Spain had long gained a reputation for some pretty oaky and rather rough red wines. However, Spain’s image is changing and sommeliers, like me, have discovered a fresher side of Spain’s wine industry can be found if you’re willing to take the road less taken; I am.
La Mano Menica Roble (NSLC, $10.49)
I have long been singing the praises of Mencia as Spain’s next great grape, yet to date few have made their way to Nova Scotia. Mencia is an ancient variety, from the Bierzo appellation, that benefits from that region’s poor soils and the cooling effects of wayward Atlantic breezes. La Mano Mencia Roble is a bargain price red that delivers some warming spice, a little dusty, earthy, herbal edged nose and ripe raspberry fruit along with a very discreet mild toasty quality. What makes this stand out is its silken texture. Not to mention it just taste real and Spanish.
Food Pairing: Grilled Nova Scotia lamb chops.
Martin Codax Albarino (Port of Wines, Doyle St, Halifax, $21.49)
Head to Spain’s isolated Galicia region, located along the Atlantic coast, and you will find this country’s most exciting white wines. This lush, very green corner of Spain is decidedly cooler than much of the country - perfect for conditions for producing crisp, fresh white wines made from grapes from the Albarino vine. Light floral, tree fruit (pear) aromas blend with honeyed apple flavours and citrusy acidity in this wine. It’s lip smacking delicious. After attending an event hosted by PEI Tourism and Chef Corbin Tomaszeski, I’ve been inspired to match this wine with Corbin’s PEI Lobster Gazpacho.
Food Pairing: PEI Lobster Gazpacho
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Mark DeWolf is the Food & Drinks Editor of Occasions Magazine, a sommelier instructor and owner of By the Glass.