Spanish wine and food set to woo Indian palates


When we so much as think of Spanish food, we can already smell the saffron infused aromas of a paella. Educate us about Spanish food beyond the paella.
The Spanish Omelette is a dish found all over the country and is made with potatoes and onions fried in olive oil. Another favourite all over Spain is the pollo guisado a la calatana con frutos secos – or a sweet and sour chicken cooked with apricots and nuts. Another dish on the menu today is the fideau with fish and seafood – which is basically noodles cooked in a paella pan. We are also serving a marmitako – which is a stew. And while paella remains the hot favourite, there is much more that Spanish kitchens offer.
Spanish food varies from region to region, like here in India, so we don’t have one staple. I’d say my favourite foods are Special Prawns in Rock Salt and Suckling Pig.
And in India – do you have any favourites in Indian cuisine?
I love the Tandoor and also yellow dal.
Are there any similarities in Indian cooking and Spanish cooking?
In both Spanish and Indian cooking, a common factor is the onion-tomato-garlic base. In Spain, we call it the sofrito and add capsicum as well. The sofrito forms the base of many of our stews.
So, have you been to India before?
This is my fourth visit to India but my third time in Delhi. Apart from Delhi, I have been to Bangalore to promote Spanish wine.
Why India ?
India is an excellent market to promote wines in. Torres can find a good market here. I think Indians will take to Spanish wines quite easily. Our challenge here is to explain a little bit to India about the culture that we have – the culture of wines and food and to try and get Indians to understand what wine is about. It’s really more than just wine as a stand-alone beverage. There’s so much to learn about it, from the way we grow the grapes to what wine you can pair with what food.

The menu you are serving has garlic prawns, seafood and chicken paella, vegetable paella and Spanish omelettes. Which wine would you pair with this food?

White wines would go well with the food I have made today. Torres offers wines like Vina Sol, Vina Esmeralda, Gran Vina Sol, Fransola and Milmanda, which are economical and go well with today’s menu.

Which of your wines would go best with Indian food?

Celeste and Mas La Plana will go very well with Indian food and are worth trying as are some of the upper end wines.
What are your wines priced at?
They’re priced within a very wide range, starting from a modest 3 euros right up to 100 euros.
You mentioned while you were demonstrating recipes, that Spanish food in general is all about slow cooking. What would you consider the fastest Spanish quick fix meal for an Indian person who is rushing to work?
Well, the fastest food to make when you are in a hurry is quite simply something that is uncooked – like a Cold Prawn Salad for example. That’s what I’d recommend.

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