Every day is tapas day

Spanish tapas are enjoyable, easy and happy way to taste different kinds of snacks. Tapas have their orgings in traditional Spanish way to cover wineglass with a piece of bread. Tapas are normally small dishes, generally cheese, olives, bread, ham and different kinds of fish or seafood. It is more and more common also in Finland for people to have some tapas when they come together. This tapas culture goes nicely with Finnish down-to-earth, easy-going and seasonal way to make and have small dishes.
   At the same time there are interesting opportunities to taste different kinds of wines with tapas. Baseline is to have just small doses for each dish. So one can seek for the best combination with food and wines.

Plate of different kinds of tapas.

Tapas during Christmas time.

Tomato salsa on plate.

Vegetable bundles for Easter time.

Stuffed red onions.

Scampis with vendance roam on rye bread.

Shrimp assortment.

Spoonful of dried stockfish.

Pheasant mousse genelli.

Dates with candied ginger.

Cava with cold smoked salmon in whipped cream.

Cava with shrimps.

Pimientos rellenos with wines.

The World Tapas Day
Every year people are celebrating World Tapas Day all over the world, saluting Spanish culture and gastronomy with tapas. In Finland nearly 40 restaurants and their customers took part in the celebration in June. One special event concerning the World Tapas Day was a contest among 19 restaurants. They created special dishes of fusion cuisine to make “The Best Tapa of Helsinki”. Contest was carried with the help of The Spanish Tourist Office, Kokkikoulu Espa and Catalonian region of Empordà.

The winner of the contest was restaurant Jord in Helsinki with their Baltic herring. The cook behind the dish was the head chef Sylvester Soisalo. Sylvester’s recipe for the winning dish was:
Baltic herring is first cured, then pickled, whilst the cucumber skin turned in oil and the rest of cucumber cut into cubes before being compressed for maximum flavour. Malt bread soil, plain yoghurt and seasoned buttermilk sauce with dill oil compliment the fish to complete the plate.

Text and photos: Heikki Remes
Photo Baltic herring: Jord

Spanish flagship wines saluting

There are different kind of wines. Some flagship wines are on the edge to be more, nearly iconic ones, being primus inter pares in their own category. Two cavas and one red wine represents absolut top of the wines of Spain. Behind the wines are individual winemakers who have succeeded to make their dreams come true with their wines. Top quality, personality, low profile and high prestige are attributes connected with these special wines. They are exceptional balanced and mature with aromas that have dept and lenght. Most important are the wines themselves, their excellence and upright.

Glass of wine from Penedes: Kripta, Domino Cousine 1790, Agosarat

Kripta in unique implementation about cavas, representing Agusti Torello’s dream. His vision about the core and essence of cava, its quality and esthetics.
   Kripta was born in 1979 and is made of traditional cava grapes of Penedes, e.g. Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Parellada, grapes that have been picked from the old vines. Kripta is vintage cava that have gone under second fermentation over four years in the bottle with limited production and numbered bottles. Kripta’s color is pale yellow-gold with green tints laced with persistent bubbles. There are toast notes with citric and mineral aromas on the nose. On the palate you can taste dry, fruity and acidic touch with very delicious, fresh and lovely elegancy.

Domino Cousine 1790 tributes the Parés Balta winery with its roots from 1790. Family owned traditional winery is guided under the management of Joan and Josep Cusiné. The winemaking is in the hands of Mª Elena Jiménez and Marta Casas, oenologists and wives of the brothers.
   Domino Cousine 1790 red wine is made of two grape varieties Merlot, Cabernet Franc. Grapes carried out cold pre-fermentation maceration to extract as much as possible of color and aromas. Then the two varieties were fermented separately over one month and finally the wine spend thirteen months in new French oak barrels from Allier. The final wine has intense deep red color with black layer. On the nose, intense and complex aroma of preserved red fruit combined with toasts and spices. In the mouth it is soft and oily, with good structure. Intense flavor of red fruit, spices and toasts from the oak. Long and pleasant finish.

Cava Guilera is a small familiar winery, specialized in making handmade ageing cavas, Reserva and Gran Reserva. The insuperability and speciality of the winery is to mature cava a really long time, even as long as ten years. Pere Guilera who is oenologist and Marta Guilera, Pere’s daughter, as a maketer, both believes that a cava needs time to become a great cava. Time to grow, to mature and to naturally develop its intrinsic properties.
This year, 2017, Pere and Marta are celebrating Cava Guiler’s 90 th anniversary.
   Guilera Agosarat is a tribute to Isidre Guilera and Maria Sardà, founders of Cava Guilera. Agosarat is Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2005 lauched this year as a Special Edition of Great Vintages. Grape varieties are traditional: xarel·lo, macabeu, parellada. This marvellous cava is the result of a great harvest and even greater patience, this long aging cava expresses winemakers idea of very essence: intuition, experience, passion and resistance. On the nose you’ll detect nothing but grapes and their quiet evolution through time. On the nose you will taste body, depth, creamy acidity and mature flavours; ripe fruit, smokiness, brioche and toasty notes.

Text and photos: Heikki Remes