A great birthday party at Bodegas Bentomiz
From our correspondent in the Nerja region Maria Pawlus.
To celebrate my husband’s birthday, I have gathered a group of 10 friends and organised a trip to Bodegas Bentomiz which is one of the most famous of the whole province and certainly in our area. We were all excited for the tour around the winery followed by wine tasting and lunch which is specially designed to complement specific wines from the bodega.
I must admit we were slightly concerned about wondering around the vineyard in the hot summer sun but as soon as we arrived all those worries were quickly gone. We were able to cool in the shade of the modern yet beautiful building that represents the land that vines grow on. The views were truly magnificent as well.
We were met by Rose who introduced us to the history of the bodega and explained how from an almost abandoned site it was turned into thriving vineyard supplying wine to the best restaurants in Spain. From there we were able to see growing vines- no tough walks around steep hills or baking in the sun was necessary (we were all very grateful).
We got a chance to see the production area with very knowledgeable Rose who explained the whole process of production but also described the passion for the wine that current Dutch owners have. It was very interesting and very informative in a cheerful and entertaining way.
Next step for us was to sit in a lovely airy terrace area where we tasted four of the Ariyanas wines. The velvety Romè Rosado rose, , a spectacular elegant dry, quite mineral rose, from this unknown local grape variety. Ariyanas seco, sobre Lías Finas- dry aromatic white wine, from moscatel, the most beautifull expression of this grape, one of the best I ever tried in the province, now so many bodegas are making dry moscatel wines.
David Tinto Dulce surprisingly but delightfully sweet red wine from Merlot, beautifull acidity and tannins. How well would this pair with a chocolate dessert!? Star of the tasting was the sweet wine Terruño Pizarosso, a dream of honey and a power bomb of exotic flavours. Very well balanced with nice acidity wich is fundamental for a great sweet wine. ´Naturalemente dulce´, so not fortified with extra alcohol. The perfect match for many desserts but also a marriage in heaven with ´foie gras´.
We all agreed that the Ariyanas wines are of an exceptional quality and were delicious! No wonder that so many Michelin starred restaurants have them on their winelist. And what better place to taste it than on the hills near Sayalonga where the wine is being made!?
We were certainly ready for more of the fantastic wine after the tasting and we opted for wine pairing with our three-course gourmet lunch. Dishes were superb and truly complementing to the wine of the bodega. To start we were offered appetizer of octopus accompanied by apple sauce which with following starter of pepper stuffed with spiced couscous mixes with flavoursome vegetables paired fantastically with refreshing white wine Seco Sobre Lías Finas. Our main course was surf and turf, steak and shrimp with roasted potatoes and cooked beetroot, very aromatic and tasting even better when paired with fragrant Ariyanas Tinto Petit Verdot. Altough you might expect that the above average tannine structure of Petit Verdot would not go to well with the seafood element of the dish, it worked suprisingly well.
Our dessert was pecan and honey ice cream with fig and cream. Delicious end to a lovely lunch and a great culinary experience.
To bring out a toast to my husband we ordered a bottle off cava as our final drink to celebrate a great day. Also the best refresher you can imagine after a mouth invasion of flavours!
It was a truly fantastic experience and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to have a taste of amazing wines paired with great food. I will certainly be making another trip to Bodegas Bentomiz as they have different forms of entertainment on offer while enjoying their wines.