368/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Pairing at Gaig with Agust – Rocaplana 2011
…….., all the bells were ringing on all cylinders yesterday as the annual Christmas wine tasting and paring took place at Restaurant Gaig in Barcelona. Arranged, for the third time, by Augustin Palome Garcia it tends to be a popular event and let me tell you that the quality of wine and food you get is amazing, especially considering what you pay! Next year I have decided to be in the kitchen as my very dear friend Augustin takes care of the wine tasting. Not that we are going to beat Señor Gaig but we’ll certainly give it a good try. Agustin is a guy who lives and breathes wine, at times it is quit difficult to conduct a normal conversation with him as anything said could end up being connoted with wine, not that I mind!
Cherry color with a violet rim. The nose is powerful. Aromas of black fruit (blackberry, currant and ripe plum) on a spicy and mineral background with hints of black pepper and tobacco. Dairy notes are present, providing a sweet sensation. The palate is nice with a full bodied yet soft experience. Silky tannins and aromas of ripe fruit. The end is refreshing and sweet.
The gastronomic tour of Carles Gaig has its ups and downs, but mostly ups. He started his kitchen days by taking over the family restaurant in Horta in the early 70s. Got his first Michelin star in 1993 at the same restaurant and then Gaig and his wife and maitre Fina Navarro moved to Hotel Cram in 2004 to open a gourmet restaurant, which they operated for nearly ten years with great success. In 2013 they finally left that location to merge into a new project with Jordi Cruz. Totally renovated and under the name of Gaig, the new restaurant combines traditional cuisine with creative dishes, making this a gourmet restaurant to visit more than once. As always, Carles Gaig personally selects the products at the Mercat de la Boqueria to be able to offer a dining experience of the highest quality. He is still working actively in the kitchen and he’s very keen on meeting the diners as often as possible.
Agustin and Gaig came together perfectly with regards to the pairing of wine and food. Six wonderful wines together with six excellent plates, what more can one wish for! I am already looking forward to next years pairing and I can already promise it will be something special!
17 to go!