Viva Espana!

 MORSELS of Chorizo & Jamon de Iberico, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and WINES galore were the stars at the recent Spanish Wines & Gourmet Food Showcase 2011. Well organized by the Spanish Embassy’s Economic & Commercial Office of Spain in sunny Singapore, I discovered some gems in terms of gourmet food and wines. There were 15 Spanish Food companies and 30 Spanish wineries!

 Mueloliva y Minerva’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil impressed me with its full flavour without bitterness. The glazed Chestnuts from Marron Glace Jose Posada in Galicia were plump and sweetly satisfying.

Evelyn Chua, the Admin Manager of Spanish Passion who imports Spanish food products impressed me with her enthusiasm. I loved her Pata Negra (black pig) ham and flavoursome olives. They were certainly passionate about their products and generous too when it came to sampling…







I ran into Daisuke Kawai, the Chef Sommelier for a French restaurant, who comes from the land of Sake or Japanese rice wine. Daisuke was checking out the Spanish wines with a view to selecting them for his wine list.

 Super Sparklers!

 I was excited when Bodegas y Vinedos Verum’s Oenologo Elias Lopez let me taste the FIRST 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine from the La Mancha region. This Grand Cueva has a lovely cordon (bubbly ring found only in sparkling wines), balanced acidity and flavours of sweet lime & fresh cut lemon. It brought to mind some of the best Blanc des blancs from one of my favourite wine regions, namely Champagne in Franc. This bubbly is made too by the traditional “method champenoise” where the 2nd fermentation is in the bottle! The bottle resembles the Krug bottle.

 Sparkle on!

Another vivacious “sparkler” was Freixenet Trepat D.O. Cava. This bubbly wine is crafted from the Trepat grape. This black grape indigenous to the Conca de Barbera region with 1000 hectares planted in the whole of Catalunya. Trepat is largely unknown even to wine experts and those who only quaff Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Selected Freixenet yeasts & cool temperature controlled fermentation between 14C to 16C plus “method champenoise” makes this Brut Cava idea with seafood & Asian cuisines like Vietnamese, Laotian and Thai. The dosage is 9g/l of sugar. The more common Cava wines like Reserva Real D.O. Cava are blended from Xarello, Macabeo & Parellada grapes. These Spanish grape varieties are also not well known to many unadventurous wine connoisseurs.

 Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad is another Cava I must mention.  A slightly smoky, baguette bouquet plus dried fruits and honey on the palate from aging on the ‘lees’ (yeasts) make it ideal with ‘tartufu nero’ (black truffle) or even a nice Chicken Cordon Bleu. The dosages is 11g/l and it is crafted with 67% Macabeo and 33% Parellada grapes. It won the Gold medal at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in Belgium, I really like the pewter based engraved bottle.

Wonderful Wines!

 Ravishing Raquel Martinez Perez, the Area Manager of Europe for Bodegas Terra Gauda insisted I try her wines. I liked her Mencia wine, and joked with her, “It’s a nice Mencia…not La CIA!” Raquel laughed as we tasted the robust red wine.

 My palate was happy with Bodegas Montalvo Wilmot winery’s Syrah Roble 2009 with its intriguing nose of sour cherries and red fruit flavours plus a good length. Javier Montalvo Wilmot, the affable winemaker kindly did the wine tasting with me. I adored the Coleccion Privada 2006 made with 75% Tempranillo & 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pampered in new French and US oak for 13 months…it was smooth as silk with sweet, ripe tannins & intense chocolate and coconut nuances. Dry at 2.4g/l residual sugar. Their Los Cerrillos vineyard is in the heart of Don Quixote country. With this wine I was delighted to savour their own cheese – Montalvo Wilmot Queso Artesano de Oveja. This is a superb full flavoured cheese made with lecha cruda (fresh sheep’s milk)!

Gourmet delights and fine wines are like hidden treasures waiting to be discovered by The Travelling Gourmet…

 Buen provecho y Salud! {:-)

Text & photos copyright Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM

About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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