I was very pleased a number of months ago when I received an email from our friend Juan de la Barreda of Torre de Barreda wines in Spain about visiting us in Elkhart again.
Juan visited us for the first time in August 2014 on one of his sales trips to the United States. Some of you might remember the wine events we had with Juan then. Juan lives and works from the Barreda family office in Madrid. The Barreda Winery is located in the Province of Toledo about 80 miles southeast of Madrid in the municipality of Corral de Almaguer.
On Thursday afternoon, Oct. 15, Juan drove in from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after spending several days in Nashville. I picked him up at his hotel and we headed for Temper Grille to meet Tom Welch for dinner. Tom is the developer of the soon-to-opened Tapastrie Restaurant in downtown South Bend. Tom and his partners have taken over the space where The Vine restaurant was (next to the Morris Performing Arts Center).
Tapastrie will feature a menu of primarily Mediterranean foods. They will also have a number of Spanish Tapas-style dishes included on the menu. Tom tells me they will also have an extensive wine list of both Old World and New World wines. He said the list now exceeds more than a 100 bottles. Yes, there will be some of my wines and Juan’s wines on the list.
- RELATED: Tapastrie, South Bend’s new wine and tapas restaurant run by Fiddler’s Hearth’s owners, will soon open downtown, March 28
With Juan being from Spain and Tom opening a Mediterranean restaurant, they seemed like the perfect dinner companions. And it was a great opportunity to talk shop and taste three of Juan’s Spanish wines, in another small plates restaurant: Temper Grille.
The three of us, along with Temper Grille general manager Roman Yoder, tasted these three Torre de Barreda wines:
- 2011 Torre de Barreda Tempranillo
- 2010 Torre de Barreda Amigos
- 2010 Torre de Barreda Pañofino
These wines are all either 100 percent Tempranillo or, in the case of the Amigos, a blend of 65 percent Tempranillo, 25 percent Syrah and 10 percent Cabernet. It was a great evening of wine tasting and sharing small plates of food at Temper.
Friday was a really busy day. Juan and I started at 8 a.m. making wine videos in my tasting room. From there, we headed to The Oaks at SouthPaw Farm in Mishawaka where we were to meet Tom Welsh and the two chefs at Tapastrie: Tony Nafrady and John Bulger. The folks of The Oaks at SouthPaw Farm graciously let us use their wonderful kitchen to prepare six different Spanish dishes that will be featured on Tapestrie’s menu. Our goal was to have Juan taste the dishes and comment on its Spanish authenticity. Once they were prepared, we paired them with five different Spanish wines.
We all tasted the food and wines after which Juan critiqued each dish with Tom and the chefs. He told them how the similar dishes would be prepared in Spain. All the of food preparation, the various conversations on the food and wines were videotaped to be shared with you in the not-to-distant future here at Tiedemann On Wines. Stay tuned for a lot of video presentations.
- RELATED: Sediment in wine is totally harmless, though a bit bitter, Oct. 21
From SouthPaw Farms, we rushed back to Elkhart to prepare for a Spanish Wine dinner that Mrs. Tiedemann and I were hosting for 20 of our friends. At this Friday evening event, we featured six wines, three more than the prior evening. Pre-dinner wines we enjoyed included:
- 2010 Tiedemann Signature Series Red Wine (A yet-to-be-released wine that is a Tempranillo-based blend)
- 2012 Glenwood Cellars Chardonnay
- 2013 Glenwood Cellars Sauvignon Blanc
The dinner consisted of Spanish-style food prepared by Chef Javier Mendez of Javier’s Bistro in South Bend. To the Spanish Tempranillo-based wines served with dinner, I added a 2012 white Spanish Viognier by Lagasca. The wine and food paired perfectly.
It was a great evening and an outstanding finish to Juan’s trip to our area. On Saturday morning, he was headed back to Chicago to catch a plane to Toronto — his final stop on this trip. Wednesday he was heading back to Spain.
We are all hopeful he will be able to return again next year for some more wine tastings. I would hope one of the tastings will be at the new Tapastrie Restaurant. If you are going to be in Spain and want to look him up, I am sure he’ll have a good glass of wine waiting for you.
As I said earlier, stay tuned for some great videos about Spanish wines and the events during Juan Barreda’s visit. I am excited to share them with you.
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Until next week,