Walk into any tapas bar and you might find something unexpected. While wine is still on offer for delicious pairings, scotch has found its way to the table. So why is scotch starting to overtake the long reigning tapas drink, sherry? It's all about age.
Scotch, a malt whisky made in Scotland, must be aged in oak barrels for three years, with many good scotches aged in Sherry casks. And since Sherry has long been considered the perfect pairing for Spanish snacks, the idea of subbing out wine with scotch may not be so crazy. In fact, Macallan, makers of single malt scotch, ages their entire portfolio in Sherry barrels from Spain. So the idea of pairing the scotches in their portfolio with Spanish food was a no brainer for them. “The Macallan is the finest cut of our distillate," said Craig Bridger, brand ambassador. "So why not pair it with the finest cuts of premium Spanish ham? It’s a match made in heaven."
The match was so perfect, Macallan teamed up with Spanish gourmet market Despana Brand Foods to collaborate on food and scotch pairings. Culinary director Angelica Intriago and Bridger tasted through the Macallan's portfolio and came up with pairing suggestions that compliment both the complex flavors of Spanish products and scotch. Here's what they found:
Chorizo, a Spanish tapas staple, stands up well to bold flavors. "The spicy yet high fat content of the Chorizo Iberico is truly spiked by the Macallan 12’s own heat and dried fruit," said Bridger. For something truly special, pair Jamon Iberico Bellota, which Intriago described as an "acorn fed pork loin that is truly unique", with the Macallan's 18 Year. Added Bridger: "The delicately soft and nutty flavors of the Jamon Iberico Bellota are beautifully lifted on the palate by the smooth, luscious aging from The Macallan.”
Next, chefs share their favorite tapas pairings...