Our Galician neighbor to the east is much like the United States east coast, with town’s villages and cities bordering the Atlantic Ocean. There is one very big difference, Galicia in Spain was first occupied over 30,000 thousand years ago and they have been perfecting food and wine that is ideal for their culture and climate. Here is a great classic food and wine pairing that has been enjoyed for thousands of years in the heat of summer.
Chan De Rosa Albarino, Rias Baixas 2014, was just released and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. With the peak of summer heat, and humidity that never seems to go away this wine fights back. The color of the wine makes you think of golden wheat fanned by the winds of the plains and you are drawn to the fragrant bouquet of chilled star fruit, freshly picked pineapple and pure cold mountain spring water. The bright balanced acidity of this light bodied wine makes it crisp, and the flavors of subtle Asian apple pear, tart stone fruit and a light note of lingering citrus combine leaving one with a clean refreshing finish. If you were in Rias Baixas enjoying this wine you most defiantly would be paring it with seafood, here is a classic Galician dish that you should go out of your way to make and enjoy.
Pulpo Gallego, (Galician-Style Octopus)
What you will need:
2-pound octopus, cleaned (can be found in china town NYC, Union City and Newark or you can use frozen), 1 1/2 cups dry sherry, 3 cups water, 2 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled, plus 4 large cloves, peeled and finely minced, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1/2 lemon, sliced, 2 and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 pound waxy potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch slices, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, Coarse salt to taste.
How to make it:
Place the octopus in a medium saucepan and cover with 1 cup of the sherry and the water (the liquids should just cover the octopus). Add the 2 smashed garlic cloves, peppercorns, lemon, and 2 teaspoons of the paprika. Bring to a simmer and simmer gently, covered, adding the potato slices during the last 20 minutes of the cooking, until the octopus is tender, about 45 minutes. When the octopus is cooked, remove for heat and keep covered.
While the octopus is cooking, place the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauté pan over moderately low heat. Add the remaining garlic to the pan, cooking, for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic is softened. Increase heat to high, and add the remaining 1/2 cup of sherry and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of paprika. Boil the liquid until it is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat, and whisk in the 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
Remove octopus from cooking liquid, and slice into serving pieces (shapes are up to you). Arrange with potato slices on 4 individual plates, drizzle the sauce over and top with coarse salt to taste. Serve immediately. I served this with a salad of fresh tomatoes, hearts of palm, artichokes, and avocado, drizzled with olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lime, salt and pepper to taste.
The Wine Guys