Food • June 16, 2018

Happy World Tapas Day!

Today we are celebrating el Día Mundial de la Tapa!

Small in size but full of flavor, tapas offer the chance to explore a variety of savory, sweet, and spicy dishes from all over Spain. Tapas may be hot or cold – from mixed olives or a refreshing serving of gazpacho to luscious prawns cooked in chili peppers.

Historically, tapas were served as small bites alongside wine to ensure that people weren’t drinking on an empty stomach and enticed them to stay and order a full meal. So for each glass of wine you ordered, the bar or inn would also provide a tapa free of charge.

In 2016, Spain officially declared the third Thursday of June as the special day to honor tapas’ unique cuisine. Since then, about 20 countries, including Great Britain, Hungary, and the Philippines have joined in the celebration. In the United States, New York, Miami, and Portland have also celebrated the annual festivity.

This year, Spain officially declared San Antonio the “Capital of Tapas” in the United States and will celebrate “World Tapas Day” for the first time with several celebrity Spanish chefs. In addition to “World Tapas Day,” the city of San Antonio will also celebrate 300 years since its founding by Spanish friars with Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.

In honor of World Tapas Day, we’ve put together a list of classic tapas that pair exquisitely with Spanish wines!

Patatas Bravas | Joven or Crianza Tempranillo-based red from DOCa Rioja

A classic! These bite-sized pieces of potato are typically pan-fried or deep-fried and then drizzled all over with a spicy tomato sauce. The sauce is a combination of red pepper, paprika, chili, and other spices depending on which region of Spain you’re in.

Pulpo a la Gallega | Albariño from DO Rías Baixas

Freshly caught octopus is softened by boiling in salted water and then sliced up, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with paprika for a spicy touch. A typical dish in Galicia it can now be found all over Spain but retains its distinct Galician-style flavor.

Croquetas | Reserva Cava from DO Cava

Spanish croquettes are bite-sized, deep-fried snacks usually loaded with chopped ham, cheese mixed in béchamel, a sauce of butter, flour, and milk. They’re deliciously crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and loved for their versatility. A croqueta can also be stuffed with any combination of cheeses, shellfish, potatoes, meat, and vegetables.

Albóndigas | Mencía from DO Bierzo

An albóndiga is a rich, savory Spanish meatball loaded with pork or beef. A couple of these make for a satisfying tapa, along with a sauce of lightly seasoned tomatoes, parsley, or almonds.

Whichever tapa you decide to have today, celebrate #WorldTapasDay with a wine that embodies the rich culinary and viticultural history of Spain. ¡Salud!