Today is National Spanish Paella Day (March 27) and we want to help you celebrate it with some authentic Spanish paella paired with great wine.
What is Paella?
Paella is a one-pot rice dish that originated in Spain and is now popular all around the world. It usually is made up of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood and other meats all cooked together. Variations such as Valencian paella may also consist of vegetables, rabbit, duck, and beans. Many Americans usually first think of the version made with seafood. The dish is made in a wide, shallow skillet that spreads out the rice to cook evenly.
We couldn't do justice with our own paella recipes, so we went in search of the best recipes across the web. Here are some of our favorites.
- Authentic Spanish Paella from Food.com This recipe features shrimp, rabbit, and chorizo sausages.
- Authentic Paella Valenciana from AllRecipes.com Another recipe that uses rabbit but the only other meat is chicken. Like the one from Food.com, it has green beans but also peas and butter beans.
- Paella I from AllRecipes.com Not a fan of the rabbit? This recipe uses boneless chicken breasts, chorizo sausage, squid, shrimp, and mussels.
- Easy Paella from Martha Stewart Want something simpler? Martha Stewart's recipe only has a few main ingredients and a handful of seasonings. The main ingredients you will need are shrimp, chicken sausage, rice, diced tomatoes, peas, and chicken broth.
- Shrimp and Scallop Easy Paella I love the Food Network, so I had to see what they have. This recipe has a few more ingredients than the Martha Stewart version but features scallops and chorizo.
Paella Wine Pairings
The type of paella you are serving will determine the wine you pair with it. Also, the time of year you are serving it may impact the temperature of the wine you want to serve.
If you are serving a meaty paella or one with a spicy chorizo, consider a red wine like Rioja, a classic Spanish wine. Any other Tempranillo wines would also be nice. These would especially be nice in the colder months.
If you are serving a paella that is mainly seafood or the weather is warm, a number of different white wines will work. Chardonnay will do the trick if you have a favorite but you may want to stay away from one that has too many floral notes. If you are able to find one, a white Rioja would also be perfect.
If you are part of a wine club that chooses wine from Europe (like The California Wine Club International Selections Club), keep an eye out for wines that specifically say in their notes that they pair with paella. When you find one, put it aside and save it for a great paella recipe! I actually received a Rioja from the International Wine of the Month Club Premier Series (where you can save up to $25 off a subscription) that I am now ready to try.
Do you have a favorite paella recipe you would like to share? How about a favorite wine pairing?