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pairing tapas with red wine

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Having a party and not sure what appetizers/tapas to serve with a California Pinot and Spanish Rioja selection. The white wines will be no problem, but my go-to dishes like shrimp cocktail and goat cheeses don't work well. I need a mix of vegetarian and non-veg. Have a couple of cheese so far and a salami, but then am running out of ideas. Any great suggestions?

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  1. We're talking tapas in general and not pinxtos specifically, right? Some generalities:

    Marinated olives
    Meatballs
    Morcilla or another blood sausage
    Chorizo in a variety of ways
    Jamon
    Lomo
    Bacalao

    You can always steal the watermelon and tomato skewer idea too.

    1. Shrimp cocktail and goat cheese isn't tapas. If you are specifically looking for tapas, then wattacetti has some good ideas. If you are looking for small plates, then I would suggest doing something with some wild mushrooms (maybe a mushroom ragou). Maybe some pork belly. Both would do well with pino.

      As for the rioja, you need something to stand up to the brightness and spiciness of the rioja. So think contrasting flavors.

      You don't tell us which ones exactly, and even if you did I probably wouldn't be able to help you out with flavors as I wouldn't know the wines.

      How many people are you cooking for? What is your skill level? How much money do you want to put into this? How much time do you have?

      3 Replies
      1. re: jameshig

        Sorry. Maybe finger food would have been a better description as I'm not looking for just Spanish dishes and no one wants to drag a plate around. There are only 10 of us in a casual evening atmosphere. Just friends getting together so nothing fancy. Was hoping not to do anything hot as people come late and wander around--so no focused eating time. No money or skill restriction---just casual get-together.

        1. re: mousse

          Ergo, wine and nibbles.

          I'd still do the olives at the very least. Mixed charcuterie (not necessarily Spanish though jamon is really nice), pequillo peppers, various cheeses, various grilled vegetables. Frittata or tortilla espagnol.

          If you wanted to do one hot dish with a Spanish influence, you could make criadillas.

          1. re: mousse

            Two things that went over well at a party I had this year were puff pastry bites topped with sauced diced mushrooms and blue cheese (seems good with red) and pork "cigars" - braised and shredded pork in a hoison-ish sauce rolled in filo strips, then baked until crispy and served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. Both can be made ahead of time, frozen, and baked until warm.