One of the joys of our wine tours is that I bring back 12 bottles of wine to share with a small group of fellow wine lovers. I’ve blogged before about how I transport the wines, but it’s the selection of wines to make the cut that is the fascinating part. Is the wine readily available in the States? Not a candidate. I only
select wines that rarely, if ever, make it to our shores. And I do this for each of our tours. Actually I’ve scaled down: if I did 2 tours, I used to bring back 2 cases. But it just got to be too cumbersome to schlepp 2 pieces of luggage, 2 carry-ons and 2 cases of wine.
A few weeks ago, I shared 12 Spanish gems with a dozen fellow wine lovers in New Haven. These were wines brought back from our 2 tours to the Basque and Rioja regions 2 years ago. Mind you, the Basque region is not an area for wine lovers; they only produce 1 white wine of note: Txakoli. So I had to include Navarra which although not Rioja, makes some serious wines. What I learned from these tours is that many of the winemakers in Rioja, like Remelluri, have Basque origins.
My favorite wine of the evening was the Remelluri Reserva 2008, a delicious blend of tempranillo, garnacha, graciano, viura and malvasia. It was a delight to share this wine with fellow wine lovers.
Here is the menu prepared by David Hernandez (Bistro Basque, Milford, CT) paired with our wines:
Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli 2014
Ostatu Lore 2012 Rioja Alavesa
Vivanco Graciano 2009 Rioja
Bodega Otazu 2007 Altar Navarra
Ostatu Gloria 2007 Rioja Alavesa
Marques de Murrieta Gran Reserva 2007
Crispy ravioli of shredded chicken & txipotle
Lindes de Remelluri 2011
Onion Tart with blue cheese
Granja Remelluri Gran Reserva 2009
Txipirones (calamares) in their own ink
Remelluri Reserva 2008
Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna
Chaparral Vega Sindoa Old Vine Garnacha 2012
Duck and Eggplant Terrine
Izar Nekeas Reserva 2009
Poached Pear Tart
Uydi Txomin Etxaniz 2012 Late Harvest