In this ongoing series, we feature various bottles produced at our property in Temecula alongside food pairing suggestions. Welcome—we hope you enjoy this installment of “Pairing with Ponte”.
Considered Spain’s #1 wine grape, this medium-bodied red with balanced acidity and structured tannins is our Spanish darling. With our 2017 Tempranillo, you can expect flavors of toasted cedar, blackberry, and a hint of white pepper. Drink some now, then put a few bottles away for three to five years—it ages extremely well. Savory and delicious, this is a versatile wine that’ll pair with everything from pork and red meat to tapas and burgers.
A vibrant red grape used to create some of the most excellent wines from Portugal and Spain, Tempranillo (say “temp-rah-nee-yo”) was the world’s third most planted grape in 2020. It grows well in Argentina, Australia, and right here in Southern California. The name Tempranillo is derived from the word temprana, “early” in Spanish. It ripens early and thrives in hot climates and it’s the dominant varietal in Spain’s Rioja wine region.
The thick-skinned black Tempranillo grape grows in tight clusters and loves chalky, calcareous soil. Definitely not a newbie—it’s been on the Iberian Peninsula since 1100 B.C. when the Phoenicians settled there. This grape has many names—it goes by Tinta de Toro, Cencibel, Valdepeñas, Ribera del Duero, Tinto Fino, and Tinto Roriz. By any name, it’s a spectacular grape and when vinified, produces some of the most awe-inspiring wines out there.
When it comes to pairing, Tempranillo goes well with traditional Spanish fare but also shines when served with pizza, lasagna, smoky dishes, grits, bbq grilled meats, and polenta. Putting together a happy hour spread? Serve Tempranillo with a cheese platter featuring brie, smoked provolone, gruyere, camembert, and blue cheeses. For guests who may be less adventurous when it comes to all things “Formaggio”, Colby, mild cheddar, gouda, and even Monterey jack work with this varietal.
Pop open a bottle or two and step up your next Taco Tuesday. Tempranillo goes great with burritos, chile rellenos, nacho platters, and yes, tacos! Why not check out our savory stuffed chili pepper recipe below?
Ponte Chile Rellenos
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 4 poblano chiles, halved, seeds removed
- 1 cup pepper cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- To make the dressing, toss the vinegar, onion, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl and set aside. Heat broiler to medium.
- Set the peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle the rest of the olive oil on top. Flip them over and broil, cut side facing down for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven carefully and flip them over using tongs. Place the cheese and garlic in the peppers. Return the tray of stuffed peppers to the oven and broil for 3 minutes more.
- Transfer to a heat-resistant platter and serve with the dressing on the side, so guests may decide whether they’d like their peppers with or without the extra kick. Buon appetito!
Visit us for some of the best Temecula wine tasting soon, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Better yet, join our wine club and take advantage of our member benefits today. During the month of May, we donated $1 from the sale of every 2017 Tempranillo to Rancho Damacitas, in honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month; a nice way to enjoy our wine and do some good, simultaneously!
Our knowledgeable staff is ready to help you enjoy wine tasting at our facility. Pairing with Ponte is a fun, easy, way to impress your guests—give our pairing suggestions a whirl and stay tuned for our next post. Saluté!