Pairings: chicken, shrimp and mussel paella with white Rioja

Los Angeles Times


March 22, 2013

By S. Irene Virbila

I’m convinced you have to make paella a dozen or more times before you can get it right every time. I’m just about there and last week it all came together with a chicken, shrimp and mussel paella for eight.

The secret is a good stock, using La Bomba paella rice and the best saffron you can find. This time the rice was perfect — not too wet, not too dry, every grain suffused with that rich shellfish stock. Practice makes perfect.

The wine that worked beautifully with it was the 2003 Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia "Viña Gravonia." It’s not something I’ve had languishing in my cellar for years: 2003 is the latest release of this white Rioja. Golden straw in color, the wine (made from the Viura grape) is so rich and complex it needs something like paella, where every bite is different, to play against.

Now if I could just find a rabbit for the rabbit rice with almonds and rosemary I’m itching to make from "Casa Moro" (Ebury Press), the second cookbook from London chefs Sam and Sam Clark (Moro restaurant and Morito tapas bar).

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