Question from Jim: I have been invited to a party where the host will be serving a large group of people with a traditional paella dish. Do you have any suggestions for a wine to serve with this meal. I am planning on carrying several bottles to complement the meal. Thank you in advance for your help.
Answer: Dear Jim! Thanks for writing! A paella party sounds very festive and warming for this time of year. Since sangria is a classic Spanish pairing, I think they’re telling us that cool, fruity wine is a good way to go.
Crisp whites with a good acidity are usually the best foil for so many complex and spicy flavors. I’d suggest a good Sauvignon Blanc (we’ve just released our 2006 by the way). Dry or off-dry rosé could be terrific. Viognier, Riesling, or a nice sparkling wine are other good choices. Depending upon the degree of spiciness, whites with a bit of residual sugar can be a nice way to offset the heat. If you have your heart set on a red, I’d go with relatively light-bodied, low-oak fruity reds such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or a soft Merlot. Try to find one that’s under about 13.5% alcohol.
Since you plan to bring several wines, it would be fun to bring a dry white, a slightly sweet white and a light-bodied red to see what you and your friends think is the best match!
I hope that helps and that you have a great time at the party. Cheers! Nancy