Don’t you just LOVE days that celebrate food? This September 16th is International Garnacha Day celebrating one of my favorite food groups, wine, and specifically wine made from garnacha grapes. I’ll drink to that. And maybe eat a few tapas.
Wines of Garnacha wants to hear about how you might celebrate–click over to their site here and get the details and win yourself some sweet swag.
How do I plan to celebrate this illustrious day? Really, there is how I WANT to celebrate and then there is the reality of how a mom with two activity laden kids and a husband who works night shift gets to celebrate a day about wine.
We’ll go over my fantasy first. It’s much more fun.
I’m always a little crazy in my fantasies. And I have lustrous, peppy blue hair. More fun, you know.
There’s me, all excited to be on the couch by myself with no kids spilling my drink, sipping a flavorful white Garnacha. It’s a full day of celebrating, so I’m starting the party during daylight hours.
After I get tired of the couch, I’ll move on to the pool where I’ll sipping a lovely Garnacha rose. Swimming in heels and blue hair–definitely fun.
While I’m doing all this lounging about, I am definitely going to be stuffing myself silly with all the tapas-type appetizers I love. With it being daytime and no kids about, I’ll actually get to eat them.
My children will then picked themselves up from school, gotten their own snacks, done their homework all on their own and made themselves dinner. ((It’s my fantasy, so it could happen!))
A babysitter will miraculously appear and offer to watch the children for free. Then I’ll pick up a few of my favorite rainbow haired friends, and head to the beach and where we will toast to each other’s awesomeness with a robust red Garnacha as the sun goes down. High fives for good wine, good company, and good dreams!
Hooray for Garnacha Day!
Now, one does not receive six bottles of wine on their doorstep without opening them to taste. It’s physically impossible. Or improbable. Take your pick, but the ending is, I drank these mighty fine beverages.
I am a strong believer in drinking what you enjoy. If the critics/experts like it, and you don’t…why bother? These bottles all range in the $10-$20 range, so it’s not cost prohibitive to find out if they’re going to be your favorites.
First Impressions of Garnacha Wine
I’ve never had (to my memory) this particular varietal before. It’s a wine grape that thrives in the Mediterranean climate, with origins in eastern Spain. It’s been used in blends with other wines for forever, but only recently have winemakers started to take a new approach to producing Garnacha and bringing it to the world stage alongside wines like Malabec and Chardonnay.
Chances are, you aren’t likely to have run across a lot of Garnacha wines, either.
But that will change!
These wines are becoming more available and as far as wines go, they are completely approachable. Good for a casual drinker or serious connoisseur, you can pick up a bottle of Garnacha for dinner or a hostess gift and know you’ve got something good in your hands.
What I thought of the ones I sampled:
- The closDalian white Garnacha is full bodied, and a little sweet. Great with a fruit and cheese tray or white meats.
- The Urbezo 2015 red organic Garnacha is very aromatic, and is the perfect flavor to combine with foods of all sorts.
- The Paniza Garnacha has that pretty pink color and just a hint of strawberry.
Really, you could pair these wines with anything. They’ve got great flavor that will work well with all sorts of food. Like tapas–the perfect entertaining/social wine accompanyment.
Wine and Tapas
The Spanish concept of tapas–little dishes meant to be had with drinks–is such a great one. Tapas can be nearly anything, and all those little dishes mean you get to get to experience lots of different flavors while you finish your wine.
Since I like easy, and most of the time quick, I made up a tapas platter that can be used to celebrate even if there are children running around your feet. Here is what’s on it:
- Goat cheese
- Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
- Spiced potato wedges
I stopped by Fresh Market and treated myself to their fancy olive bar–if you lack a Fresh Market, buy some garlic or cheese stuffed olives.
A handful of almonds (plain or spiced) with a nice soft or nutty flavored cheese are always a good feature. I am crazy for goat cheese, so when I don’t plan to share much, it goes on my platter!
Prosciutto wrapped asparagus. There really isn’t much to this. Basically you’ll blanch your asparagus (click here to read how to do this) to where they are slightly cooked but still crispy. Wrap each spear in a half a piece of thinly sliced prosciutto.
Prosciutto tip: get this freshly sliced from the deli if you can. It usually costs less and tastes fresher this way!
Spiced Potato Wedges
I’m gluten-free for health reasons, but I love having something a little starchy when I have a glass of wine. A little time was spent on making this tapas, but they provide that little bit of fill-your-stomach-up feeling while you’re snacking as an alternative to bread.
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 2 tsp Garlic powder
- 2 tsp Onion flakes
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- Drizzle of Olive Oil
- 2 Potatoes, cut into wedges
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine the dry seasonings.
Place the potato wedges into a large bowl, drizzle with the olive oil. Mix the dry seasonings into the potato wedges. Place potatoes on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
However you decide to celebrate, I wish you a Happy International Garnacha Day. Be sure to click over to enter the Wines of Garnacha giveaway!