Wines To Match Paella?

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Mahmoud Ali, Jul 30, 2020 at 10:48 PM.

  1. A friend of mine is hosting what he wants to call a "Spanish Wine Festival" for a few us in his back yard (weather permitting) and will be serving paella. I know there are many different recipes for paella, and he wasn't sure of the sausage, but it will stick to the basic formula and include chicken and shrimp. From what I gather, when it comes to reds, the recommendation is young and vibrant. An old copy of Hugh Johnson's pocket guide suggests "Young Spanish red (2-star wine), dry white or rosé: Penedes or Rioja."

    So is it fair to say that aged or mature reds are not recommended? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Cheers .............................. Mahmoud.
  2. You may wish to consider Sherry. Earlier this month I was at a local tapas restaurant and their house Fino (likely Tio Pepe) seemed to match everything I ate fairly well.
  3. Drink what you like. If it's a group of people who like mature reds, then let them have them. However, I suspect it won't be a great match if you really are drinking while you eat (which many people don't!). Maybe the weather will be thing to match?!
  4. In 1986 we were on holiday in Menorca and had pre-ordered (which was what you had to do) the paella. It was lovely from what I remember. However, one of the recommended wines was a local sparkling wine simply called Vino Gasificado :rolleyes:o_O. It was awful on its own and improved marginally with the paella.
  5. I have usually gone with something like a white Rioja or Fefinanes albarino and occasionally Muga rose, although I like Graham's sherry idea above.


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  6. I had mentioned sherry to my friend but he seemed indisposed to the idea. He thinks that he once had an old wine with paella but that was a long time ago and he could not remember what it was.

    An old copy of Which Food Which Wine by Jill Cox & Tony Lord (1990) says:

    "With a seafood paella , drink a Valencian white or rosé. The meat version - usually chicken - needs a young Valencian red, or an unaged red Rioja or Penedes."

    Since I am a twosome I get to take several wines so, depending on what others bring, I plan on taking a Spanish sparkling and an older Godello. However it is the reds I am concerned about and I had hopes of taking something from the cellar. In Hugh Johnson's recommended 2-star realm what has so far come to mind has been:

    1995 Faustino V Reserva
    1994 Gran Fuedo Reserva (if I can locate it)
    2007 Petalos from Bierzo.


    PS: I don't think I own a Valencian wine of any kind.
  7. My wife bought me a paella pan and matching gas burner on a stand for my birthday a few weeks ago so I’ve been experimenting with making paellas and with wines to accompany them.

    Last weekend I did a meat-based version, with chicken legs, saddle of rabbit, squid, prawns and red peppers, which we accompanied with LRA Vina Ardanza Rioja Reserva 2004 and CVNE Imperial Rioja Reserva 2004. Both were good matches. The Imperial was much the better wine (in fact, it was really excellent) although the Ardanza actually went better with the food as the Imperial slightly overpowered it.

    I’ve also made seafood paella, with prawns, mussels, clams, squid and langoustines. We’ve accompanied this with various wines from Spain and other places, namely Abel Mendoza Rioja Tempranillo Blanco 2012, Zind Humbrecht Pinot Blanc 2015, Filippi Soave Vigna della Bra 2013, Soalheiro Alvarinho Vinho Verde 2018 and The Foundry Grenache Blanc 2018. All went OK with the food. The best wine by far was the Zind Humbrecht Pinot Blanc, the worst by far was the Soave.
  8. I would have thought that a white rioja would be an almost perfect match.
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  9. I’ve made a few Paellas and the odd Fideuà over lockdown, accompanied by Manzanilla, Albariño and white Rioja. Tondonia 2006 was probably the best, very possibly because it was my favourite wine of the three but in truth, all went superbly.
  10. I prefer white wines with paella, although last time I posted that on the forum I got told I was wrong!

    But I put chorizo in my meat paella (oh the controversy...) and quite a bit of saffron in both types, and I find whites work better with these, as well as offering greater refreshment.

    Nothing too light or lean though: serious wines with depth and body, so full-ish Albarino (e.g. Leirana Finca Genoveva, Pazo Senorans Seleccion De Anada, Fefinanes 1583), or oxidative White Rioja (e.g. Tondonia, Gravonia, Capellania) are my favourites.

    Fino or (even better) Manzanilla are wonderful if it is loaded with shellfish.
  11. You do realise this thread will eventually challenge the below-fabled tome for its diversity and breadth of potential wines:
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  12. My favourite Paella fact is that one should be able to pick it up by one of its handles when cooked without the contents falling out. While this may be a slight exaggeration it gives a very good idea of the correct texture. Cheap and cheerful wine of any colour seems appropriate for an outdoor dish.
  13. tondonia is the easy answer I think.
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  14. For the seafood-only version a lightish blanco, or rosado. For the meat version a lightish red, or rosado.

    But if something else is burning a hole in your cellar...
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  15. On seeing this thread I was excited as I we are doing paella tomorrow, then relieved that my wine match dilemma would be answered.
    I’m now just bl@@dy confused.

    Unusually, Deb has brought a sparkling malbec from Argentina, Gouguenheim. The danger of wine shopping with her.-So that will be served.
    then as back up!
    Maybe a red and white Rioja. Contino Blanco and rouge (2016 and 2009). Have an Alberino but wonder if as it’s not a fishy dish it will be over powered, but might suit the people better.
    Just made the pasty for the apricot tart which will follow.
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  16. I think it depends on how tomato-ey the “sauce”.

    I love Paella but dont find it that wine friendly, tend to drink either a very dry Riesling or stick with lime and soda.
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  17. PS you've all made me very hungry - mind you i was swimming in the sea at 0645 this morning. :)
  18. Actually, Alsace Pinot Gris works well...
  19. Regrettably a tomato-ey Paella is the one dish in the whole world it doesn't match with. :eek:
  20. Paella is a hang loose dish for me. Most often go for a biologically aged Sherry as my wife’s recipe calls for half a glass, but equally pink seems to go well (what has been most recommended in Spain for us) and white Rioja. We don’t tend to go red but nowt wrong with that at all.
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  21. I went to a superb Valencian restaurant in Madrid and ate a delicious paella of chicken and clams last September. Even with a more meat heavy version I couldn’t imagine drinking anything other than a Spanish white wine. At that place they mainly had wines from Alicante on the list, we had a godello first and then the waiter suggested a Gewürztraminer which was actually a better match. Wines and paella below..




    Attached Files:

  22. From my experience, that’s quite heavy on the protein. I have been very disappointed when eating this dish in Spain,
    Even in its home region. Certainly when cooking at home the rice/meat/fish ration changes dramatically. Right or wrong
    That’s the way I like it.
  23. I'm a little surprised by the extent of preference for white wines expressed here. I'd agree that white is the way to go with a shellfish-dominant paella but for the chicken and rabbit version I made red rioja was perfect. On the subject of tomatoes, I shouldn't have thought that any paella ought to contain sufficient tomato to make their flavour a factor influencing the choice of wine.
  24. Not wishing to open a hornets nest but a pet hate of mine is those non-Spanish punters who pronounce the dish pay-yea-yah instead of pronouncing the L’s as in the English pronunciation. It irrationally drives me nuts. I have one friend in particular who I think does it just to annoy me
  25. I'm equally irritated by those who sound the L's; it not seeming to me as though paella has become an English word, the correct pronunciation is not irrational!
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