Saavedra & Casa de las Especias
The holiday season is wrapping up, so we thought it would be a good idea to pair our two very special bottles of Spanish Wine with some tasty cuisine. Our last minute attempt turned out to be one of success. It wasn’t long and we were able to locate our late night wine pairing event at Izakaya Restaurant in Guardamar del Segura, Alicante. Perhaps we were just parched and sought a little relief from a pair of good spirits, or maybe it was our taste bud’s desire for some incredibly edible food. Either way, what happened was, we asked Yumi to make us something that would pair nicely with our “Grape Dynamic Duo.” The vino blanco for our wine pairing event was Bodega Ecológica Luis Saavedra’s Albillo – Moscatel, Corucho 2016: D.O. Vinos de Madrid. Our vino rojo was Casa de las Especias Tempranillo – Syrah, Tinto 2016: D.O. Yecla.
Yumi decided to pair our Saavedra Corucho, from the prominent Wine region Castile-La Mancha, with a tapa of salted sugar peas, followed by two appetizer plates. Yumi’s first was deep fried artichokes served with salsa and her second was tuna tartar. The Casa de las Especias was from one of Spain’s smallest, yet highly celebrated Wine regions: Yecla, the jewel of Murcia. Yumi paired Pascual’s miracle in a bottle with entrées of sautéed codorniz (quail) set atop potatoes smothered in onions and covered with grape and mushroom sauce. My friends both thought Yumi’s impromptu menu for our late night food & wine tasting event was an excellent choice and so did I!
The first half of our “grape pair of lovelies” was uncorked by the Barman and poured into our glasses, not too long before Yumi served our bowl of salted sugar peas. Our foxy Corucho had a nice blonde glow about her beautiful body. Her scent and taste beckoned me with her playful, fruity aroma and flavor. This lovely lady didn’t try to overpower me; she was very fresh with her perfect balance and full body as she sashayed by me. Our Saavedra blonde highlighted beauty was elegant, sweet and smooth as she lingered on my tongue; she was very becoming and I longed for the moment when I could bring her to my lips again. I’ve always been partial to red-heads, but this blonde is what the Spanish call muy guapa and she not only appears to be, but she is an exception to the rule! Again and again, this seductive lady’s allure continued to pull my lips in closer for one satisfying taste after another; I couldn’t get enough of her.
Our Saavedra beauty was unlike a dry Chardonnay’s somewhat fruity taste at the beginning, then sometimes leaves a taste of mold in the back of your mouth and throat, or French Chablis that’s sometimes too powerful and leaves a strong aftertaste in the back of the throat. Our lady Corucho did neither; she was very fruity, yet dry; very well balanced and elegant; she left me with a deliciously fresh aftertaste. She’s not too sweet and not too dry, she’s balanced just right!
Saavedra’s Corucho was an absolute delight with Yumi’s peas and I was looking forward to see how the Corucho paired with Yumi’s appetizer plates.
It wasn’t long and Yumi appeared with appetizer #1. They were alcachofas fritas, topped with walnuts and sautéed garlic chips. Yumi’s sauce was an awesome mix of soy sauce, Spanish Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinaigrette, sesame seed and garlic. The meat of the artichoke petals was scrumptious and tender, when dipped in the salsa Yumi prepared, they were fantastic! We were all wolfing our artichokes down like we hadn’t eaten in a week, while Yumi was laughing and saying, “¡¡¡Tranquilo, Tranquilo!!!” Once I was able to eat my way through those outer and inner petals, I found the heart, and it was well worth all the delicious effort it took! Our lovely Señorita Corucho was tasting great with our first round of artichoke appetizer — I could barely wait for the next round. Fortunately, Yumi set the alcachofas fritas on a bed of arugula, which were unbelievable with her Yumi salsa! Saavedra’s Organic Wine’s blend of Albillo and Moscatel was really starting to please me.
Then Yumi arrived with appetizer #2. She had three beautifully prepared and decorated tuna tartar masterpieces for the delight of our senses! The wonderful mix of carrots, cucumber, raw tuna, avocado, including the soy sauce and touch of wasabi, was as much a rare pleasure to eat, as it was to envision. The tuna was fresh and flavorful, the avocado was sweet and juicy, the carrots and cucumber strings were invigorating and tasty, and the salty soy sauce was fantastic with Yumi’s tuna tartar plate. When I tasted Corucho’s fine, unblemished elegance with my 2nd appetizer, the entire pleasurable experience was exceedingly memorable! It’s a good thing we were all using chop-sticks to eat our tuna tartar, because they would have only lasted about 1 minute with a fork. Then what would Yumi have said through her laughter, “¿¿¿Ay Caramba???”
