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Quel vin boire avec la Paella ?
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Food and wine pairing, which wine to drink with paella?

Never wine in a paella !!!
But with it, of course ! And now that you master the Paella recipe perfectly, and your friends are invited, you need to know the right wine & paella pairing… Ludovic Bigel, sommelier teacher, enlightens you…

Quel vin servir avec Une Paella ?

Rule N°1 of the agreements ? Stay local!

To make a good food/wine pairing, you have to start by taking into account, obviously, the dish but also the productions linked to the region of origin of the dish and, as very often, these are pairings that work rather well.

Let’s start by analyzing the dish:

By following the list of the ingredients of the Paella we can see that we are facing a cereal (round rice) which, after preparation, brings a notion of volume rather coating in term of texture.
The meats are called « white » after cooking (chicken, rabbit) which brings a certain density a little firm for the little that some gastropods are present the sensation « tight » will be more sustained.
Rabbit for real paella
Valencia oil for paella
It is therefore necessary to have a wine that brings at the same time a minimum of volume so as not to risk supporting the dense sensations of the meats but also a wine that can « refresh » the palate with a touch of nervousness, of acidity, in order to help leave a mouth as clean as possible.
Aromatically, it is a « fragrant » dish! Olive oil, sweet pepper, saffron, rosemary…
It is useless to fight with an aromatic wine because unless you are lucky, the link with a wine that is also « fragrant » may be quite catastrophic, leading to soapy and/or sickening notes…
So forget Sauvignon, Viognier and other dry Muscats…

A White D.O. (Denominacion de Origen) from Valencia!

These wines are generally quite soft, round and fresh while respecting the aromas of the Paella as they are quite neutral, with slight lemon notes.
They are generally bright & transparent, with yellow tints tinged with green and golden reflections… Other grape varieties used are Malvasía, Macabeo & Verdil, typical of Valencia.
And recently Chardonay and Semillon.
More information on the official website of the D.O. of Valencia

No matter what!

A white one according to your region!

You don’t live near Valencia or you can’t find this wine?
Don’t worry!
Here is a list of wine suggestions for Paella according to your region of origin:

avoid red wines

L’aspect «tannique» risque d’amener une terminaison de bouche assez dure et dans tous les cas la partie aromatique ne requiert pas les tonalités d’arômes que peut dévoiler un vin rouge (jeune ou vieux).

you only need white with a paella?

No, of course, these are only recommendations, but here again, a rosé wine that is not too « fruity » but rather vinous and spicy will do just fine.

For beer fans:

You don’t like wine?
Then nothing prevents you from tasting something else but the agreement will be different.
Try white beers, not too bitter and don’t hesitate to add a slice of lemon with it (the beer, not the Paella!)
A text by Ludovic Bigel
Teacher in sommellerie in the following subjects:
Oenology, Sensory analysis, Knowledge of beverages, Knowledge of vineyards.
His LinkedIn.