Valencia Inspires Our First Paella #WorldWineTravel

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World Wine Travel Writers Explore Valencia and Murcia
This month, we travel virtually to the sunny Mediterranean coast of Spain, to the wine regions of Valencia and Murcia. Valencia is the historic home of paella, though that dish has grown to be a hallmark for the entire country. The wines are less well known, perhaps because there are no major Spanish cities found in these two regions. Our writers will have lots to discover. Scroll down farther in this post to link to all our articles.

Mestizaje is Bodegas Mustiguillo’s flagship red wine

Bodegas Mustiguillo
Bodegas Mustiguillo marries tradition and modernity in their vineyard practices. They are certified organic, using gobelet (bush) training, only irrigating individual vines when absolutely needed. They utilize cover crops between rows. However, they do use modern sensors to monitor when and where individual vine irrigation is required. All grapes are hand harvested. In the winery, individual plots are vinified separately and yeasts are used to start fermentation, but they are yeasts cultivated at the winery.

Bodegas Mustiguillo Mestizaje Bobal El Terrerazo DO 2018 ($17 locally at Henry and Son) 14.2% abv
made with organic grapes. 72% Bobal, 17% Garnacha, 11% Shyra (Syrah) link here text
Eye: Medium ruby
Nose: Medium plus intensity aromas of ripe blueberries, blackberries, black plums and fresh pine needles, toast
Mouth: Dry, medium plus acidity, medium plus grippy tannins, medium body, high alcohol, medium plus intensity flavors, medium finish. Flavors follow the aromas with addtional impressions of slate
Observations: The wine is high alcohol but not heavy or too full bodied. Fresh with lively acidity and firm tannins, this wine paired surprisingly well with our paella. Perhaps it was the chorizo sausage and complex flavors in the rice.

Bodegas Baldovar 923 Rascaña

Bodegas Baldovar 923
Bodegas Baldovar 923 vineyards are located at altitudes ranging from 800 to 1200 meters above sea level, ensuring large day-night temperature differences helping to preserve acidity as the grapes ripen. The Altoturia region has been designated a biosphere preserve and a starlight destination for its dark skies. My kind of place! They work their vines with organic and biodynamic processes. In the winery, they do not use any additions to their grapes or musts. Our wine is 90% Merseguera, a native grape to the region. Jancis Robinson’s tome, “Wine Grapes” lists Merseguera as an uninspiring variety (ouch). Perhaps they haven’t tried a skin-fermented version.

Rascaña Baldovar 923 2019 DO ($37 locally at Henry and Son) 12.5%
90% Merseguera 10% Macabeo
Eye: Medium hazy lemon
Nose: Medium plus intensity aromas of bruised apples, apple cider, lemon curd, lemon rind, pencil eraser, wet pavement
Mouth: Dry, medium plus acidity, medium minus body with a soft texture, medium alcohol, medium plus flavor intensity, medium plus finish. Flavors follow the aromas. A slight tannin astringency from time on grapeskins.
Observations: A nice introduction to skin-fermented white (orange) wine. While very different from a typical fresh and bright white wine, this wine is still very approachable. Excellent served with our paella, easily balancing both the seafood and the spicy chorizo sausage.

World Wine Travelers Share their Valencia and Murcia Finds
Take a look below at all the great finds from Valencia and Murcia from my fellow writers. Then, why not join our chat? We take to the Twitterverse on Saturday morning, August 28 from 10-11am CDT. Just search on Twitter for #worldwinetravel. See you there!

Our First Paella Experience
As our group has been making its way around Spain, I’ve been a bit surprised how little Spanish cooking I’ve done. I’m particularly surprised that I’ve never made paella. Since the dish is from Valencia, it was a sign for me to change that. As my daughter, Casey, said in the video, we didn’t strictly follow any one recipe. I started with a good video confidence builder at Spain on a Fork. I purchased a 30cm paella pan, about right for 4 people, plus it fit on my grills both at home at up at the lake. Note: 30cm paella pan was perfect for 4 adults, but there were no leftovers. Good news as everyone loved the meal, but nothing left for lunch the next day! In my paella reading, I found that chorizo sausage is not included in the classic Valencia version, but it seems to be included elsewhere. I had some actual Spanish chorizo sausage, so in it went! Given the number of mistakes we made along the way, I wouldn’t have been surprised with something less than success. However, we loved our paella, so I say give it a try!

9 Responses to “Valencia Inspires Our First Paella #WorldWineTravel”
  1. terristeffes says:

    We took a paella class while in Spain. Oh my word, so amazing. Your dish looks divine. I cannot wait to try it the grill, though. Perfection.

  2. We did a grilled Paella a number of years ago (back when I was the Paella king in the house…now Gigi is the Paella queen!) It looks delish. I can totally see a you skin-fermented white wine pairing well with the Paella! Cheers Jeff!

  3. robincgc says:

    What interesting varieties you found! I must admit that I do find that “Wine Grapes” upon occasion has missed out on tasting some of the great wines that we find.
    Your paella looks delicious! (I do find Spain on a Fork to be a go-to for Spanish food inspiration!)

  4. wendyklik says:

    That grilled paella looks wonderful and I love the selection of wines that you found.

  5. culinarycam says:

    Your paella looks fantastic! I refrained from another paella version because I just did it for #WinePW earlier in the year. But I have never grilled mine. I’m intrigued.

  6. We love paella also — and it can be tricky to pair! May have to do it next month– I hear World Paella Day is Sept 20! I love how affordable these wines are — under $20 for organic head trained vines! And an unusual grape too– that one’s new to me!

  7. Grilling over charcoal adds a rustic touch and probably some smoky flavor, right? Sounds yummy with the Mestizaje. Must check out Spain on a Fork.

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