May 15, 2007

A wine for Melon, Pecorino and Culatello Anti-Pasti

By Andrew Barrow In Food and Wine
Val de Rayas FariñaI’m feeling particularly smug – the wine I picked for matching with this antipasti turns out to be a damn brilliant match.
I was after something a ‘little different’ to match this mix of sweet juicy melon, salty Iberian meat and firm Pecornio cheese, the twelth edition of Combinations. A Prosecco was initially top of the list until this half bottle of Vino Dulce came my way while in Spain last week.

Dessert WineWine Tasting Note: Fariña Val de Reyes, 2004, Castilla y León, Spain.
No idea of UK stockists. Decanter Wines list wines from Fariña, this bottle is not one of them.
Lemons all the way on the palate mixed with a little orange peel and a dash of sherbet. Val de Reyes is a mix of Moscatel and Albino according to the back label, with an alcohol level of 13%. It is just a lowly Vino de Tierra.
It just matched so deliciously with the food. The mix of flavours from the salty ham (I used Palata Ibérico from Spain), the fine Pecorino, the freshly plucked basil, the heat from the chili countered by the sweetest melon were all handled, tamed and emphasised by the wine. Just a superb match.
Scribblings Rating – 90/100

In total contrast to my sweet wine selection Eating Leeds, a few weeks ago, selected a ‘lightly chilled bottle of Brown Brothers 2005 Tarrango’ as their choice of wine to match the food. An interesting choice and one that I would never have considered.

Melon, Pecorino and Paleta Ibérico antipasti

  1. robert May 15, 2007

    I think Bibendum imports the Fariña wines although I hadn’t seen the dulce on their list
    nice lighting in the food picture!

  2. Andrew May 15, 2007

    Thanks for the info Robert, I have a feeling the wine could be local only.
    The lighting is natural sunlight earlier today just before the rain!

  3. Dr. Debs May 16, 2007

    Picked this up on Twitter–thanks for the heads up. Sounds an amazing pairing and you have every right to be smug!

  4. J. Gómez Pallarès May 18, 2007

    Dear Andrew,
    in Spain we usually match this sweet wines, so called “naturalmente dulces” wines (that is “naturally sweet” wines: the winemaker does’nt stop the fermentation with addition of any alcohol, but it’s the massive presence of sugar whic stops it: this is because they always are under 15%) with cheese, with a semi-matured “manchego” for instance, or with our “blue” cheeses (from Cabrales, for instance). The other possibility, a very interesting too I have to say, is matching this antipasti or cheeeses, with a RED naturally sweet wine, usually more dry than this Fariña or the Telmo Rodrígiez’s Molino Real mountain wine (Axarquía, Málaga): the Mataró from Alta Alella Winery (In Catalonia) or the Dulce Castaño from Castaño Winery, from Yecla, both made with monastrell grapes.
    All the best,


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