The Perfect Paella and Wine Pairing?

Paella and wine are a natural, because they both come from wine country–Spain’s wine country.  “But the whole country of Spain is wine country,” you are thinking.  And you are right!  And the whole of Spain is Paella country – everywhere doing it a bit differently, as it is with wine.  Arguably the classic Paella is Paella Valenciana – from the Valencia region in southeastern Spain which is coastal, and thus the classic usually is loaded with tender-sweet bivalves and other shellfish, along with chorizo sausage and sometimes meat.

I have adapted my paella recipe for the reality that most of us don’t have access to either great shellfish or great chorizo.  We do have access to Pimenton Ahumado, or smoked paprika, in many markets or on Amazon–and it is a great addition, really enhancing the wine affinity of an already wine-loving dish.  What about saffron – the classic seasoning of paella that is derived from the stigmas of the saffron crocus flower?  Once you imagine the cost of harvesting a spice from the wispy centers of crocus flowers you will appreciate why I made that ingredient optional too.

The wine more than completes the flavor palette–I paired mine with Finca Sandoval from the Manchuela D.O. in Spain – an up-and-comer that, like many emerging Spanish regions, makes it to our shores thanks to that treasure-hunter Spanish

vintner and wine importer, Jorge Ordonez.  Name that grape:)  What would you pair with this dish?  Here is the recipe for Easy Paella

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