Rigmarole. What a perfect word for what we’ve been going through globally during the pandemic: a lot of rigmarole. Masks. Social Distancing. Extra washing. Vaccines. COVID tests. Elbow bumps instead of hand shakes. Elbow bumps instead of hugs. Vaccine card checks. “Galimatias” means “rigmarole” according to the label for the 2013 Bodegas Vega del Castillo “Galimatias” Cabernet Sauvignon.
While we here on Wine Predator we tend to highlight indigenous grapes from a region, today we are focusing on an international grape that has been making waves in Spain, Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the most recognizable and widely planted red grapes in the world.
For many people in the US, the default red grape is Cabernet Sauvignon just as Chardonnay is the default white grape. But if a Cabernet Sauvignon is the way for someone to discover the pleasures of wines from Spain then so be it!
This year the World Wine Travel group of wine writers has traveled to Spain with a focus each month on a different region (see the complete list below). This month, we trip over to Navarra in northern Spain.
Famous for the Running of the Bulls in Fermin and for the Camino de Santiago which brings pilgrims through the region, Navarra sits in the western part of the mountainous border region between France and Spain.
The Camino de Santiago leads to the shrine of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela. As Pilgrims returned from the Camino, they shared stories about the wonderful wine in Navarra.
In 2018, Sue and I hosted the #WinePW crew of wine writers to write about Navarra:
NAVARRA — INVITE: Exploring Wine from Navarra, Spain
NAVARRA — PREVIEW: Navarra, Home to the Camino; Navarra wine paired with osso bucco
NAVARRA — POST: Along the Way with Wine from Navarra
Navarra is in the Pyrenees mountain range with plenty of water for farming fresh vegetables like artichokes and peppers, two signature crops, as well as for trout, a signature dish.
But for most people, especially those who have walked the Camino, it is pinxtos they remember most, or appetizers, small bites to have in a cafe along with abundant local red wine. I have yet to experience this myself, but they say what you do is stab the bite you want with a bit of bread with your cocktail stick! Read more about the difference between a pinxto and tapas here.
Sue loves setting up a pretty plate of small bites, and enjoying wine with conversation, so we kept it simple.
This is what we did for a pairing with Navarra Garnacha:
- Iberico -Sheep goat and cow milk
- Cabra al vino – goat milk
- Manchego – sheep milk
- Salchichon – Spanish brand salame
- Del Duca – Jamon Serrano – Dry-Cured Ham
- Chorizo Cantimpalo
Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms
It’s also very important to use Spanish chorizo sausage and NOT Mexican. This stuffing would be delicious in portabellas as an entree on bed of rice.
|White button or cremini mushrooms, large, wiped clean with a damp towel or brush||24 ea.|
|Olive oil, extra virgin, divided use||6 Tbsp., plus 1 tsp.|
|Butter, plus extra melted butter for basting as needed||6 Tbsp.|
|Combination dried or fresh thyme, marjoram, chopped||1/8 cup|
|Garlic, minced||2 Tbsp.|
|Prosciutto, minced||½ cup|
|Chorizo sausage, dry-cured, chopped||½ cup|
|Parsley chopped for serving||1/8 cup|
|Bread crumbs, toasted||½ cup|
|Black pepper, freshly ground or as needed||½ tsp.|
|Manchego or Parmesan cheese, grated||2 Tbsp.|
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop the stems finely. Reserve the caps and 1 to 1 ½ cups of the chopped stems separately.
Heat 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and brown the mushroom caps, about 8 minutes, turning halfway through. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over moderate heat and cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushroom stems and cook until the stems have wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the ham and chorizo and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in the herbs and breadcrumbs. Season to taste with pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Oil or butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish with about 1 teaspoon of oil. Spoon a scant tablespoon of the mixture into each of the mushroom caps. Place in the baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown, basting with a little melted butter, if desired. Sprinkle each cap with ¼ teaspoon of grated cheese, if using. Serve hot or warm.
Galimatias means rigamarole. Just drink it to get it undone this rigamaorle. Rigamarole was one of my mom’s favorite words so when I saw it on this wine, I bought it, but just never found the right time to open it up. This finally seemed it. And we paired it with a minimum amount of rigamarole. My mom would have loved it!
Color: Cherry cola, Brick, Garnet, copper rim
Aroma: Cherry and herbs, eucalyptus, vanilla, Sue really loved the nose on this wine.
Palate: Super smooth, very fruit forward, cherry, balanced acidity that is apparent at the back of the mouth. The tannins are very smooth, soil, clay at the front of the palate as the wine is finishing in your mouth. very drying, this is the time for this wine. It needs to be opened and enjoyed.
Pairing: Fantastic with the dry roasted chickpeas, great tapas bar pairing. Nice with the chicken empanada, it loves the seasoning. I want a taco with this wine. Creamy blue and Cab is usually quite nice and this is no exception. So so satisfying with the stuffed mushrooms. Responds well to crunchy fried salami. Loves the textural elements of the aged Manchego, and also loves the rosemary crust on the goat cheese Manchego.
What other wines do the World Wine Travel writers have on offer? Check out their posts linked to below.
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm shares Sazon Goya Grilled Chicken Thighs and an Old Vines Garnacha
- Terri of Our Good Life shares Navarra’s Local Red Wine Drink: The Kalimotxo #worldwinetravel
- Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog shares 2016 Artazu Pasos de San Martín” Navarra + One Pan Spanish Chorizo & Shrimp
- Nicole of Somm’s Table shares Azul y Garanza Naturaleza Salvaje Navarra Tinto with Basque Tomato Soup and Grilled Chicken
- Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares Virtual Navarra: Spicy Lamb Meatballs + Vina Zorzal Graciano 2018
- Jeff from Food Wine Click shares Surprisingly Fresh in Navarra with Itxas Harri
- Gwendolyn Alley from Wine Predator shares Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms with Navarra’s “Galimatias” Cuts Through The Rigmarole
- Susannah from Avvinare shares Discover Navarra Rosados that Brighten your Day
- Robin on Crushed Grape Chronicles shares Gardacho Garnacha from Navarra and Pochas Estofadas
Check out our twitter chat at 8am September 25 by searching for the hashtag #WorldWineTravel.
Here’s where we’ve traveled in 2021 — and where we’re going! You’re invited!
- January La Rioja
- February Catalunya-Penedes-Cava-Priorat-Monstant
- March Castilla y Leon-Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Toro
- April Galicia-Rias Baixas
- May Cariñena
- June Basque Country
- July Cider from Spain and Around the World
- August Murcia and Valencia
- September Navarra
- October Andalucia
- November La Mancha
- December Open Mic– We’re Going Organic!