¡Salud! to Tapas Night and the Wines of Navarra

By Pablo Aguero,

Article by Cindy Rynning

Spanish wines are upfront and center on every winelover’s radar (and palate). The wines of Navarra are no exception. Budget friendly, with a range of styles and varieties that complement even the most discerning aficionado, wines from this historic region continually delight.

It’s no wonder then, that the #winePW crew, a (perpetually) thirsty and hungry group of wine and food writers, chose this region on which to focus during our lively Twitter banter held the second Saturday of each month. All of us received, as samples, two or three bottles of wine from Navarra to pair with a recipe (or recipes) of our choice. See below for our collective recipes and wine pairings.

Navarra Wine and Tapas

I was thrilled to receive two budget-friendly wines that are of Navarra’s lesser grown varieties: Inurrieta Orchidea 2017 ($7), of 100% Sauvignon Blanc, and Otazu Premium Cuvee 2013 ($13), a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), Merlot (35%) and Tempranillo (20%). Ahhh, it was time to consider my recipe for pairing…

Having just returned from Spain, I immersed myself in more than my fair share of savory, mouthwatering tapas. From cod stuffed croquettas to jamon (in every form!) to grilled calamari with herbs to chicken with potatoes, olives, and sherry, and everything in between, these small plates satisfied my hunger pangs and quest for traditional Spanish culture. It’s no wonder that I chose to pair the intriguing wines I received from Navarra with tapas.

With so many choices, I decided to find a recipe that every self-respecting tapas bar has on its varied menu: Spanish Omelette (Tortillas). Because it seemed like a snap to make and offered a variety of modifications (see recipe below for suggestions), I knew that my Navarra wines, both white and red, would be luscious pairings… and I was correct.

 

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Spanish Flan and Navarra Wine #WINEPW

By Pablo Aguero,

Spanish Flan

Article by Sarah Ozimek

WHAT IS SPANISH EGG FLAN?

Flan is an egg custard that originates from Spain. It has a characteristic deep golden, caramel top and a caramel sauce that cascades down the sides of the pale and creamy custard. Now, there are many different types of egg custard, all around the world. But, it could be said that Spanish flan is where they all started.

THE HISTORY OF FLAN

Flan can be dated all the way back to Ancient Rome. The Romans were known for their creation of egg dishes, possibly because they were the first people to domesticate chickens for their eggs. In Rome, you would be able to find both sweet and savory (cheese, spinach, seafood) flans being enjoyed. As the recipe for flan spread across Europe, it took on new characteristics in each country. England created flan that was baked in a pastry shell or crust. In France, often chocolate was added to flan to become the pots de creme that we know today.

Caramelized sugar became a signature ingredient in Spanish flan. When the Moors occupied Spain, they brought the use of citrus and almonds to flan, and those flavorings are still common for Spanish flan today.

HOW TO MAKE SPANISH FLAN

The hardest part about making Spanish flan is getting the caramel topping just right. The impressive, golden crown that sits atop every well-made Spanish flan starts as caramelized sugar in the bottom of the flan dish. When you invert the dish after baking, the caramelized sugars release from the dish and give you the beautiful, characteristic top. Any time you work with sugar, you have to take some special care and attention. And, this case is no exception. The tricky part here is that as you heat your sugar, it gets very finicky about temperature changes. As you pour the golden caramelized sugar syrup from the hot pan into the cool molds, it hardens rapidly. So, we recommend that you have your molds set and ready. When your sugar starts to turn a golden brown, it will darken quickly, and you need to act fast to get your liquid caramel to coat the bottom of your cups before it turns into hard caramel candy.

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Sipping and Cooking with Pacharán: A Taste of Ancient Navarra (#winepw)

By Pablo Aguero,

Article by Lauren Walsh

icecram and pacharan

Have you traveled to Spain? If so, you’ve likely visited the bustling metropolis of Madrid or the sophisticated streets of Barcelona; perhaps you’ve wandered through the towns of Andalucía, enchanted bythe plaintive notes of Flamenco guitar floating on the breeze. But there’s another place, nestled in the northeast corner, where nature preserves sit next to world-class vineyards. It’s called Navarra, and it has a real story to tell.