Yumi’s plan worked perfectly, our tapa, appetizers and bottle of Saavedra Corucho were gone and they were extremely appetizing. So much so, I think we were all hungrier than when we arrived. There was only one thing left to do, get Javier to uncork our bottle of Casa de las Especias and get ready for Yumi’s sautéed codorniz!
Once Javi poured that gorgeous red Casa de las Especias Tempranillo Syrah into my glass, my heart palpitated. I knew right away our Spanish muñequita, lady Especias, was going to be “Muy Especial.” Her nose was divine, she had the scent of burnt cherries, plumb and old oak; her aroma was like ambrosia. Our sexy lady had a beautiful full body; she was curvy and voluptuous and she was very forward. This hot lady teased and tempted me with the taste of her magnificent berries, and her flawlessly balanced, luscious legs were so long, sensual and soft, I could barely keep my lips off her. This bodacious red-headed babe was most definitely the definition of a long cool woman in a ‘red’ dress, and I’m not too proud to admit, that with just one look I was a bad mess, ‘cause that long cool woman had it all!
Just then, while my friends laughed, Yumi slapped me across my face and told me to WAKE UP! She then proceeded to gracefully set my codorniz on the table in front of me and she smiled. Oh, it was a pretty bird laying there atop a bed of potatoes so tenderly, lightly draped with caramalized onions and adorned with a number of tasty white grapes, lightly sautéed in butter for effect. Of course, Yumi gave it a little decorative swirl of crème fraîche that stood out against the brown of her demi-glaze uva y champiñón salsa — it was perfect for sopping up with our bread. The aroma was, as they say in Spain, ¡¡¡Fabuloso!!!
When I tasted the quail, it was tender and delicious. The caramalized onions with the potatoes were a great combination. You could have heard a pin drop if it wasn’t for all the lip smacking going on, I could see the three wolves had quickly returned to Izakaya Restaurant and our dining table.
I had to try the Casa de las Especias with my entrée and it was in a word: Magnifique! The wine more than held its own, it greatly enhanced the profile of Yumi’s special plate and that’s on top of how gratifying the delectable taste of Yumi’s cuisine is! My only regret is that the quail wasn’t the size of a turkey; that pair of lovely birds sensually strutted their stuff hand in hand and I wanted more! What a wonderfully explosive and pleasurable experience it was; Yumi’s cuisine paired with an award winning Spanish Wine was legendary. Again I find myself saying: I know our Casa de las Especias Tempranillo Syrah was fully elaborated to be thoroughly enjoyed on its very own merits: Chapeau to the Wine Maker Pascual!
After a short period, our entrées were devoured and we were nearing the bottom of our ravishing bottle of Casa de las Especias. So we finalized our evening with a little bread and a nice mix of four cheeses: Garlic & Herb, Brie, Camembert and Reblochon! What a delightfully satisfying finish to our double wine pairing event.
That’s what happened to our “Grape Dynamic Duo” the other night at Izakaya. Our tasty evening was easily a grand success. Our two lovely Spanish ladies, Saavedra’s Corucho and Casa de las Especias’ Tempranillo Syrah were the most pleasant companions for a weary traveler on a late evening while visiting Spain’s Mediterranean coast. I look forward to the next time I have the pleasure of their enthralling company!
Naturally, we were all too full of Yumi delicacies to eat any Yumi postre, so we decided to just add that on at some point the following day, which we did! Our Yumi dessert turned out to be a yummy chocolate fudge brownie full of walnuts, hazelnuts and gold raisins, and of course, it was served with a café con leche. It was the first time I ever had the pleasure of Yumi’s thick & rich, creamy chocolate fudge, so let me tell you about it! The description of the savory chocolate cube of creamy delicious heaven, filled with those walnuts, hazelnuts and gold raisins that Yumi prepared for us, was so utterly satisfying, that the description of its taste can only be thought of as absolutely ineffable!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed our holiday dual wine pairing fiesta as much as we did here at Izakaya in Guardamar del Segura. Always remember, when you’re visiting the beautiful and historic sights of sunny Spain, don’t forget to take time out and contact Chef Yumi Kurachi. Call Izakaya!
Until next time, this is The Taste Bud saying adiós and…
Contact: 648 898 718
Chef Yumi Kurachi
Calle Lepanto, 26
03140 Guardamar del Segura
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