After the whole winter without leaving Castilla, in April 2021 we were finally able to make the first commercial trip of our winery to visit our friends from Ulisses Distribució, who are our distributors, for a pairing dinner in Menorca.
They have several wine shops in Mahón and Ciudadella and a restaurant in Ciudadella, right in the market, with a very nice terrace.
In addition to the commercial presentations we had the pleasure to have lunch in their restaurant and also to accompany their clients in a pairing dinner with our wines.
The first meal at Ulisses was based on all kinds of fresh fish and we enjoyed it with madness, like when you come back from a long trip and you are reunited with home cooking. Everything was delicious, very fresh fish, treated with the utmost delicacy, respecting the product, with fresh and very fine and delicate flavors, just like our wines! To remember the ortiguillas, the octopus, the tartar and the artichokes. We missed trying the lobster stew... but you always have to leave something to come back soon.
Joan Canals, the owner, started the restaurant 8 years ago. With his sister Espe in the kitchen and his fisherman father as the main supplier, the whole process is controlled and also stays at home. Joan told us that his father goes fishing every day at half past one in the morning, and at Ulisses they cook what his father brings in. A luxury that is noticeable in the dishes that are renewed every day.
From the restaurant it went to the wine distributor and to the stores. As Joan says, to close the circle and have the whole process under control. In charge of the distributor is Sergio, a wine lover if ever there was one, one of those whose eyes light up when he talks about wine. This makes the wine list spectacular. In fact, you can choose any wine from the store to eat in the restaurant.
The pairing dinner in Menorca with Territorio Luthier wines was quite a show. Dish after dish and wine after wine, we were presented with various pairings, some more classic and others more surprising, but all excellent. And in all cases, the pairing, exalted the flavors of the food and wine, which is after all the goal. We tell you about it here:
Dentex carpaccio with toasted almonds and thyme with Lara O Blanco Crianza 2018. A pairing of affinity, we seek in the seasoning of the dentex the affinity with the characteristics of the wine. The toasted almond complements the wood tones of the wine which has been aged in oak barrels for 6 months. As this wine has a lot of volume in the mouth and is glyceric, the bitterness of the almond accompanies without disturbing. The thyme accompanies the balsamic and mineral tones of the wine.
Beef and pork meatballs with curry with Lara O Clarete Crianza 2018. In this case the pairing is one of contrasts. The curry sauce can hardly be paired with a red because they will not get along with the tannicity, but neither with a white because the intensity of the curry would override the wine. This is where claret comes to the rescue, the freshness and acidity of the wine complement the consistency of the meat and the intensity of the curry, the fruit of the claret serves as a contrast to the curry and the wood from the barrel aging accompanies it on the other side. Ultimately, the claret disappears from the glass between bites of meatball.
Panadera de morena with Lara O Crianza 2016. We learned that panadera de pescado was like a caldereta or fish stew with potatoes and that moray was the fish that no one wanted because it has a lot of bones, but at the same time it is very gelatinous and has a lot of flavor, which makes it perfect for panadera and to pair with Lara O 2016. The acidity and freshness of the wine perfectly accompanied the consistency and flavor of the fish stew. The wine refreshes and cleanses the mouth and makes the next spoonful exquisite.
Lamb chop with rosemary with Lara O 10th Anniversary 2018. In this case, more than a pairing of flavor it is a pairing of terroir. Joan made us some lamb chops as a tribute to our land, Ribera del Duero, where lamb is one of the most characteristic dishes. And it is paired with our most traditional Ribera wine, the one we have made especially for the members of the Territorio Luthier Club, which has the power and woody touches of the most emblematic Riberas. Perfect for the dish.
Truffles with matcha tea earth with Hispania reserva 2016. Classic and controversial pairing, wine and chocolate, either you love it or hate it, but the bitterness of the chocolate enhances the wine. In any case the chocolate was to die for with its tea-flavored earth and the wine to make you cry, with those touches of Spanish oak that make it unique in its league.
Fernando Ortiz, Territorio Luthier’s winemaker, with Joan and Sergio
The guys in the kitchen at the pairing dinner in Menorca. Always in a good mood, which is transmitted in the dishes.
Restaurante Ulisses Menorca – Plaça de la Llibertat, 22, 07760 Ciutadella de Menorca, Illes Balears