Many people don't know that the term "paella" doesn't refer to the food itself: a paella is a kind of pan with a large surface area, with two or more small handles and a shallow depth. This proportion allows the ingredients that are prepared in it to have adequate cooking. In it, paella rice is cooked, making it the typical Spanish dish that we all love with all its variations in the different regions of the country. Today we are learning a little bit more about the history of this historical dish, as well as the perfect wine to match it.
According to experts, this dish arose in the rural areas of Valencia, between the 15th and 16th centuries, due to the need of peasants and shepherds for a meal that was easy to prepare and with the ingredients they had on hand in the fields. They always ate it in the afternoon. Originally, the ingredients were poultry, field rabbit or hare, fresh vegetables that were available, rice, saffron and olive oil, which were mixed in the paella with water and orange branches.
The frying pan, hereinafter called paella, is a container made of polished steel with a very large diameter (at least 22 cm) and very shallow (between 5 and 10 cm), from which, again, the handle has been removed. There is a moving story of the War of Independence and paella. And it is that there was a French general who was so in love with paella, that he made a deal with a woman: for each different plate of paella that the woman brought him, he would free a prisoner. So the woman let her imagination fly and every day she made him a different paella. It is said that in this way he managed to free 176 prisoners.
Even if paella is one of those dishes that admits practically any ingredient, today, the fish and mixed paella is arguably the most famous and recognizable one. So how should we pair it with the perfect bottle of wine? Here at Carpineto we are extremely proud of our amazing Vermentino Valcolomba, and we invite you to try it for a perfect Paella accompaniment.
It's a wine with a very distinctive floral aftertaste, accompanied by the typical notes of the Mediterranean scrub (aromatic herbs); on the palate, the perception of fruit and honey is immediate. This bottle can be a real game changer especially with a fish paella, but it can also be served as an aperitif, throughout the meal and also at the end of a good lunch or dinner.
The variability of ingredients that a Valencian paella has allows it to pair with a wide spectrum of wines. As when it comes to cooking, each person has his booklet, we can say that if the paella is forceful in terms of flavor, we can pair it with a young and fruity red wine that is fresh (be careful, not from the fridge, that is too cold). White wine lovers can also try a white that is powerful on the palate and that has been fermented in barrels, like for example a Chardonnay.
Theoretically, each paella is sized for a certain amount of rice, although the dimensions vary greatly depending on the taste or way of preparing each cook's paellas. Traditionally, paella was eaten, and is eaten, in the same container in which it was cooked. All to save work. Now that you know all this information, you can enjoy your favorite Paella with the exact bottle of wine able to enhance its taste!