La Mancha

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“Grows With, Goes With” Part 3 explored La Mancha, Spain. La Mancha is famous for producing Manchego, a nutty sheep’s milk cheese, and for having a viticulture that goes back to the 12th century. Those are some old vines! This region lies in the center of Spain in a semi-arid and harsh environment, making production practices very specific and time-perfected. In La Mancha, you know that the quality of what comes out is heavily reliant on the amount of intense care that is put in.


In this study of terroir, of how place affects taste, we got creative with our pairings and not only compared cheeses and wine from the region, but added in some accompaniments as well. Snacks, charcuterie, and fruit patés (some staples of goat.sheep.cow) made for an even more interesting way to taste-travel to La Mancha.


Pairing highlight: El Cortijillo, Verdejo, La Mancha DO (2016) with Jamón Serrano. A light white with hints of citrus and pear, El Cortijillo is a soft, easy drinking wine. The harsh soil affects this grape giving it a finish of minerality, which pairs nicely with the iron-forward flavor of the Spanish ham. Serrano comes from high-altitude pigs and is cured longer and is therefore a bit tougher than, say, an Italian prosciutto. The verdejo brought out an intense herbaceousness and complexity to the ham and that richness, in turn, highlighted the lime notes in the wine.  


Thanks for accompanying us on our journey! Cheers to terroir!


-Casey O’Brien