Seafood Paella and Rioja – A Match Made in Heaven

A seafood paella recipe, plus a rioja wine and tapas pairing to create a match made in heaven.

Seafood Paella plus a wine and tapas pairing #matchmadeinheaven @riojawine

This post is sponsored by Rioja Wine but all opinions are my own.

Over the years, I’ve been pretty forthcoming about how much I enjoy a good swig of wine. While I’m not going to turn down a glass just because it doesn’t pair perfectly with a meal, I certainly do love a well-matched wine and food experience. Honest Cooking and Rioja Wine partnered up for a Match Made in Heaven campaign, and asked if I was interested in telling you folks all about Spanish rioja wine. I didn’t think twice before shouting a resounding “yeeeeees!” from the mountain tops.

If you’ve never heard of or tried rioja wine, you’re not alone! Let’s take a hot minute to fun-fact this out!

Rioja 101

  • Originates from the Rioja region in Spain. In order to be a true rioja, the wine must have been produced in this region.
  • Comes in white, red, and rosé blends.
  • Red blends are typically 60% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, with a small amount of Graciano and Mazuelo.
  • White blends predominantly include Viura grapes, as well as Malvasia, and Garnacha blanca grapes.
  • Rosé blends are blushed with red Garnacha grapes.
  • Most wines are barrel-aged in either French or American oak.
  • Winemakers age their blends before release so that they are ready to drink as soon as you buy them – you don’t need to lay these wines down, although you certainly can!
  • Rioja blends are food-friendly! They can be paired with a large range of meats, vegetables, cheeses, and fruits.

Seafood Paella plus a wine and tapas pairing #matchmadeinheaven @riojawine

I was given free-reign to select the type of rioja I wanted to use for this post, so I went with Marqués de Riscal Reserva. This is a red wine, which is barrel-aged in oak for at least one year and then bottle-aged for at least two years before it’s released. It has a sweet, yet peppery flavor. My Rioja Pairing Chart informed me this varietal would be excellent with seafood paella, as well as lamb dishes, mushroom risotto, barbecue beef brisket, ratatouille, and moo-shoo pork. In essence, it pairs well with all the delicious foods.

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