The Wine Pairing Weekend group heads to the region this Saturday, April 14th, to discuss the culture, wines, and food traditions of Navarra. Our host is Gwendolyn from Wine Predator, and you can read her invitation post here.

As we do on the second Saturday of each month, we’ll sync up on Twitter at 11 am ET, following the hashtag #winepw. What follows is equal parts travelogue, history lesson, and gastronomic wanderlust. We’d love for you to join us! Feel free to chime in and add your comments or, if you prefer to just watch and learn, that’s cool, too. Just be sure to add #winepw to your tweets so we can welcome you.

A Brief History of Navarra

Navarra was once an independent kingdom that stretched from Bordeaux to Barcelona. In fact, a series of French monarchs ruled the realm in the middle ages, permanently linking the cultures together. Wine has been made in Navarra since Roman times when just enough was made to satisfy the needs of the occupying armies. Consumer demand for wine came later, rising with the flood of pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela via the Route of Saint James.

In the 1800s, when phylloxera decimated the vineyards of nearby southern France, vintners in Navarra stepped in to assist: much of their production was sold to French growers, helping keep their trade afloat. That is, until phylloxera made its way into Spain, and laid waste to the vineyards there.

 

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Navarra – Spain’s Hidden Gem

By Pablo Aguero,

Article by Rupal Shankar

Spain most notably known for the wines from Rioja and Ribera Del Duero, has a region that is often shadowed by its western neighbors.  The wines of Navarra are well made and are Spain’s hidden gems.

Navarra is located in Northern Spain between the Pyrenees Mountain and the Ebro River.  It is a region with a rich history of culture, art, wine and cuisine.  The capital of the region is Pamplona, most notably known for attracting thrill seekers to run with the bulls.  Navarra is also a region beautifully articulated by Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises.  A region known for growing high quality produce and also a bustling culinary scene with it Michelin Star restaurants.

Most notable and possibly the best kept secret is the wonderful wines that come from this region.  Navarra offers whites, rosés and red wines, in a diverse range of styles due to its varied and unique terroirs.  There are three distinct climates, Atlantic, Continental and Meditterean in one very exciting wine region.  Winemakers have a focus on innovation and experimentation combined with deep respect for the land and it’s traditions. The wines run a gamut of styles from crisp mineral driven whites, to pink fruit forward rosados, to concentrated spicy reds, and luscious sweet dessert wines.

The history of winemaking in Navarra dates back to the 1st century A.D. and then gained popularity and respect in the Middle Ages.  It was not until more recently, in 1933 that the region obtained its D.O. status.  For many years Garnacha was the most widely planted grape mixed with fruits, vegetables and high quality produce that Navarra is most known for.  Garnacha was used to produce rosé wines.  The Spanish loved the color and fruit forwardness of rosés.  It was not until the 1960’s that pioneering efforts by local winemakers and government funded research, lead to plantings of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.  Today Tempranillo is the most widely planted grape varietal of the region.  Though in recent years, winemakers have come back full circle and regard Garnacha as a national treasure.  Many winemakers are returning to tradition and are putting greats efforts to create world-class wines from Garnacha with bright flavors, concentration and complexity.

 

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A Taste of Navarra Spain #WinePW

By Pablo Aguero,

Article by Wendy Kilk

This month our wine pairing weekend group has been invited to visit Navarra, Spain by Gwendolyn of Wine Predator.

To help us on this journey we were each provided with samples of Navarra wine, graciously donated by Susannah & April of Navarra Wine. While I appreciate receiving samples, you can rest assured that all opinions written in this blog are exclusively my own and I have received no monetary compensation for this post.

I was not familiar with Navarra wines at all. I’m not really familiar with Spanish wines, other than an occasional Rioja. I learned quite a bit from Gwen’s Invitation Post. I also did some exploring on my own after receiving the wines.

This Chardonnay pours a beautiful golden hue and has herbaceous notes mildly tamed by oak. I used it in my dish and enjoyed a glass as I cooked. It was wonderful by itself. When paired with my meal, it took on a sweetness that hadn’t been noticeable on it’s own. I think it was a good pairing but it is not the one I chose to showcase for today’s event.

