When we host Special Tasting Events for our wine club members, we often do a larger assortment of more varied and colorful Tapas which serve as the meal itself. When this is the case, we make certain that the menu is diverse and includes something to compliment various palates.
Here are the Mendez Family’s favorite tapas assortments that you can incorporate into your own tapas party. Below you will also find décor to enhance the atmosphere. Try selections from each of the categories below to host your own Tapas party at home. Just add Vina Castellano wine and you are ready to go!
Crunchy and Slightly Salty
- Calamares Frito (Deep Fried Calamari)
- Mini-Croquettas,(Crow-KET-tas) (sticky rice or bread balls rolled in bread crumbs and fried in olive oil)
- Marcona Almonds lightly coated in Olive Oil and Sea Salt
- Queso Frito (Kay-SO Free-TO) fried Cheese such as Manchego cut into slices, dusted with flour, coated with beaten egg and crumbs and fried in Olive Oil)
Soft and Marinated
- Pimentos (roasted red peppers, peeled and pickled in vinegar) At Viña Castellano we like to stuff the pimentos with a soft goat cheese or a chicken salad which makes for an extra-creamy mouthfeel.
- Aceitunas a la Catalina (Ah-thay-TUNAS a la Cat-a-LEENA) (Spanish Olives Marinated with Cumin, Paprika, Olive Oil & Garlic)
- Romaine lettuce with Manchego (Mahn-chey-GO) shavings drizzled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with parsley and a hint of sea salt
- Vinagretta de Mejillones (Me-hill-YONAYS) (Mussel and Potato salad with Paprika, Red wine & Olive Oil Dressing
(Seafood is important throughout Spain, whether it comes from the ocean, a river or a stream.)
- Empanadas a la Pescado (Individual fish pies made with a flakey and savory dough and your choice of
- Musclos Gratinats (grilled mussels with allioli (garlic mayonnaise)
- Fritura Pescado (Fried fish on Skewers)
- Tortilla Española (Es-pan-YOLA)
- Chorizo (Cho-REETHO) (Spicy hard sausage)
- Crusty Bread
- Jamon (Ha-MOAN) (Aged ham – preferably Serrano)
- Queso (Spanish Cheese such as Manchego, Cabrales (Ka-BRAH-lays)
- Mahon (Ma-HONE), Idiazaba (Eee-dee-ya-ZA-bal), Iberico (Eye-BEAR-ee-coh)
Spain is a country of bold colors and themes. The imagery is distinctive: Flamenco Dancers, Bulls, Matadors. Use this imagery to guide your décor. Certainly black and red are a must, but vibrant golden-yellows and cobalt blue are important colors in Spain (think of spanish tile and painted ceramic dishes). I use red napkins and red geraniums at most events and vary the linens. Sunflower yellow and burlap are standard at Viña Castellano in the summer.
We lean toward the more formal white or deep red during the holidays and winter months and in Spring I often use muted green linen with Red geraniums at outdoor events (this is also nice at Christmas, but good luck on the geraniums!).
Also good things to have on hand to had authenticity and fun to your party are botas (bo-TAH) (leather wine bag) porrons (po-RHONE) (glass wine decanter with a long drinking spout) and cazuela’s (ca-THWEL-az) (ceramic and clay pans and casserole dishes) Spanish fan’s and castañetas (casta-nyah-TAZ) (wooden hand instrument used by Flamenco dancers to snap and click).