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  • The Chopping Blog

Viva Espana at The Chopping Block

Mary Ross
Posted by Mary Ross on Apr 26, 2018


Spain hit Chicago’s fine dining scene well after France, Italy, even Mexico! Now, the flavors of Spain are favorites in the city and suburbs, from casual tapas to elegant Paella, from sparkling Cava to silky, rich Rioja. 

In May, The Chopping Block celebrates Spain with new classes, new preparations and new wines! 

From his years at the Ritz-Carlton, Barcelona, Chef Guillermo Delavault brings his favorite tapas recipes in the new class: Spanish Tapas offered on:

You’ll have fun cooking an assortment of small-plate snacks from throughout Spain, including the Basque region’s Sauteed Clams with White Beans and Salsa Verde. 


In Barcelona, diners enjoy their tapas at tiny wine bars called xampanyeria (chahm-pahn-ee-AIR-eeya), named for Spain’s version of Champagne, Cava. One tapas, one glass, then on to the next xampanyeria


Crostini with Chorizo, Goat Cheese and Honey from Spanish Tapas

For your tapas enjoyment in class or at home, we’ve added a new Cava: 

Vinicola de Sarral, “Libertat” Cava  Brut (Catalonia, Spain): Crystal clean & refreshing, for a bright aperitivo and complement to a world of tapas, lighter dishes and general festivity. 


If you’d like to learn the techniques of a complete Spanish meal, we have A Night in Spain offered on:

You’ll learn Spain’s classic dishes, including Paella, Steak Romesco & Flan.


The red wines of Spain are rich enough for red meat but silky enough for seafood. For your own night in Spain (even on your own patio), we have: 

Bodegas Obalo, Rioja Crianza (Rioja, Spain):  Aged in small oak barrels for velvety palate and savory flavors of ripe berries, meat and brown spice.  An ideal pairing with flavorful meats, poultry and vegetables, wild mushrooms and rich cheese.


France and Italy may get all the credit for fine wine, but Spain’s influence stretches throughout her own borders and beyond. To understand Spain’s unique impact on the world of wine, please join me in a new class The Wine Lands of Spain on Wednesday, May 30 7pm at Lincoln Square. 

From bright, bubbly Cava to rich and spicy Rosado, and silky Tinto, Spanish wine offers unique, delicious flavors. In this new class, we’ll discuss Spain’s wine heritage in the Old World and the New, including the original heart of our American vineyard. Tasting includes complementary noshes and wines of Spain, Argentina and Chile, such as: 

Celler Xavier Clua, “Illusio Terra Alta” (Catalonia, Spain):  Rich and elegant with expansive palate of ripe pears accented with fresh herbs.  Serve as a rich cocktail, complement to light meats and richer seafood, and a unique Chardonnay alternative. 

Bodegas Pinuaga, Rose of Tempranillo (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain): Expansive aroma with dry-ish strawberry flavor, delicate brown spice accents and appealing tannin from certified organic vineyards.  A versatile complement to appetizers, seafood, vegetables and light meats and a mouthwatering cocktail year-round.

Errazuriz, “MAX” Reserva Carmenere (Aconcagua Valley, Chile):  From “the lost grape of Bordeaux”, this Carmenere is lush and enveloping, with rich red fruit and earth, licorice, green herb complexity.  A unique alternative to Cabernet for red meats, rich vegetable dishes and poultry.  Errazuriz was named “Best Chilean Winery, 2017” by international wine critic Robert Parker. 


We hope you join us in May to taste the flavors of Spain!





Topics: Tapas, Wine, Spanish, Spain, Wine & Spirits

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