This Easter, put a little spring in your step with delicious Rioja and seasonal British foods. It is well know that Rioja is a classic match for lamb – the Easter roast wouldn’t be the same without a bottle of Crianza or Reserva but how about pairing a crisp white Rioja with spring vegetables or fish this April?
Watercress, rocket and spring onions are just some of the fresh seasonal vegetables that will be making their way to your table this spring. Choose a zesty, unoaked white Rioja to pair with salads or healthy vegetable soups – the Muga Blanco 2007 would be an ideal choice. A blend of Viura and Malvasia, it has flavours of green apples and citrus that complement light dishes beautifully. Add some smoked salmon to your salad for an extra touch of decadence, and serve with a fruity rosado wine such as Faustino Rosado 2008.
Bream and sea trout are wise, sustainable choices for healthy fish dishes this spring. Being firmer, fuller flavoured fish, they are delicious grilled or baked and served with a side dish of buttered Jersey Royal potatoes. A delicious oaked white Rioja such as Cosme Palacio Blanco 2007 would work well, the creamy richness of the oak ageing partnering well with the rich, buttery flavours.
Rioja is famed for its lamb cutlets. In the region they are grilled on a barbecue of vine shoots and served with a glass of red Crianza or Reserva – heavenly! In the UK, spring lamb and British grown rosemary are back on our shelves in April and would make the perfect Easter roast. Traditional style Riojas Marqués de Riscal Reserva 2004 or Viña Real Gran Reserva 1999 would be the ideal accompaniment.
Modern fuller bodied styles of Rioja would go well with a mid-week dinner of pan-fried pork fillets with oven roasted vegetables. Succulent and easy to prepare, match the intense flavours with soft and fruity Marqués de la Concordia Tempranillo.