For today’s event I wanted to pair a Spanish Wine with Spanish Food. I specifically was looking for a dish that would pair well with the bottle of Vendimmio Selecionada (Selected Harvest) from Garcia Burgos. I was unable to determine which grapes were used in this bottling. This bottle was not sent as a sample. I had purchased this bottle prior to finding out that we would be receiving samples for this event.

I went searching for Spanish foods and came across a blog called Spain Recipes. This blog had a section all about the food and wine found in Navarra as well as the rest of the Country.

I drooled over the pages and was excited when I found this recipe for Croquetas de Jamon (Ham Croquettes). I had the last of the Easter ham in the refrigerator and this was the perfect way to use it.

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Thanksgiving with a Spanish Twist: Turkey, Lamb, and the Wines of Navarra, Spain.

By Pablo Aguero,

Article by Lauren Walsh

A friend recently asked my advice in planning a Friendsgiving dinner – she lives far from her hometown and has decided to invite other friends to share the day with her. She’s quite accomplished in the kitchen and has decided to prepare all the courses herself, with the exception of dessert. Good for her!

Years ago, I used to host Thanksgiving at my home, inviting a rag-tag group of friends, family members, neighbors, and friends-of-friends unable to go home for the holiday. The mix changed each year, depending on who was where, and it led to some interesting interactions. But that’s a whole other post . . . .

Naturally I was flattered when she sought my help and, to be honest, I looked forward to the thought exercise. My husband and I are celebrating the

holiday quietly this year and I’m sort of missing the pre-Thanksgiving festivities. Best of all, I can indulge in some creative culinary thinking without having to wash a single pot or pan.

The Wines

I recently received a selection of sample bottles from the Navarra Denominación de Origen (DO) of Spain, and I thought they would lend themselves perfectly to this Friendsgiving dinner. Best known for its fresh and fruity Rosado wines, Navarra is also a center of fine-wine production, making use of both indigenous and international varieties. Tempranillo, Graciano, and Muscat mingle with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in an intriguing array of wines that pair easily with holiday feasts. I took each of the six wines I received and matched it with a particular course or dish.

 

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Spain’s Great Match, New York City, October 4 2018

By Pablo Aguero,

Thank you #NavarraWineLovers in New York City. Navarra returned to Spain’s Great Match in New York City on October 4th.

Navarra also hosted the seminar “Wines of Navarra – Spain’s Undiscovered Gems” presented by Marnie Old.

For a copy of the presentation, contact April Cullom at april@cincosentidosmkt.com

Clink below to learn more about the participating Wineries (NYC):

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Cooking to the Wine: Broiled Skirt Steak

By Pablo Aguero,

Señorío de Otazu and Broiled Skirt Steak with Romesco Sauce

Written by Nicole Ruiz Hudson

 

I’m a big fan of Spanish wines. I think they tend to be great food wines, and I think they’re also extremely underrated. All together that means that Spain is also a great place to look for wine values.

Looking back through the posts I’ve shared here, I’m actually surprised to realize I haven’t posted much from Spain (other than the Ameztoi Txakolina Rosé I described here.) I have a few Spanish wines in the hopper for the coming months and I’ve certainly had quite a few amongst my 8 & 20’s (I will drop some links at the end), but somehow, they’ve been missing from this lineup. We’re going to correct that right now.

 

Exploring Navarra

Today we’re exploring Navarra in the northern part of the country. The region runs from the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains and over to the Ebro river, just across from Rioja.

Navarra has largely been overshadowed by its neighbor, but it is definitely worth getting to know. The region has been recognized in the past for its rosés–or rosados in Spanish–which are still really tasty! However, the region began to up plantings of Tempranillo and international varieties like Cab and Merlot in the 1980’s. You’ll also find some excellent Grenache. It was the driver behind all that great rosado in the past, but now the some of those vines (or those that remain) are all grown up and producing some excellent old vine Garnacha.

Winemaking here goes way back as well. Catholics would pass through the area while making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, where it’s said that the remains of St. James the Apostle are buried. These travellers wanted wine. Demand was so high that in the 14th century, restrictions had to be placed on the number of vineyards popping up to ensure that there was enough farmland to grow grains for food.

