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Great Wine: Flor d’Englora Garnatxa (Garnacha)


What wine can you pair with Sriracha, the trendiest chili sauce around? We live in a culinary period where Sriracha goes on everything. BuzzFeed says so, so it must be true. If you’re just putting Sriracha on burgers, ribs, hotdogs or, duh, Asian food—sorry, dude, but you’re . . . boh-ring. So, what wine to pair with this hotness? Try this red Spanish Flor d’Englora Garnatxa from CELLERS BARONIA DEL MONTSANT.  First of all, it’s 12 bucks and you can find it easily at Total Wine, so you can go all-out and stock up and have it handy whenever you get in a Sriracha mood. Why does this particular Garnacha go so well with spiciness in your popcorn or burrito? Because its attitude when it comes across the saliva-inducing heat of chili peppers in your mouth is, like: “Bitch, please. I got this.” At a relatively low 13.5% alcohol level as compared to a lot of Garnachas, you would think this contender doesn’t stand a chance against the aggressive 1-2 punches of the reigning welterweight champ Sriracha. But, man, this wine is like Sugar Ray Leonard landing uppercut-jab-left hook with its focused and sharp, but also refreshing and inviting, acidity supported by the solidness of its granite/slate spine. The sourness of cranberry and pomegranate flavor cuts right into the heat of spice and dances around the ring matching punch for punch. This is a food wine. And an elegant and pure-tasting one at that. It comes from the exotic, mountainous region of Montsant, where some of the coolest wines in Spain are happening these days. Sipping it on its own is ahhight, but the glory happens when drinking it with food. Great wine makes food taste better. And pairing a Spanish red with Asian spice is how we sushi roll.  –J.M.


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November 7, 2015


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