PAIRED RECIPES: Seafood Paella with Rioja Tempranillo

The smell of saffron. The sizzle of arborio rice. The swirling of Rioja. Are we in Valencia, Spain? No… We’re in our own kitchen, sweating over our paella pans to deliver another of our Paired Recipes!

Today’s recipe comes courtesy of Wine4Food contributor Garima Kothari, and the ingredients she chose pack tons of earthy, savory flavors into this classic Spanish dish. Mushrooms, smoked paprika, saffron and reduced tomatoes reduce down into a super umami sofrito, coating each grain of arborio rice with a deep, rich flavor.

This dish calls for a cup of white wine, and for that we chose the quintessential Spanish white wine, Albariño. This wine would make a lovely pairing for the dish if it’s all you have on hand, but try something even more bold and lively: The Fernandez de Pierola Rioja Tempranillo. The spice from oak aging and the acidity of the tempranillo grape combine to create a beautiful complement to this seafood paella dish. Spanish wine is always the best choice for Spanish cuisine.

Not used to pairing seafood and red wine? When it comes to pairing, it’s all about the sauce. If your seafood is cooked in a rich broth, try a red wine and see if it changes your mind. We learned this great tip from Chef Didier Elena and Keri Levens at Chefs Club, when we drank Pinot Noir with lobster.

Looking to try this recipe at home? Don’t forget the wine: check Golden Ram Imports’ Where to Buy Page to find a local retailer who carries the Fernandez de Pierola Rioja Tempranillo. You won’t be disappointed!

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