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Navarra Wines: Spain’s secret weapon for summer delights

By Pablo Aguero,

by Dwight Casimere

Summer season’s most intriguing wines come from one of Spain’s undiscovered areas: Navarra. Located in the north of Spain just outside of Madrid, its provincial capital is Pamplona, made famous by the Ernest Hemingway novel “The Sun Also Rises” and the festival at the town of Los Sanfermines and the celebrated annual running of the bulls.

The sheer variety and complexity of the wines, not to mention the exceptional value, makes these wines perfect for summer and the wide variety of dishes to be served at garden parties, al fresco cafes, and barbecues. The wines are exceptional and selling at bargain prices. Get in on the fun or lose out once they catch on and prices start to skyrocket as in all things worthy!

Chicago’s Bernie’s Lunch and Supper rooftop deck in the restaurant mecca of River North was the setting for a lavish Grand Tasting of wines from a Baker’s Dozen of wineries from D.O. Navarra, Spain. The wines ran the gamut from crisp, fruity Chardonnays to robust Crianza’s.

Navarra is known as “the garden of Spain.” Made famous by its quality products and sheep’s milk cheeses, it is also praised for its superb vineyards, cultivated for more than 300 years since the arrival of monks during the Crusades of the Middle Ages. Multiple microclimates and a confluence of unique terroir produced vineyards that create an abundance of ‘international’ grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay as well as hearty and flavorful local varieties such as  Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache).

Winemakers from Navarra were at the rooftop lounge at Bernie’s Lunch and Supper in River North to present their wines. Among them were such historic vineyards as  Castilla de Monjardin. Tucked away in the foothills of the Pyrenees along France’s border, the winery was founded in 1988 by the Del Villar-Olano family. Winemaker Victor del Villar Olano was on hand to personally pour his selection of wines, ranging from his unoaked 2017 El Cerezo Chardonnay ($12.99) to 2014 Reserva Cabernet ($14.99) . The wines displayed exceptional character, particularly the 2017 La Cantera Garnacha Old Vines. This jammy, red wine displayed all of the bright fruit and balanced structure that belies its youth. With flavors of ripe red cherries and raspberries backed by a hint of spiciness, the wines are a perfect match for grilled meats and barbecue.  I defy you to find another red wine of such depth and complexity at this price.

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Navarra Puts A Twist On Tapas In Chicago – Beverage Media Group

By Pablo Aguero,

 

 

The Spanish wine region of Navarra is hosting a “Land of Diversity & Wine Styles” Grand Tasting in Chicago on May 8th at Bernie’s Lunch & Supper. In addition to a seminar on the diverse terroir and three climates found in Navarra winemakers from 13 wineries will be pouring at a walk-around tasting. Interestingly, Navarra USA is promoting the wines in part by teaming up with “The Pintxo Trail, Pamplona,” a culinary guidebook to the bitesize, not-exactly-tapas culinary jewels found in the region. Traditionally, a toothpick “pinches” the food, hence the name “pintxos,” and guests are charged based on the number of toothpicks left on the plate.

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Salmon Pesto Pasta Recipe with White Wine from Navarra

By Pablo Aguero,

SALMON PESTO PASTA RECIPE WITH WHITE WINE FROM NAVARRA

 

Our recipe for Salmon Pesto Pasta features pasta topped with pesto and salmon for a delicious way to enjoy some healthy seafood. You can make it with traditional pesto or our kale pesto recipe. We paired the dish with a white wine from Navarra, Spain. Disclosure: The wine was sent as a complimentary sample.

 

Salmon gets combined with pesto and pasta a lot in our home.

I often make a big batch of kale pesto on Sunday. Some of that pesto gets tossed with pasta, with some extra saved for a quick meal during the week. I also like that kale pesto on seafood, so will often serve fish alongside my pasta, while offering chicken or pork to Jodi, who is not a fish fan.

Salmon and pesto combine so well I realized I needed to serve our salmon pesto pasta recipe straight up here on Cooking Chat. It’s a regular on our menu, and if you like salmon and pesto, this salmon pesto pasta might quickly become a favorite of yours, too.

