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Nov 29, 2007 12:06 AM

Which wines to pair with a fabada?

I'm planning to cook a fabada asturiana* next week for a dinner with friends, and am wondering what sorts of wines would work well with this dish. Would a Rioja work well? Cotes du Rhone?

*I guess you could call fabada the Spanish version of a cassoulet. But with the stronger flavors of chorizo de bilbao, morcillas, and smoked bacon, I think a heartier wine would be better.

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  1. I made a vege version of fabada last month. No meat, but I did use a good amount of mushrooms for umami and also smoked pimeton so that I could pretend it had chorizo and bacon in it. (g)

    Tempranillo loves chorizo and smoked paprika. Those bring out the warm and spicy side of the grape. I served older Ribera del Dueros which had mellowed. But I think that Rioja's styling of the tempranillo grape would be equally good.

    Here's the menu and wine list,

    1. I think Melanie is right on target here . . .

      Keep in mind that Tempranillo is also known as Valedpeñas and Cencibel in parts of Spain, as well as Tinta Roriz in northern Portugal (e.g.: in the Douro) and Aragonez in southern Portugal (e.g.: in the Alentejao). In other words, there are LOTS of options.


      1 Reply
      1. re: zin1953

        Also, Tinto del País = tempranillo in Ribera del Duero

        For a more rustic style of wine, Monastrell (once believed to be Mourvedre and now thought by some to be Graciano) from Jumilla, Murcia and environs could also be good and less expensive.

      2. Melanie and Zin, thank you very much for your suggestions! I shall go check out the wine stores and get a few bottles of the various wines you mentioned. It looks like there are some exciting discoveries for me to make, as I try new wines based on grapes different from the usual Cabernets, Zinfandels, etc. (Actually, the fabada is more an excuse for some friends to taste new wines than to eat another version of pork and beans!)

        1 Reply
        1. re: pilinut

          When I was still in buying mode for the cellar, I bought a lot of Spanish wines, including some older vintages from Weimax in Burlingame, in your neighborhood. Owner Gerald Weisl is a chowhound, though haven't seen any posts from him lately. Maybe I just don't know what his handle on the new site software is.

          Weimax Wines
          1178 Broadway, Burlingame, CA

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Why not go trad? Get a really good hard cider, hold the glass down low and pour from on high? That's what I've always drunk in Asturias and in the Tavernas of Madrid. I know that here in the east we have really good artisinal ciders. Do they out west?

            7 Replies
            1. re: MOREKASHA

              In Northern Calif. (where the OP resides sometimes) has a few cider producers. Haven't seen any Spanish ones in the shops, but I do love the french ciders from Eric Bordelet (importer: Beaune Imports).

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I did notice some cider at the Spanish Table today. I didn't look closely at it so have no idea as to whether it was Spanish or whatever.

                1. re: wally

                  Cool, please do let us know how they are (and where they're from), if you try them.

                  Oh, and I forgot to point "pilinut" toward K&L in Redwood City. Anne Pickett is the Spanish wine buyer, and is based there, that is, if she's not down at the new store in SoCal. She's answered lots of Spanish wine questions for me over the years.

                  K & L Wine Merchants
                  3005 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94061

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Muchas gracias, Melanie! I'll make a point of heading over there and checking out the wines you mentioned. If I get to meet Anne, great! if not, your recommendations, and those of Zin and MOREKASHA will kee us busy through this winter's worth of fabada. Looking forward to trying as many of those wines as possible!

                    1. re: pilinut

                      Would love to hear what wines the retailers suggest to you, even if you don't have time to post tasting notes.

                      1. re: pilinut

                        How 'bout your recipe for the fabada?

                        1. re: MOREKASHA

                          I just posted it (I think) on CHOW's member's recipes board. I hope you get a chance to try it, and I'd love to know what you, Melanie, and zin think of the dish and the wines that go with it!