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Castilla y León: Patatas a lo Pobre + Losada Bierzo 2017 #WorldWineTravel


This year a fourth wine blogging group was formed by Jeff of Food Wine Click! and we will be doing a deep dive into the wines of Spain in 2021. January had us looking at Rioja (my post); in February, we traveled by tabletop to Catalunya (my post). And this month, Allison of  AdVINEtures and Lynn of Savor the Harvest are co-hosting the World Wine Travel bloggers as we continue our deep dive into Spanish wines. 

This month, they have us heading to Castilla y León. You can read the invitation on Lynn's blog. All of these posts will be live by Saturday, March 27th when we'll be meeting for a live Twitter chat at 8am Pacific. Follow along with the hashtag  #WorldWineTravel and be sure to add that to any tweets you posts so we can see them. Here's the #WorldWineTravel Castilla y León line-up...


Bierzo
map from vineyards.com

And being the serial planner that I am, I tracked down two bottles from the Castilla y León to decide which pairing to share for the event. 


First, I poured the Pagos Del Rey Condado de Oriza Reserva 2015, a Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, in the northern part of Spain's Castilla y León. But the pairing wasn't a traditional dish from the region and wasn't my favorite match. So I shifted directions and went with a wine from Bierzo.

Bierzo is a wine region in the northwest part of Castilla y Leon, close to the region's borders with Galicia to the west and Asturias to the north. Divided into two distinct parts, there's Bierzo Alto - 'high Bierzo' - which is mountainous and has terraced vineyards carved into the slopes - and Bierzo Bajo- 'low Bierzo' - which is a broad, verdant plain.

Once inhabited by the Romans, Bierzo was afforded Denominación de Origen (DO) status in 1989 and its climate and location are optimal for growing the local Mencía grapes. Garnacha is also important and broadly used in red wine blends from the region.

In My Glass

I was able to track down a single-varietal bottle from the Bierzo: Losada Bierzo 2017. Made of Mencía grapes, this was a completely new-to-me grape as well as wine region. The Losada Vinos de Finca was established in 2004 across from the ruins of Bierzo's Roman-era fortification called Castro Ventosa. And their philosophy was to create limited production wines without excessive technology. A throwback to the region's history, the owners sought out old Mencía vineyards that were established on the clay substrates versus the more popular slate ones.

The grapes are sustainably farmed and hand-harvested before being destemmed and fermented with indigenous yeasts. Then the wine is aged in French oak for nine months before bottling.

Red fruit abounds in this earthy wine. It pours a deep ruby with purple highlights. On the nose, you get raspberry and pomegranate at the forefront. On the palate the wine has surprising depth and texture. But the velvety texture gets some lift from the minerality and tartness on the finish. 

On My Plate

It was mild enough weather to take this dinner outside, but we were still longing for comfort foods. I ended up having Jake grill chicken thighs which weren't particularly Spanish-inspired. So, I decided to add Patatas a lo Pobre to the menu as well.


Patatas a lo Pobre seems to be a ubiquitous Spanish dish. 'Poor man's potatoes' are simple and filling. With few ingredients and a simple preparation, these are ready in less than 30 minutes.


Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 medium-sized potatoes (I used Yukon gold)
  • 1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers (I used one red and one green), cored and sliced
  • 5 to 6 cloves of garlic. peeled and crushed
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

 

Procedure

Scrub the potatoes and chop them into thick slices. Place them in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. They should be easily pierced with a fork, but still holding their shape. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 3 to 4 Tablespoons olive oil and add in the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add in the drained potatoes and continue cooking until the edges on the potatoes soften and some of the smaller pieces are crisped.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

That's a wrap for my tabletop travel to the Castilla y León with the #WorldWineTravel bloggers. We'll be back next month as Linda of My Full Wine Glass hosts us on a Virtual Road Trip to Rías Baixas. Stay tuned.

Comments

  1. We had a lot of this dish in the region when we visited and it pairs so beautifully with the wines--looks like you had the perfect choices!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love how almost every region in Spain has this dish. It's so versatile.

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  2. I have not explored Bierzo but it seems to be quite an up and coming region. I love the simplicity of the poor man's potatoes. You can beat red peppers to add a Spanish flair!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely an up and coming region. Honestly Spain wasn't at the top of my to-travel list. But, with these events, it's steadily climbing!

      Delete
  3. I didn't see this grape in my adventures to find a wine from this DOC. It sounds good and I hope to fine it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Please do. It was a delicious wine...and Martin (ENOFLYZ Wine Blog) writes more about it for this event as well.

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  4. Bierzo (and Mencia in general) has been a new favorite the last couple of year. I find it super food friendly. The potatoes give me warm, cozy comfort food vibes. YUM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it was really food friendly. I am excited to explore more.

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  5. Although I love Ribera del Duero wines, I've reached for Bierzo more often and love the wines. Did I miss it... the Bierzo with your Patatas a lo Pobre and chicken? Your prior planning is commendable Camilla!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure what you mean, Lynn. I shared the recipe for the Patates a lo Pobre at the bottom of the post. I didn't share the chicken recipe because it wasn't particularly Spanish or exciting. LOL.

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  6. I've only had a few Bierzo wines, they are a bit new for me too. Glad you enjoyed yours!

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  7. Eager to find a Mencia from Bierzo after reading your post. Spaniards do seem to love their fried potatoes!

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  8. Yum I may make those potatoes tomorrow. The wine sounds divine too. Cheers to you and Happy Anniversary! Susannah

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  9. I've liked the Mencia that I've had, will have to find some again soon. Nice to mix up the potatoes! Happy anniversary!

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  10. It all sounds delicious Cam! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. I'm digging the look and feel of your website Cam. Those potatoes and the grilled chicken sounds great with you Mencia. I love the grape...I have no idea why I hadn't had it in years! Cheers!

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