Article by Jane
If you haven’t discovered the food and wines of Navarra, northeast of Rioja in northern Spain, they are worth exploring and tasting. What foods to pair with wines from Navarra starts with the region’s local culinary specialties and the wine varieties grown there.
Navarra is known as the garden of Spain for its locally-grown high-quality fresh vegetables including; white asparagus, artichokes, shell beans and piquillo peppers just to name a few. In addition foie gras, charcuterie, game birds, brook trout, lamb, and two famous sheep milk cheeses; Ronal and Idiazábal made from the raw milk of the native Latxa sheep, are all specialties of the region. (don’t forget, what grows together often goes together; food + wine)
MY TASTING NOTES
2016 Castillo Monjardin, Chardonnay, El Cerezo
13% abv | $13 (sample) 100% Chardonnay Unoaked
Bright pale lemon in color. Beautiful floral nose of citrus blossoms. Medium- body, and acidity. On the palate fresh tropical fruits and lime notes.
2015 El Chaparral De Vega Sindoa Old Vines Garnacha
14.5% abv | $15 | 100% Garnacha
Light ruby in color with a slight garnet rim. Medium tannins, medium body, and medium- acidity. Notes of vanilla, leather, licorice, cloves, cherry, roasted plum and prunes.
2009 Senorio de Otazu, D.O.P. Pago de Otazu
14.5% abv | $18 (sample) | 82% Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Merlot 3% Tempranillo
Ruby in color with a magenta rim. Vanilla and ripe fruit aromas. Medium+ tannin and medium body. On the palate red and black berries with earthy notes.
Historically Navarra’s food culture is simple, hearty fare made from the finest and freshest ingredients. I made herb garlicky pork in the slow cooker and then added a fresh side of white & green bean, and red onion salad. I served it over rice however, potatoes are far more traditional.