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Pairings: Countryside & Numanthia in Journal19 | Clos19 | Clos19 UK

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Pairings

Countryside

A true Spanish gem, Bodega Numanthia finds its source in the region of Toro. The natural wonders and fruit at the heart of this powerful red wine remind us of an idyllic bucolic afternoon picking wild berries. On the horizon, the spiralling smoke of a grill floating over the field’s greenery.

The first burst of this fruity wine takes our senses back to the edge of the prairie when the time for berry picking comes, and hedges are bursting with juicy surprises. The ripe, dark red and black fruit offer a beautiful expression of aromas, delightfully defined. The fragrance of vanilla flatters further, adding to the romance.

Wild blackberries on the side of the road have been freshly picked; they remind us of the wine's dark colour, ruby red reflections and heart. A few bushes further along, sample a wild myrtle ripe and full of fragrance, a reminder of this characterful wine’s taste: soft yet fleshy, structured, with a lively acidity, and intense tannins. The maturity of the grapes harvested give the wine its very identity, a character blooming to perfection. Picking these gourmet treasures, we connect to the seasons, the earth and the force of Numanthia, its sustained flavours.

An image comes to mind: a carefree cowboy riding across the vast plains of the Far West; Numanthia is a conqueror that draws his strength from the exceptional old vines and extreme weather conditions. Arid summers and very cold winters, give it an almost immortal soul. Five centuries ago, Toro’s wines were on board Christopher Colombus’ ships, chosen for their ability to age well.

It is time for a barbecue feast. Historians attribute to the early Spanish explorers the origin of the word ‘barbecue’ that appeared when they landed on the Caribbean Indians’ islands in the 15th century, and used a wooden plank called a ‘barbacoa’. The tradition of grilled meat is the perfect pairing with this powerful wine; on the pit, the best cuts of beef, lamb and game are grilled – a roast boar with cranberries or a succulent spit roasted lamb. In the air, the scents of the smoke and the Mediterranean vegetation, at this moment, connect us to nature like Numanthia does thanks to its intense earthy flavours.

Argentinian author and poet, Jorge Luis Borges, said about traditional Asado that the barbecue is « the ceremony of conversation between ». An exquisite ritual that simply wouldn’t be the same without one of Spain’s best wines.