Diversity of Spanish cuisine a ‘key promotional tool’ for wines

Industry body Foods and Wines from Spain in the UK plans to ramp-up food and wine pairing events as a way of showcasing ‘modern Spain,’ the public entity’s new director told Wine List Confidential. 

Fernando Muñoz said Spain’s diverse gastronomy cuisine would be a key promotional focus for wines going forward into 2020.

A big part of the campaign, he said would focus on food pairing with premium “organic and biodynamic’ wines, he said.

“We want to showcase the modern Spain rather than the traditional side of the country,” Muñoz said. “Spanish producers are increasingly making organic and biodynamic wines.”

New Spanish government figures show that Spain is the EU country with the largest organic vineyard area.

Organic production in Spain grew more than ten-fold, from 11,841ha in 2001 to more than 113,000ha in 2018, and now accounts for close to 12% of the country’s total vineyard area.

Muñoz’s appointment as the new director of Foods and Wines from Spain comes after María José Sevilla retired from the position in 2017.

He was previously based at the Spain’s trade and commercial office in Hong Kong and has worked for Spanish government in Australia.

Marianne Rodriguez will continue in her role as assistant director of Foods and Wines from Spain.

Muñoz spoke to db at the 2019 Wines from Spain awards presentation held at the Spanish embassy in London on Tuesday.

He said this year’s award-winning wines would be listed at the Iberica restaurants in the Britain run by Michelin starred chef Nancho Manzano.

The quality of organic white wines, which accounted for more than 30% of the winning wines, stood out at this year’s awards presentation.

Raimat’s El Niu de la Cigonya, a blend of Xarel-lo, Chardonnay and Albarino, Pansa Blanca 2018 and El Grifo, a Malvasia wine from Lanzarote producer Bodegas Secco were among the award-winning white wines.

Muñoz said part of the campaign next year to promote Spanish wines with food would include new workshops with importers and trade professionals and independent wine merchants as well as an increase in tasting events in British cities outside of London.

“The food and wine angle is natural for Spain, if you’re drinking in a bar in Spain you almost always have something to nibble on as well – ‘pintxo culture’ has captured people’s imagination and this is definitely something which could be built on,” said Jo Lory, a manager at Indigo Wines, a UK wine distributor.

“We are noticing a flourishing of the on-trade outside London so it makes sense to host more activities outside of London,” Lory said.

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