Wine of the week: Spanish Wine Week has a lot to offer

I’m back writing about Spanish wine again this week (after a short break!) but I have a good excuse as Spanish Wine Week runs from April 23 to April 29. I’ve spoken a lot about the value to be had from Spain but less about cava. Much of the cava we drank in the 1990s was rather simple

Wine of the week: Spanish Wine Week has a lot to offer

By Leslie Williams

I’m back writing about Spanish wine again this week (after a short break!) but I have a good excuse as Spanish Wine Week runs from April 23 to April 29. I’ve spoken a lot about the value to be had from Spain but less about cava. Much of the cava we drank in the 1990s was rather simple but in the last decade and a half the quality has improved markedly.

The grapes used in cava don’t have huge natural flavour (they are low in terpenes to give the technical explanation) but through extra lees ageing and use of vintage wines the better producers are making some wonderful wines.

Two cava that I really like are in my recommendations below and two others to watch out for include the organic Albet i Noya which is creamy and supple and is available in the Lettercollum Kitchen Project in Clonakilty, Organico Bantry, Clontarf Wines, Ballymaloe Cookery School and Quay Co-Op in Cork. I also really like the Rosat (rosé) Cava Trepat from Agustí Torelló Mata imported by Grape Circus for Sheridans Cheesemongers in Galway and Dublin and available in some independents.

This last is made from the rare trepat grape indigenous to north eastern Spain. This reminded me of cherry pie. I will be doing a couple of events during Spanish Wine Week including hosting a free tasting next Friday in The Wine House in Howth, Co Dublin, where I will be presenting a ‘Magnificent Seven under €25’ to show just how much Spanish wine punches above its price-point. More about The Wine House on www.thewinehouse.ie.

The second event is a wine and food pairing dinner at The Lodge at Ashford Castle in Co Mayo on April 29, at 7pm.

I love Jonathan Keane’s cooking and gave him a rave review last summer.

Tickets may still be available and cost €65 all-in — if there are any left they can be booked via www.thelodgeac.com.

L’Atitude 51 will have an Atlantic and Mediterranean Wines Taste-Off on Tuesday next (€15) presented by Rafa from Vinostito whose Cava and Mallorcan wines I mention.

For more details visit www.spanishwineweek.ie

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