 

 

 

MAKING SALMON PESTO PASTA

Salmon pesto pasta is a very easy meal to put together. You start by making the pesto.

 

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Wines of Navarra and a Meal to Match

By Pablo Aguero,

Wines of Navarra and a Meal to Match #WinePW

 

If it’s April it must be Navarra. Yes, our Wine Pairing Weekend group of bloggers is traveling to Navarra this month to explore the region, its wine and, of course, the food. The inspiration for this trip came from Gwendolyn Alley who blogs with great enthusiasm (and skill) at Wine Predator. Gwendolyn also managed to wrangle tasting samples for us courtesy of the folks at Navarra Wine US. Thank you to both!

Where is Navarra?

Navarra is both an autonomous community and a wine region that lies north of La Rioja. The capital is Pamplona, which is famous for its running of the bulls in celebration of Saint Fermin. The wine region lies roughly within the autonomous community that is bound by France to the north, Basque Country to the west and Aragon to the east and south.

 

Influences on the Region

As with every other region around the Mediterranean they conquered, the Romans were responsible for introducing grapevines to the region in the 1st century A.D. The Moors had seized power of the region by 711 and according to one account I read the Spanish Reconquest began in nearby Asturias only 11 years later.

 

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Wine Predator – Wine and Food from Navarra Spain

By Pablo Aguero,

#WinePW: Along “The Way” with Wine and Food from Navarra Spain

by Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator

 

Navarra is an up and coming wine region in Northern Spain located in the western part of the Pyrenees Mountains that form a natural boundary between France and Spain with the Basque mountains further to the West. Navarra butts up against France to the north and to the south is Rioja, famous for Tempranillo.

 

 

To the far west is coastal Galicia, famous for Albarino and the terminus for the Camino de Santiago, or “The Way” which winds through northern Spain as well as France and Portugal.

Pilgrims on the Camino, past, and present enjoy the regional wine and cuisine along “The Way” and many returns with an increased appreciation and interest in these wines.

While wine from Rioja has generally been available and known in the United States, recently there’s been an explosion of imports of Albarino from Galicia, and now it is Navarra’s turn to be discovered by those on and off the Camino.

 

 

This month’s Wine Pairing Weekend crew took on the task of sampling one or more bottles of wine from Navarra and paired them with either regional cuisine or another menu inspired by the wines. The 15 participants this month sampled reds, whites, and rose wines ranging from the traditional reds of the region like Tempranillo and whites like Viura to mainstays of the global wine market like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

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Wine Predator in Navarra

By Pablo Aguero,

Wine from Navarra: Preview of #WinePW Camino plus Ochoa Reserva

by Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator

This month, the Wine Pairing Weekend crew become Pilgrims on a sacred journey this April to Navarra, Spain, home to the Camino de Santiago as well as a cuisine that pairs heavenly with the region’s wines! Here’s the invitation to participate.

The famous “Way” travels from many points in Europe with most of them converging in Navarra, Spain, the focus of this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend which includes posts published this Saturday April 14 and a twitter chat that morning at 8am PST.

 

 

 

Navarra’s history is intertwined with the Camino de Santiago which leads to the shrine of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela, located about 400 walking miles to west, in the coastal province of Galicia, home to Albarino (read about nine meals to pair with Albarino)Pilgrims returned from the Camino bearing stories about the wonderful wine in Navarra; Rioja, just west of Navarra, became famous this way also (read about two from Rioja).

Please join us as we explore this region of Spain; food ideas here. Many of us received a variety of samples from Wines of Navarra for which we are grateful. To prepare us further, Sue and I opened a sample of a 2008 Ochoa Reserva from a single vineyard which we paired with osso bucco.  Read on to learn more!

 

 

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Navarra- Wines of Goodness and Excitement

By Pablo Aguero,

By Robin Kelley O’Connor 

A land of enchantment, unspoiled and pure, where the people, wine and cuisine are authentic and genuine. Spain is in the midst of a wine revolution. Navarra has taken this notion of ‘wine revolution’ with a fervor.

 

 

The natural resources run very deep in the Navarran ‘tierra’ with endless possibilities to produce wines that meet the needs of everyday consumption at everyday prices, yet satisfy those who are in search of the limited and rare.

