In this first feature of ‘My Remírez de Ganuza’ we talk to Madeline Maldonado, one of most famous faces of New York’s new generation of sommeliers who, since becoming beverage director of José Andrés multi-venue venture, has developed a particular passion for Spanish wine.
Mercado Little Spain, New York
Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
I am the Beverage Director at Mercado Little Spain, José Andrés’ homage to the historic Spanish mercados. We have three different bars and restaurants celebrating all things Spain: culture, language, food and, of course, wines.
Which Remírez de Ganuza wines do you currently list?
We have the Trasnocho, the 1994 Gran Reserva, the Fincas de Ganuza (which is our go-to beautiful red Rioja we sell most of), the Remírez de Ganuza Blanco 2018 and we just added the Gran Reserva Blanco 2013.
There is, finally, an increasing interest in white Rioja isn’t there?
Oh yes, and I love talking about it to both staff and guests. So many people think of Spain as red-wine dominant and overlook such beautiful white wines. Rioja is so associated with red, rich, oaky reds. It can be that, but there are also wines of classical elegance, such those Remírez de Ganuza produces in Rioja Alavesa. And of course the whites which for me are such a nod to Burgundy – I really have a soft spot for them.
So if you had to pick one bottle of Remírez de Ganuza as a personal favourite, which wine would you choose?
The 2018 Blanco is singing to me right now. It’s beautiful and I can put it against anything. We have four different dining concepts here and this wine has a place in all of them: it goes with fish, with steak, with tapas… From gambas al ajillo to a tortilla or a chuletón it works beautifully. But it also goes on its own; once it opens in the glass different notes come through, with lovely roundness and the oak so well integrated. It’s almost like a baby Meursault!
What is the ideal serving temperature?
I always say cellar temperature. Having said that, all wines have a pairing for a place, a food and a moment. So if you are outside at a barbecue you might want it really cold but I really think the beauty of it is when it comes down to 50 to 55 F [10 to 13⁰C] and all the fruit layers and texture reveal themselves.
Discover more about Remirez de Ganuza here