My Paella Travels: Enjoy Paella,Tapas and Wine at Fino Restaurant Patio & Bar: Enjoy Food Friendly Spanish Wines: Camino De Navaherreros & La Cartuja Priorat
MY PAELLA TRAVELS and WINE WITH LISA finds yet another amazing paella experience at Fino Restaurant Patio and Bar located at 2905 San Gabriel Street Austin,Texas 78705 512-474-2905
Look at this masterpiece! Seafood Paella prepared by acclaimed Chef Andrew MacArthur. Chef Andrew is obviously a master at paella and the other amazing offerings at Fino, which is owned by paella lovers Emmett and Lisa Fox.
Succulent and tender fresh seafood vibrant with color and flavor, this paella was loaded with shrimp,mussels,clams,striped bass and at my request-tender and flavorful baby octopus. I immediately detected the aromas of sweet seafood and one of my favorite seasonings sultry,smoked Spanish paprika which is an ingredient frequently used in paella cooking. The lemon aioli was tangy,cool and creamy and was a perfect accompaniment with the seafood and yellow saffron-tinged bomba rice.
You can dine inside or enjoy the filtered sunshine and cool breezes on the gorgeous outdoor patio.
2011 Bodegas Bernabelva Camino de Navaherreros is a luscious,and fruity Garnacha from the vines of Madrid,Spain. This clear bright purple garnacha is light bodied and full of flavors with bright and juicy raspberries,strawberries and a hint of hibiscus tea. The peppery finish and very soft tannins were a perfect balance and I found it to be a very food friendly wine. It matched up with the tapas before the meal and also complemented the paella!
I have read several reviews on this wine and I agree that this is an amazing garnacha and priced around $15. Summer is coming and I would definitely keep this one in the racks. Anything on the grill or in a paella will pair with this great find!
The next Spanish Wine that I had was 2010 La Cartuja from the Priorat Region of Spain. This is a grenache and carinena blend that has a totally different flavor and intensity profile compared to the previous wine.
Wines from this are region are typically intensely concentrated blends of grapes that with a raisiny quality and with lots of bold tannins. The 2010 La Cartuja is apparently made with a more modern style of of slightly restrained tannins and alcohol. Although if you look at the glass in the photo,at 14.5 % abv, you can actually see the legs hanging on the sides of the glass!
It is full of minerality,concentrated black fruits,a hint of licorice yet the fruit was fresh and bright with acidity.
Here is an example of red wine pairing with a seafood dish that works! The bold and complex flavors within the paella allows it to pair well with a bolder wine. The use of smoked paprika in the paella adds a bold meaty character that really works with this wine from the Priorat.
The Seafood Paella was so generously packed with seafood on top that I wanted you to see the brilliantly colored bomba rice with yellow-orange earthy saffron and the sweet and delicately piquant vivid red piquillo pepper grown in Northern Spain.
I fell in love with the white gazpacho appetizer (Tapas) Ajo Blanco with Gulf Prawns, crunchy marcona almonds, and oh my gosh…delicately smoked fresh grapes!
This traditional yet unique gazpacho is usually a blend of pulverized marcona almonds,sherry vinegar,dry bread and olive oil. Water is added to the puree to thin it out. This bowl of gazpacho was a delightful blend of flavors and textures leading me to want more. It was crunchy,tangy,creamy and smoky. The fresh gulf shrimp were the perfect garnish and the smoked grapes were an unexpected delight. I can’t wait to make this at home!
Another favorite, crispy fried green olives stuffed with anchovies-a crunchy and delicious way to eat olives.
They are warm and crispy and seasoned well on the outside and filled with briny olives and anchovies. One of the best tapas ever!
The modern and swanky bar and restaurant area is comfortable for just hanging out or a full on dining experience.