This is my inaugural new year entry (blog) to expose, highlight, feature and reveal the true nature of some of Spain’s most exciting wines. I have had a love affair with Navarra beginning shortly after finishing my university studies. My love goes deep not only for the wonderful people of Navarra, the wines, the food but for the culture, the history, the ethos, the values, the traditions and the basic humanity.

 

 

My first venture into Navarra was to go directly to Pamplona for the July fiesta of San Fermin and the Running of the Bulls. It was on this very first visit that changed my world. I had found a magic that honestly was electrifying, broadened my horizons exponentially and gave me a spark that led me into a life-long study of the vine, one as a passionate consumer and the other as a dedicated professional to the enhancement and education of wine.

 

What was that spark? My very first glass of ‘Clarete’ as it was known colloquially, now universally called ‘Rosado’. It was the ‘Garnacha’ grape that bright out the magic in the glass: flavorful, easy, flowed deliciously down the palate and was so pleasing and gratifying in the hot July Spanish sun.

 

 

Robin Kelley O’Connor

A leading wine educator, international wine judge, wine writer, and sommelier, Robin Kelley O’Connor is a leading wine expert. His thirty years of experience, authority and passion enable captivating seminars, dinner events, and wine education and allows him to offer an unparalleled suite of services to corporations and individuals from around the world.

Robin serves as a guest wine instructor and examiner for the Intensive Sommelier Training program at the International Culinary Center. ICC is one of the leading culinary educational institutions in the U.S., with campuses in New York and Napa Valley. It is a world-class institution dedicated to the culinary arts and vinous education.

 

 

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Dallas Wine Chick: Wines that turned my head

By Pablo Aguero,

The Top 30 That Turned My Head in this Tasting

by Melanie Ofenloch, the Dallas Wine Chick

Wines of Navarra


I had the opportunity to taste several bottles from the Navarra Denominación de Origen (DO) of Spain, which is located right below France. The terroir is a series of valleys and mountains in Northern Spain. Navarra is known for its climatic diversity and microclimates. Once known for Garnacha-based Rosado, but with French varieties being introduced in 1980, the region now has a variety of wines including Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Here are my favorites that I tried and I have to note that the last two are under $10, which make them a great bargain:

2015 Principe de Viana Edicion Rosé – this was an easy drinking rosé with notes of cherry, strawberry, nectarine and citrus.

2015 Ochoa Calendas Bianco – a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 43% Viura, and 7% Moscatel de Grano Menudo. Notes of stone fruit, citrus, peaches, pears, flowers and minerality burst from the glass.

2014 Vega del Castillo Garnacha Cepas Viejas 2014 – Lots of black cherries, raspberries, violets, spice.

 

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Wine Searcher – Navarra Wines

By Pablo Aguero,

Navarra Wine

Navarra, in northern Spain, is one of the country’s 17 first-level administrative regions (Comunidades autónomas) and a reasonably prolific – if lesser-known – wine region. Traditionally associated with the production of crisp, fruit-driven rosé, Navarra is beginning to attract attention for its high-quality red wines made mainly from the TempranilloCabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot grape varieties after years of being overshadowed by its southern neighbor, Rioja.

The first records of winemaking in the region date back to ancient Roman times, but grapes were almost certainly thriving here long before that. Vines of the prehistoric Vitis sylvestris species – predecessor of the cherished Vitis vinifera – have recently been discovered still growing in Navarra. After the Romans, grape-growing continued under the Moors and was then greatly expanded under Christian rule. Demand for wine was strengthened by Catholics making the pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago to the shrine (now a cathedral) in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, where tradition has it that the remains of the Apostle St. James are buried.

The 14th Century was a boom time for Navarra and the number of vineyards multiplied to the extent that restrictions had to be imposed to ensure enough land was dedicated to cereals to feed the local population. Demand received an additional boost in the late 19th Century when France was hit by phylloxera. This rise in sales was short-lived, however, as Navarra subsequently fell prey to the blight, which left few vineyards intact there. Vignerons replanted using phylloxera-resistant rootstocks and subsequently were able to reorganize production zones.

