The Hotel Metropol was the venue in October for a gourmet’s delight of the wonders of Spanish food and wine. Sponsored by Commercial Section of the Spanish Embassy, dozens of companies seeking an appreciative audience in Russia displayed their wares: meats, sausages, cheeses, saffron, wines, brandies, olive oil, chocolates, and even marinated chestnuts.
Spanish wines have always been popular in Russia; they appear to rank second to French in terms of numbers of bottles on the supermarket shelves. Most of the wines at this event had not yet found an importer, and this is not an easy task. At the Metropole the wines came from virtually all wine regions of Spain, providing a pleasant cross-section of their industry.
Some of the most interesting wines were from Jose L. Ferrar Winery, founded in 1931 on the island of Mallorca in the Binissalem appellation area. Not many wines are exported from Mallorca. The Ferrar red wines are made from Callet and Mantonegro grapes and the whites from Moll grapes. These grapes produce wines that are uniquely Mallorcan, and a break from the usual Spanish Tempranillo.
Casa del la Ermita from Jumilla produces red organic wines including the 2003 Monastrell Red Organic from Mourvedre grapes, Organic Oak Aged Red 2001 from Manastrell grapes that have 10 months of American and French oak barrel aging, and Tinto Temranillo-Monastrell 2002 (Organic) from Mourvedre and Tempranillo grapes. It would be refreshing to see more organic wines in Moscow, so hopefully they will find an importer. Casa de la Ermita also offers the opportunity to purchase your own vineyard – a minimum of 100 vines for 5 years at 622 Euros per year – to produce about 48 bottles of your own private label wine.
The abundance of cheeses balanced the wines. Goat cheeses were available from the Canary Islands through Canarias Seleccion, which has selections from a number of islands cheesemakers including Quesos Maxorata, El Tofio, and El Pastor Isleno. The 50-year old company, Quesos El Pastor, also displayed a wide variety of cow, goat, and sheep milk cheeses from Zamora.
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