By Monet Moutrie
Despite my husband’s best efforts, I will always prefer a glass of wine over beer. Maybe it has to do with my upbringing—my parents drink solely wine—but I imagine it has a lot more to do with the possibility of an outstanding food pairing. Good wines make for great meals. Rioja, a region in Spain, offers some of the best food wines in the world. They are beautifully balanced in their alcohol content and acidity and pair well with everything from fish to veggies to meats and cheeses. Of course, traditional Spanish tapas go beautifully with Rioja wines, but they pair with food from all over the world.
Unlike many other wine regions, winemakers in Rioja don’t rush their wines to market. They only release their wines when ready to drink, which means that you know your bottle is going to be great as soon as you pick it up. And if I wasn’t already sold, wines from Rioja are a great value. I purchased this beautiful Vivanco Rose for under $15. It’s a purchase we’ll be making again and again.
This Rosado (rosé) from Vivanco is an ideal summer wine. On a hot day, a glass is particularly refreshing. Never bitter and with just the right amount of fruit flavor. After sampling the wine, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. A simple and delicious goat cheese bruschetta featuring toasted walnuts, lemon basil, and local honey. Heaven in a glass. Heaven on a plate.
- 1 baguette, sliced into 2 inch slices
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese
- ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
- ¼ cup local honey
- In a small bowl, gently mix goat cheese, walnuts, and basil leaves. Generously spoon mixture on top of baguette slices. Drizzle with honey and serve.
Monet Moutrie is an avid baker, based in Austin, Texas. She has a passion for bringing people together through the preparation and sharing of quality food. She is a writer and editor for the Department of Veteran Affairs and manages her own blog, Anecdotes and Apple Cores.