Navarra has just a single DO title for its wines, the regional Navarra DO, which was created in 1933 and covers the entire southern half of the region (almost everything south of the administrative capital, Pamplona). Its workings are administered by its Consejo Regulador(wine authority), based in the small town of Olite.

 

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Thanksgiving with a Spanish Twist. Wines of Navarra.

By Pablo Aguero,

Thanksgiving with a Spanish Twist: Turkey, Lamb, and the Wines of Navarra, Spain.

by Lauren Walsh, theswirlingdervish

A friend recently asked my advice in planning a Friendsgiving dinner – she lives far from her hometown and has decided to invite other friends to share the day with her. She’s quite accomplished in the kitchen and has decided to prepare all the courses herself, with the exception of dessert. Good for her!

Years ago, I used to host Thanksgiving at my home, inviting a rag-tag group of friends, family members, neighbors, and friends-of-friends unable to go home for the holiday. The mix changed each year, depending on who was where, and it led to some interesting interactions. But that’s a whole other post . . . .

 

Navarra wines Lineup

Naturally I was flattered when she sought my help and, to be honest, I looked forward to the thought exercise. My husband and I are celebrating the holiday quietly this year and I’m sort of missing the pre-Thanksgiving festivities. Best of all, I can indulge in some creative culinary thinking without having to wash a single pot or pan.

 

The Wines

I recently received a selection of sample bottles from the Navarra Denominación de Origen (DO) of Spain, and I thought they would lend themselves perfectly to this Friendsgiving dinner. Best known for its fresh and fruity Rosado wines, Navarra is also a center of fine-wine production, making use of both indigenous and international varieties. Tempranillo, Graciano, and Muscat mingle with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in an intriguing array of wines that pair easily with holiday feasts. I took each of the six wines I received and matched it with a particular course or dish.

 

Hors d’Oeuvres and Light Bites

Understanding that my friend would be busy in the kitchen as her guests arrived, I suggested she set up a sideboard with easy appetizers. Charcuterie, a cheese or two, olives, and almonds are all you need there. People can chat with each other as they nibble, and enjoy a nice glass of wine.

 

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Wine Basics

By Pablo Aguero,

An Introduction to Wine is the latest effort by the Designation of Origin Navarra to bring the world of wine to all those who are interested in this exciting universe, especially young people. Throughout the book, we touch upon various topics of interest: understanding the product, wine tasting and technique, the proper consumption of wine, and finally, the past and present of the Designation of Origin Navarra. We hope that this manual will satisfy the curiosity of all those who love wine.

 

An Introduction To Wine is the latest effort by the Designation of Origin (D.O.) Navarra to bring knowledge about this marvelous beverage to all those who are interested in the exciting world of wine, especially young people.

In a simple, entertaining manner, the authors explain the principal themes related to the knowledge and enjoyment of wine. Using everyday language, and at a level all will be able to appreciate, their explanations manage to unravel the most complex ideas with finesse and accuracy.

This close look is enhanced by the magnificent illustrations contributed by Kukuxumusu, who, with humor, sensitivity and affection, has managed to translate his charming universe to the passionate world of wine.

Through these pages we approach distinct questions of interest, beginning with some specific information about wine, exploring subjects such as the importance of the vineyard, its cultivation through the various phases, the different varieties of grapes, the origin and composition of wine, and the principal winemaking styles. Then the emphasis switches to the process of tasting wine: its objectives, appropriate conditions for tasting wine, the sequence of a tasting, techniques and advice for wine tasting in your own home. The following chapter sets out everything related to the proper consumption of wine, covering the right conditions for storing and serving, pairing wine with food, and the beneficial effects of wine on the human body. Finally, we reveal the past and present of the D.O. Navarra, with its zones of production, grape varieties, types of wines produced and a list of the wineries themselves.

We hope this manual serves to satisfy the curiosity of all wine lovers and sustains -even increases- continued enjoyment of a cultural tradition that has distinguished our civilization for many centuries.

Salud! Here’s to your health – with a glass of wine from D.O. Navarra.

