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Pasta and Rioja

Rioja wines are famous for their ability to pair with all kinds of food, so since we have just celebrated World Pasta Day, we wanted to suggest perfect wine pairings for a few delicious pasta dishes, bringing together the best of Spain and Italy.

 

Rigatoni chorizo and chicken tomato pasta bake

 

Bring some Spanish warmth as the evenings get longer and darker with a delicious rigatoni chorizo and chicken tomato pasta bake, paired with a Crianza Tinto. These youthful, red wines are a slightly more fruit forward style of Rioja, often boasting delicious notes of blackberry and redcurrant, sometimes with a touch of smoke adding depth and complexity. These flavours compliment the herby basil and oregano sauce as well as chorizo, as the young and fresh fruity flavours temper the spicy chorizo kick.

 

 

Ricotta, pea and mint ravioli

 

For the delicate and light flavours involved in this dish, a young Rioja Blanco is an excellent choice. These fresh and fruity wines demonstrate aromatic qualities of white blossom, tarragon and lemon verbena, all typical of Viura which is the principal white grape variety in the region. These bright and clean flavours will enhance the freshness of pea and mint, while the naturally high acidity of the wine will cut through the salty nature of ricotta cheese.

 

 

Lamb ragu with pappardelle

 

A melt-in-the-mouth lamb dish deserves a wine to match. As a fatty meat, lamb pairs best with a wine with a more defined structure as well as ripe fruit to complement the juiciness of the meat. An ideal pairing for this would be a Rioja Reserva. These wines have been aged and matured in oak and bottle for 24 months, developing notes of toast, black plums, blackberry and green pepper. The depth, acidity and flavours of a Reserva make a perfect match for a hearty portion of lamb ragu.

 

 

Orzo and Mediterranean vegetables

 

This wonderfully textured dish is simple, adaptable and flavoursome, and lends itself brilliantly to a full bodied yet aromatic wine, such as a Rioja Blanco Crianza.  With hearty roast vegetables, a wine with rich flavours will elevate and develop this dish by introducing elements of herbs, tropical fruit, hazelnuts and beeswax, which evolve in the wine as a result of the 12-month ageing and oak ageing process.