National Paella Day came and went a few weeks ago, but wines from the dish’s country of origin are fortunately with us all the year round.
Three new Spanish arrivals would certainly partner the savoury rice concoction very nicely, but also happily complement a range of more solid English fare as well.
And while on the subject of wine/food pairings, I also recently tasted three new bottles from Bordeaux – a region whose marketing slogan declares that ‘good food would choose Bordeaux’– at the same time.
First to Spain, and a mouthwatering, very pale golden wine named Fillaboa Albarino 2010 (13 per cent, £14.99, M&S online and other selected independents).
Although fine for paella, and for English fish and chicken dishes, I would prefer to drink this soft and complex wine as an aperitif, all by itself, to enjoy its flavours of ripe apples and peaches.
The albarino grapes used are grown on slopes high above the River Mino, which separates Galicia from northern Portugal.
In complete contrast, Emina Pasion, Ribera Del Duero 2009 (13.5 per cent, £12.99, Ocado) is deep and dark, with the powerful presence of damsons, chocolate, coffee and spice.
This sound red is made from the classic Spanish grape tempranillo, and well worth a detour, as the old Michelin guides used to say. It should be opened at least a couple of hours before drinking Even a small Spanish selection would be incomplete without a rioja, and I tried Beronia Dos Maderas Crianza 2008 (13.5 per cent, £9.99, Ocado).
This is 100 per cent tempranillo, and made by an award-winning winery.
It would certainly go as well with English roast beef or lamb as with paella or pasta.
It’s a medium-bodied wine, with red cherries and spices like cinnamon.
Ageing was in two different types of oak – French, said to bring the touches of spice, and American, adding the hints of vanilla you expect in rioja.
Again, should be opened well in advance of consumption.
Now off to France, and a stylish claret called Chateau Lapelletrie Saint-Emilion grand cru 2006 (13 per cent, £13.79, Tesco).
Merlot is the predominant grape, providing a rich plummy character, together with a distinctive blackcurrant contribution from the 30 per cent cabernet sauvignon.
There are light oaky hints in this delicately balanced wine, and a rather nice floral aroma.
Chateau Ducla Experience XIV 2006 (13 per cent, £13.49, Averys, www.avery.com) is an aromatic white, made from 48 epr cent sauvignon blanc and 52 per cent sauvignon gris.
It has a creamy style, with fresh, light tastes of gooseberries and citrus, with mineral notes in the background.
Decent low-priced Bordeaux is not that easy to come by, but Marks and Spencer have found one with Chateau Gillet 2010 (13 per cent, £6.49, M and S).
This is a straightforward, easy-drinking red, with full, ripe fruit dominated by merlot. There’s no oak.
Fine by itself, but would go particularly well with summer barbecue fare, so let’s hope we get the right weather for some of these over the coming months.