 

Pilar García-Granero

Jordi Vidal

 

Grapes and Wines

 

Winemaking and Aging

 

Tasting and Consumption

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Navarra Connect Importer Query

By Pablo Aguero,

Importer Profile

Kindly provide us with the following contact information so that we can send you recommendations based on your responses below.

Importer Query

Let us know what wines WOULD BE A GOOD FIT FOR YOUR PORTFOLIO and we will find THE ONES that best match your needs.

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Pamplona’s Top 10 “Pintxo” Recipes and Bars to Visit

By Pablo Aguero,

“Pintxos” are little bites of food made with varying degrees of sophistication.  “Going for pintxos” is part of the lifestyle in Pamplona, always accompanied with a local wine from Navarra.  Below you’ll find the top 10 Pintxo Bars in Pamplona with recipes for the best pintxo from each restaurant/bar, many having earned the award “Best Pintxo of the Year”.

 

A mandatory stop on the Way of St. James and a historically unavoidable place of passage for all those heading towards the border, not to mention centuries as capital of the no longer existing yet ubiquitous Kingdom of Navarre, Pamplona (Iruña in Basque) has since time immemorial received myriad gastronomic influences from the travelers who have crossed through the area or even chosen to stop and live here.

If we add to this the fact that the region rubs shoulders to the south with some of the richest vegetable producing regions in Europe and with the influence of San Sebastián and France to the north, we find ourselves with a hugely exciting city for lovers of fine dining. It was only a question of time before “miniature cuisine” took hold of a city which, though maintaining its fondness for quantity, takes increasingly greater care with the quality and variety of its cuisine. Pamplona has become an ideal destination for foodies and pintxo-lovers, and this book is a perfect guide for all those who wish to check it out for themselves.

This book, The Pintxo Trail Pampona (Iruña), written by Josema Azpeitia and Ritxar Tolosa, is a guide to 72 bars in Pamplona with their best tapas and recipes.

Buy the Book

Top 10 Pintxo Bars in Pamplona, Chefs’ award-winning recipes and wine pairing

LA COCINA DE ÁLEX MÚGICA

CASA JUANITO

EL PATIO DE LAS COMEDIAS

EL REDÍN

FITERO

GAUCHO

GURIA

HOSTERÍA DEL TEMPLE

SAN NICOLÁS (LA COCINA VASCA)

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The Road Beyond Rosado

By Pablo Aguero,

Navarra’s journey to express itself

By Kristen Bieler, The Beverage Journal

Located right between Rioja and Bordeaux, DO Navarra benefits from a very special geographical situation in northern Spain, with vineyards stretching from the foothills of the Pyrenees to the high Ebro Valley. This veteran Spanish region, with official status dating back to the 1930s, has through the decades built a strong reputation based on distinctive rosés, made mainly with Grenache and applying the selective method of saignée.

Being in the shadow of Rioja, its famous neighbor doesn’t help. Navarra also has no single signature grape or style. The decision made decades ago to focus on dry, refreshing Rosado (rosé), proved wise economically, but hasn’t helped the region’s reputation as a source of serious red wines.

Yet there are signs that Navarra is changing course as a new generation of winemakers is making important quality-driven changes in vineyards and cellars. “Today’s winemakers are taking the lessons learned from their grandparents and combining them with innovation and a renewed respect for nature,” says David Palacios, President of D.O. Navarra, adding that women now make up half of the region’s winemakers and winery directors.

The Evolution Of Identity

“Every region in Spain has had to move away from massive blending and cheap wine production; when you think about what Navarra has achieved since the mid-20th century under Franco’s totalitarian regime, it’s magnificent,” said Gil Avital, Partner/Wine Director at Tertulia in NYC’s West Village, who was part of a panel that Beverage Media recently hosted to taste through a range of Navarra’s wines.

Because of its particular location, Navarra has a huge asset in vine growing: a mosaic of terroirs with varied climate conditions, explained panelist Robin Kelley O’Connor, sommelier/writer/wine judge, who knows the region intimately: “It’s rare to taste a wine and exclaim, ‘Oh, this is Navarra!’ which is partly a result of the geographic diversity. In cooler northern areas you see light, fresh reds with natural acidity, and in the south, it’s continental and hot and abuts a desert—the wines are bigger with more robust tannins.”

 

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