|I eat a lot of canned tuna. I grew up eating Chicken of the Sea but since my first trip to Iberia and a taste of Spanish Bonito del Norte, I’ve never gone back to the fish of my youth. I’m seriously addicted to Spanish tuna which is so delicious on sandwiches, on top of lentils or mixed greens, or tossed with pasta and capers.
But there’s much, much more than tuna in the way of canned seafood from Spain and Portugal. In fact, the quality of Spain’s tinned seafood is so legendary that many tapas bars in Madrid and Barcelona serve only canned fish.
For 2012 I resolve to broaden my seafood horizons beyond tuna by tasting through The Spanish Table’s canned fish department. So far, I’ve delved into Cole’s Smoked Trout (delicately flavored, excellent on crostini, $6.99/3.2 oz,) Matiz Gallego Octopus in Olive Oil (wonderful served warm over sliced boiled potato with smoked paprika – $8.99/4.2 oz), Albo Mackerel Fillets in Olive Oil (loaded with Omega-3! $4.99/4 1/4 oz).
And I simply couldn’t resist the Serrats Tuna with Piquillo Pepper ($12.99/5.45 oz, net). Bonito del Norte permeated by the flavor of piquillo pepper from the layer of pepper on top. This is great on top of brown rice.
The results from our annual Three Kings Day staff wine tasting are in!
THE WINNER: 2006 Izadi Reserva Rioja ($19.99) 100% Tempranillo, aged in American oak for 14 months, this is a beautifully structured red with a core of smoothly integrated oak notes. Bright red fruit with notes of tobacco and spice and a fresh, lingering finish make this a wine fit for a King! 90 points Stephen Tanzer
2007 Quinta dos Aciprestes Tinto, Douro ($18.99) A full-bodied and smooth red wine from an excellent Portuguese vintage, 2007 Aciprestes has explosive notes of blackberry, cherry and cassis. With notes of earth, great lift, an abundance of minerals, and hints of vanilla from seven months of aging in oak, this superbly balanced red is absolutely stellar.
2009 Planella, Montsant ($19.99) tied with Quinta dos Aciprestes for second place in our tasting. A blend of old-vine Carignan, 35% Garnacha and 20% Syrah, it was aged 11 months in oak. With ripe and dense cherry liqueur aromas on the nose, it has notes of berry, spice and coffee on the palate. Rich and polished, 2009 Planella has hints of dust and mineral and a lengthy, clean finish.
Super prices on two tasty reds!
2006 Pó de Poeira Tinto, Douro ($9.99) SALE! regularly $20.99. “Poeira” means fine dust from the schist soils of this vineyard, which is owned by Jorge Nobre Moreira, winemaker at Quinta de la Rosa. Jorge makes small quantities of wine from his north facing property using minimal intervention. 2006 Pó de Poeiraisan authentic expression of terroir, while offering up freshness and vitality. With a traditional Douro red’s depth and weight, it displays elegance, energy, and well-knit structure. ‘Poeira’ means dust, as Jorge explains: ‘This wine is born in the dirt and wind-borne dust, in the coarseness and austerity of the Douro, it is born from the elements and the vine. It is moulded by man because we believe that a wine should not end with an exclamation mark, but always leave questions to be answered…. This wine is highly recommended!
2008 Codice, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla ($10.99) ” The deep crimson-colored 2008 Codice Tinto is 100% Tempranillo aged for 6 months in tank and 6 months in French and American barriques. It sports a bouquet of cedar, spice box, black cherry, and plum. On the palate it reveals a solid core of fruit with good ripeness, savory flavors, and a fruit-filled finish.” 87 points Wine Advocate