Pairing Wine With Spanish Food

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When you think of Spanish food, paella and tapas are probably what first comes to mind, but Spain has so much more to offer in the world of cuisine.  The country of Spain is one of the leading contributors to the Mediterranean diet. You will find that Spanish food is focused heavily on olive oil, fresh fruits, and vegetables and can vary greatly depending on what is in season. A fun fact for you: the Mediterranean diet and Spain’s cultural heritage of making meals a time for gathering with friends and family earned Spain a spot on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

A great meal is not complete without a wine to match. Fortunately, Spain is the third largest producer of wine in the world and has the most vineyards per acre in Europe. The country also hosts a variety of terroirs creating ample opportunity for wines in several styles. When it comes to Spanish food wine pairings, you cannot go wrong with Spanish wines—it goes with what it grows with, after all—and we have some great recommendations for your next Spanish meal. 

Best Red Wine With Spanish Food

Spanish reds are known for being great, quality wines at a good value. They also offer a lot of variety so you will surely find a red to suit your preference.

  • Garnacha: floral with strong berry flavor and notes of citrus.
  • Rioja: dry, medium-bodied with notes of dark stone fruit and leather.
  • Tempranillo: medium-bodied with high tannins, similar to Merlot.
  • Monastrell: bold tannins, dark fruit flavor with chocolate and smokey notes.

Best White Wine With Spanish Food

Bright, acidic whites make great accompaniments to the fresh ingredients in Spanish cuisine.

  • Albariño: Dry with high acidity and notes of lemon and grapefruit.
  • Verdejo: light, fruit-forward with citrus and mineral notes. 
  • Rosado: Light and acidic with watermelon, peach, and raspberry notes. 
  • Cava: Sparkling wine of Spain with quince, yellow apple, and almond notes.

Pairing Wine With Various Spanish Dishes

Wine With Gazpacho

This cold soup of fresh tomatoes, green bell pepper, cucumbers, garlic and red onion can be difficult to pair, but we recommend a crisp, fresh white like Verdejo or Sauvignon Blanc.

Wine With Romesco Sauce

Romesco is a rich, tomato-based sauce with charred tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and garlic. Your wine will depend on what it is served with. A light seafood dish will do well with an Albariño. Something heavier, say pork or grilled chicken, go with a Garnacha or Pinot Noir.

Wine With Pulpo a la Gallega

An Albariño is perfect with this dish of boiled octopus with salt, paprika and olive oil.

Wine With Paella

Paella originated on Spain’s Mediterranean coast and consists of saffron-flavored rice, seafood and vegetables. We really enjoy Paella with a nice bottle of Chardonnay. Verdejo also works very well with Paella.

Wine With Fideuà

Fideuà is similar to paella, but with noodles instead of rice. Either of these dishes will be complemented by a Chardonnay or Verdejo.

Wine With Bocadillo

This popular sandwich is served on a French baguette-style bread and usually contains cured meats and cheese. With this in mind, a Chardonnay or oaked Viognier will complement the bread, but also have acidity to cut through the rich, fatty meat and cheese.

Pairing Wine With Tapas

Tapas are small plates of food meant to be shared by the table. Having a glass of wine with each plate is not realistic, but if you know what wines go with each dish, you can select a wine that is sure to complement most, if not all, of your tapas.

Wine With Tortilla de patatas

Sherry or Albariño are both great options for this classic tapas dish.

Pisto

This Spanish version of ratatouille will be complemented by a lovely Rioja.

Huevos Rotos

A crisp Verdejo or Sauvignon Blanc will be a perfect balance to the spice and won’t overpower the eggs.

Carrillada

This can be pork or beef, depending on the style. Choose a Rosado with pork, a Tempranillo with beef.

Croquetas de Jamón

The acidity and bubbles of Cava are a perfect match for this rich, fried dish. 

Pimientos de Padrón

These peppers definitely call for a crisp white. An Albariño or unoaked Chardonnay make a lovely complement to this dish.

Patatas Bravas

This savory potato plate will pair nicely with a red or white. We recommend a German Riesling or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Zanahorias Aliñadas

Try a Rosado or Cava with these sweet, slightly spicy carrots.

Ensaladilla Rusa

A light salad like this will do well with a Pinot Grigio or Riesling.

Black Olive Tapenade

You can go red or white with this salty treat. For white, a Sauvignon Blanc or Verdejo will make a lovely match. If you prefer red, try a Merlot.

Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pintxo

A white should be your go-to for this deliciously rich treat. Try an Albariño.

Pinchos Morunos

A Rioja or Merlot will pair nicely with this savory pork dish. 

Chorizo a la Sidra

A medium-bodied, fruit-forward red will complement the chorizo. A Garnacha or Pinot Noir will be your best choice here.

Flamenquín

Pork, cheese, and green peppers, rolled and fried, definitely calls for a crisp, acidic white like Verdejo.  

Albódingas

These pork meatballs need a red wine to match. We recommend Pinot Noir or Malbec.


Tempranillo Food Pairing