The theme for the most recent wine dinner was Spanish. And very nice it was too.
We started with a tapas platter - chorizo cooked with onions and red wine was really the highlight. The tomatoes stuffed with diced onion and tiny capers would have been better if the tomatoes were really sweet flavourful ones. The mixed pepper tortilla was very good, and I could eat tiny potatoes stuffed with potato salad again. The wine served with the tapas was delicious though - Masia l'Hereu rose cava. Not too sweet, but fruity and light and lovely.
What they called Gazpacho Extremeno came next. It didn't bear much resemblance to the recipes for this dish that I have seen - normally it is a breadcrumb base with garlic, olive oil and beaten eggs, with green peppers to garnish. This one used cucumber as the base and I don't think it had eggs in it. It was OK, I think it could have done with some vinegar to give it an edge, but that might have been unkind to the Albarino Valminor we were drinking (I think Albarino Valminor sounds like a High Elf in the Silmarillion, but it is in fact an indigenous Spanish wine grape). The other people at the table had Gambas al Ajillo for this course. I think they chose better - the prawns were fat and perfectly cooked.
As a main I had Huachinango a la Gaditana - red snapper with tomato, pepper and brandy sauce. I think I had the best option. The fabada asturia, with beans, pork ribs and chorizo was delicious, but the portion was huge, and the Paella Vegetariana was more like a stodgy, underseasoned risotto that a paella. And it had to go back to the kitchen to be warmed up. The Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva that we had with our main courses was fantastic, spicy and fruity and not too much tannin.
Yet again the dinner failed at the pudding course. The wine supplier doesn't have a Spanish sticky (we asked the rep) so with the desserts they presented a Blanco Rueda - which was a lovely wine but just didn't work at all with the pear poached in cinnamon and white wine.