Paired Wine Tasting. Agustín Santolaya – Bodegas Roda

Both Alfonso Santiago and Palermo Restaurant from Tapia de Casariego have nailed it again. Even though the standard was really high after their previous paired wine tasting with Agustín Santolaya, general director in Bodegas Roda, La Horra and in Aceite de Oliva Aubocassa, last Thursday evening left a wondelful taste in the mouths of the attendants to this paired tasting with Jesús Artajona, oenologist from Bodegas Enate from Huesca, with its top-rated wines from Somontano and its contribution during three decades to update the rosé, consolidate the white with chardonnay and the single varietals, with the prestigious Merlot Merlot.
Paired wine tastings, though still scarce, seem to be increasing both in A Mariña and the western part of Asturias, as a luxury to learn from well-known experts about wines and their best possibilities and combinations with different dishes so that a meal becomes a party, an explosion of feelings and flavours. And, all this, at moderate, affordable prices, without pushing the boat out. Obviously, wine is not enough. Cooking is fundamental. And it is there where Alfonso Santiago shows his talent.
Each dish was paired with its matching wine. Thus, the evening started with “Rey Silo Cheese Kissess” and “Traditional Cuttlefish-in-their-own-ink Pie”, paired with Enate Chardonnay 234 from 2016, one of the flagships of the wine cellar. Next, exquisite “Olives stuffed with Campari and Anchovy” and “ Cornets with Spider Crab and Flying Fish Roe” were served, paired with an Enate Rosado from 2016 which provoked compliments among the guests due to its nice texture.
Getting down to business, guests were offered “Octopus with Clams from the estuary and potatoes” with an Enate Chardonnay from 2015, fermented in a barrel, making way for the two most vigorous dishes of the menu, an amazing “Roast Swordfish with Cockle and Ham Vinaigrette”, combined with an Enate Cabernet Cabernet from 2010, a wine from its first crop, with well modulated edges, and an “Ecological Veal Sirloin Steak with Peñasanta, Pine Nuts and Raisins”, perfectly paired with an Enate Merlot Merlot from 2011,a tough crop, from the climatological point of view, for a wine that led this wine cellar to the group of selected producers of the best red wines in Spain 16 years ago, digestive, with touches of olive and plum in liqueur, which triggers an aromatic merry-go-round off.
The icing on the cake came with the dessert, a deeply worked “Baked Apples, Sorbet and Cider Vinegar Caramel”, served with Enate Uno Chardonnay from 2011, wine which, from that crop (only 1,200 bottles are produced per year), has a price in the own wine cellar that is way over €300.
The menú ended with coffee Grands Crus by Nespresso and the indispensable “treats”.
.Bearing in mind the plentiful dishes and wines served, the price per guest must be considered more than competitive: €60. The atmosphere during dinner was really nice, with understandable teaching explanations by Jesús Artajona. Flawless service. A pleasure.

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