Ribeira Sacra is one of the most spectacular wine regions in the world. Located in the heart of Galicia with a landscape of steep canyons, winding rivers, mountains and blue sky it’s hard to believe that vineyards are planted on those steep lush green hillsides. Thousands of years ago, Romans carved terraces into the slopes of the Ribeira Sacra that rose at precipitous angles from the rivers below. The cool climate in Ribeira Sacra produces ideal conditions for growing mencía in a style that is juicy and spicy with definite influence from the unique soil and conditions there. This wine from Ribeira Sacra tastes as spectacular as the landscape looks.
Don Bernardino, Mencia Barrica, and Amandi Ribeira Sacra, 2011
With its terraced vineyards plunging hundreds of feet down the slopes of the Sil canyon, Ribeira Sacra and the sub region of Amandi is one of the most strikingly beautiful wine regions in the world. The centuries old practice of “heroic viticulture,” (the caring and harvesting of vineyards grown on very steep inclines) is continued in this sub climate that has great sun exposure, sufficient natural rainfall, efficient drainage, and alluvial/slate soil which combine to grow some of the best Mencia in all of Spain.
This delicious maroon colored wine emits aromas of earthy dark red fruit, like plum and dark cherry with a subtle minerality. Medium round in mouth feel, the wines tannin structure provides a balanced grip.
Flavors of plum raspberry and an earthiness lead to a medium long finish that has lingering dark fruit flavors and a touch of mineral. Pairing this wine is easy as it will go with most stews, beef, pork or bean dishes, hearty cheese, olives and cured meats. Only 500 cases of this wine were made and Cork has some to share with you! The Wine Enthusiast agrees with us, they awarded this wine 90 points.
What you will need:
1 lb. bag medium-sized dry white navy beans
10-12 cups Water
1/2 lb bacon whole, not sliced
1 to 2 lbs. smoked bone-in ham cut in large pieces or 2 smoked ham hocks
6 medium-to-large White potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 extra large bunch collard greens cut in large pieces (Fresh, not frozen) cut into large pieces
2 Spanish sausages [chorizos]whole
1 piece of "hunto" (Salted pork fat found at Spanish food markets)
1 turnip cut in fourths
3 or 4 large garlic cloves (fresh) finely minced and sautéed in olive oil
1 large onion finely minced and sautéed in olive oil with garlic
Salt to taste.
How to make it:
Rinse beans, cover with water in a pot, soak overnight then rinse and discard water. When ready to cook, add 10-12 cups water to the beans.
Add the bacon, Spanish sausage (chorizos), ham and/or hocks, and the hunto. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer about one hour or longer until beans are tender but not dissolved.
Add onion and garlic sauté, the potatoes, turnip, and collards greens. Simmer on medium-low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes or longer, covered only partially to allow steam to escape, until potatoes are tender and stew is thickened. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Remove ham and/or hocks and cut off meat into large chunks, discard bones, cut chorizos into large pieces and return all the meat to the stew. The taste and consistency improves if the pottage is allowed to rest only partially covered for few hours before serving. If made ahead of time, just warm and serve.
Serve in soup bowls with the Don Bernardino, Mencia Barrica,Amandi Ribeira Sacra and plenty of crusty pan de Cea (Galician Country Bread).
Recipe from annatfer via epicurious.com Serves 8
The Wine Guys