain.  With over 1000 miles of breath-taking coastline chiseled away in deep low valleys, in which water makes way far deep in land.   The region experiences moderately temperature year round, cool moisture around the coastal region blankets the area with flushing green landscape.  

Wine and Food Living

1000 miles of coastline tied this region closely to the sea, fresh seafood to Galicians is more than just a quick bite, but it is tradition and culture.  Pulpo a’ feira, a very common Galician dish made famous by simplicity, hence its name -Fair-Style octopus.  Boiled fresh octopus seasoned with paprika and olive oil then charred quickly over open fire. 

Pulpo a Fiera SSome of the best Albarino wines come out from this region.  The lively acidity in Albarino highlights the natural, yet subtle sweetness of octopus, while its fruity compliments the octopus’ oceanic flair. 

While biting into this delectable taste from the deep, a bottle of Albarino is rather predictable.  Pulpo a’ feira is often spiced with a generous amount of smoked paprika and extra virgin olive oil, this much flavor could handle bigger white wine such as Verdejo and even Red Joven Rioja,  although much of Rioja red wines are often aged in barrels and then in bottles for long period of time, young Rioja (Joven) is meant for early consumption. 

Charquino Albarino Rias Baixas 2011Rioja Joven still retains much of its fruit and vibrant acidity.  Perfect with everyday meals, and even better with Pulpo a’ feira. Clean acidity lifts the octopus’ sweetness to another dimension, fruity notes laced with just a hint of minerals couldn’t match any better with the roasted paprika.  Unlike Albarino, Rioja Joven has enough structure and soft tannins to cut through the oil-coated octopus meat without overpowering its delicate oceanic flavors.

“White wine with seafood” This is one of those pairings that respectfully disagrees. Cheers!

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