Paella for Dad

Father’s Day is this coming Sunday and I can guarantee that a Paella party in his honor would be a great way to celebrate the occasion.

Like the American back yard barbecue, paella is traditionally cooked by men. Something about cooking outdoors over an open flame appeals to the primal spirit that informs much of male culinary wisdom, but if you and/or your Father are not yet versed in the details of cooking Paella, we are here to help. 

First, I should remind you that a few spots are still open for my Paella & Wine cooking class. The date for the class is next Monday June 18th and the time is 6:30pm. The class is $65.00 per person and (since it’s me teaching the class) includes a tasting of five different Spanish wines that are appropriate to the meal. To register for this exciting event, go to the Kitchen on Fire web site They will be handling all reservations for the class.

Then, next week, on Sunday the 24th of June,  The Berkeley International Food Festival will take place in and around our store on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. Food culture from around the world will be celebrated at numerous venues in the neighborhood. Here at The Spanish table we will be making a giant Paella as well as demonstrating various tapas made of items from our store. The Paella demonstration (and tasting) will be at around 1pm, with other demos happening all day long.

We also have a few books in Spanish that help spread the joy of fatherhood. For the younger crowd we have a bilingual (Spanish/English) board book titled Quiero a mi papá porque… by Laurel Porter-Gaylord ($6.99) which features fathers from the animal world doing fatherly things. Older offspring will appreciate Mi papá (a translation of the original, My Dad) by Anthony Browne ($14.99) which features a frumpy pajamas and bathrobe clad father who, in spite of his unkempt state, is loved by his family.

Keep reading below to discover the latest arrivals in our wine department that are sure to liven up your Father’s Day party:


House Wine Selections:

Check out the latest arrivals in our selection of ‘House Wines’. These bargains are always just $6.99 per bottle, with a special price of $5.99 per bottle for full case purchases (mix and match from any of the ‘house wines’). These reliable, everyday wines are typical of what is served in countless bars and restaurants all across Spain.


Pago de Obanos Reserva 1996 $6.99 This mature, barrel aged Tempranillo comes from D.O. Ribera del Duero, a region known for earthy, bold red wines. A wine of this age needs exposure to oxygen after its long slumber in the bottle to bring out the full compliment of flavors and aromas. Pour this wine out into a pitcher or carafe before serving. Mature aromas of coffee bean and saddle leather play off of rich black cherry and dried plum fruit character. An amazing value as well as a nice Father’s day gift.


Viña Soledad Tinto 2003 $6.99  This young Tempranillo from D.O.C. Rioja is youthful and bright. Not an oaky wine. Fresh cherry fruit character in a light, unstructured frame. Pairs well with all kinds of lighter fare, including Paella.


Viña Soledad Blanco 2004 $6.99 White Rioja made from the Viura grape. This dry white wine offers simple refreshment in a traditional style. An excellent summer white.


White Wines:

Barbadillo Palomino Fina 2006 $6.99 The most popular white wine in Spain (known there as Castillo de San Diego) has returned in the new vintage. Made from the local Palomino Fina grapes, blended with a bit of Viura, so I’m told, this young white wine from Cadiz in the south of Spain is refreshingly simple and bright.


Viña Godeval 2005 $17.99 This D.O. Valdeorras wine is made from the Godello grape. It is a crisp, unoaked white wine that displays grapefruit aroma and flavor along with gentle white peach fruit character balanced by edgy minerality. Superlative refreshment. The Wine Advocate recently reviewed the new vintage, saying ”An intriguing wine made from 100% Godello, the 2005 Vina Godeval exhibits notes of white currants, citrus rind, and spring flowers. With loads of minerals, medium body, and a dry finish, this crisp, impeccably well-made white is a distinctive offering from the oldest producer of Godello in Spain!


Red Wines:

Lan Reserva 2000 $14.99 The wines of Bodegas Lan are always reliable and well priced. The new vintage of their mature Reserva spent 12 months in oak followed by 24 months in bottle before sale. Composed of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo this smooth, elegant wine is a perfect accompaniment to a wide range of rice, potato or bean dishes.


Tinto Pesquera 2004 $29.99 A perennial favorite around Father’s Day (and the rest of the year too), the new vintage of Tinto Pesquera is on the shelf and available for purchase at the same price as last vintage (very good news in these inflationary times).  Dr. Jay Miller recently reviewed the wine in The Wine Advocate. He rated it 93 Points, saying “The 2004 Tinto Pesquera (Crianza), from a great vintage, is opaque purple with a fragrant nose of lead pencil, earth, black currants, and blackberry liqueur that jumps from the glass. This is followed by a sexy wine with layered blue and black fruits intertwined with ripe tannins and good acidity. This superb, beautifully balanced effort should evolve for 4-6 years and drink well for another 10-15.


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