Saturday, 2 January 2010

What's For Afters?



On New Year's Eve in Spain, people tend to eat one of their most opulent meals of the year, as did we this year.  We copped a lobster which we ate with asparagus and potatoes, after starters of clams, salmon tartare and the obligatory pa amb tomaquet.  


With about a quarter of an hour to go to midnight, we hadn't had pudding, which I had planned to be a dessert wine that I have had for a while.  It had been airing for a while, as is the protocol for this type of vino, but we had to wolf it down in order to make it to our rendez-vous.


With an hour to kill this afternoon, I have decided to revisit the bottle, which can be kept corked for a while afterwards, due to the sugar content.


The grape is known locally as Matarò, internationally as Mourvèdre, or Monastrell, and is autoctonous to D.O. Alella, which as I have mentioned before, is the closest wine-producing region to Barcelona.  It is made with over-ripe grapes, which are harvested just before they start to turn into raisins.  No sugar, therefore is needed to make this sweet wine.  They macerate for six months in steel casks which gives the juice its deep red-brown colour.  Finally, it is matured in barrels of French oak.


This particular drop is a potent and sweet but not sickly one, delicious in small quantities, with matices of game and red berries.


It is really nice and satisfying to be drunk alone, without a dessert to accompany, but if you do go for a pudding, it is said that it should not be sweeter than the wine.


Mark D.

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