For any foodie or wine enthusiast, Spain’s Great Match: Wine and Food 2014 was the event to be at. Hosted by Wines from Spain at The Bazaar by Josè Andrès, the Philippe Starck-designed restaurant possessed an eloquent ambiance to experience the best of Spain. The tasting exceeded two-hundred world-class Spanish wines which properly couples with such an extravagant culinary vision to mark a memorable night.
Wines from Spain, a promotional division of the Trade Commission of Spain based in New York, celebrates their 30th anniversary with the twenty-first annual Spain’s Great Match. The atmosphere was eloquent, but by no means overly pretentious, which made the event perfect for socializing with friends or meeting new people. The wine representative were attentive, knowledgeable, and more than willing to lend their expertise on their recommendations on selections. The subtle background music added to upbeat liveliness, yet its minimal volume did not discourage conversation between guests to foster a warm social environment.
The evening contained an abundance of superb tapas, but there were definitely a few standouts. Classic choices like the succulent roast lamb and the fine cheeses were excellent as they always make great pairings with fine wine. The delicious Ibèrico Ham From Spain was quite the sight, cut right in front of the guests, and bestows a unique texture being firm yet tender at the same time. Renown chef Josè Andrès does not disappoint. In shooter glasses, the Gazpacho chilled tomato topped with a green bell pepper and cucumber soothed the palate with a tangy kick. The Spanish tuna and local radish served with a sherry dressing and aioli was not overly salty to accentuate the flavor of the tuna. But my favorite of the night, the Jicama wrapped guacamole with micro cilantro corn chips, was to die for.
The vast wine selection were spread out through the various stations by vineyard. This made navigation between quite accessible. A vuestra salud! The dry Marquès De Riscal Proximo 2009, DOCa Rioja ($10) had distinctive character. The bold flavor of the full body Marquès Riscal Reserva 2008, DOCa Rioja ($18) was impeccable and definitely one of the favorites. The fruity combination of raspberries and strawberries blended well in the Las Rocas Rosè 2013, DO Calatayud ($14). The Celeste 2011, Torres, DO Ribera del Duero ($23) possessed a strong fruity taste at first but additionally has a spicy kick. I found the Mas de Subirà 2009, Viticultors del Priorat, DOCa Priorat ($30) a delightful dry wine selection.
The Cava Bubble Lounge had quite the enchanting treats; matching chocolates, mini cupcakes, and fruity pastries with sparkling wine pleasantly topped off the evening. The Anna de Codornìu Brut, DO Cava ($15) was exceptional. But for the sweet tooth lovers, the Pata Negra Brut, J. Garcìa Carriòn, DO Cava ($15) will be your pleasure. While most sparkling wines are fermented within tanks, these are fermented within the bottles.
With so much to offer, whether you are a distributor, wine connoisseur, or a fine dining fan, the Spain’s Great Match is a more than a worthwhile pleasurable experience to discover. And it is all for a great cause, the charitable event benefits Minds Matter of Los Angeles, to help accomplished high school students from low-income families make their dreams of college a reality. Gente maja!
By Chris Wong