Match of the week | Clams with rice and Verd Albera

Match of the week

Clams with rice and Verd Albera

What do you drink with tapas? My immediate go-to is sherry but having indulged that whim the other day in the form of a glass of tangy manzanilla amontillada from Lustau’s almacenista collection I unusually followed it up with a glass of white.

We were in one of my favourite tapas bars José in Bermondsey Street - named after its engaging proprietor José Pizarro. After working our way through the usual suspects (pan con tomate, jamon, croquetas* and patatas bravas) we had a couple of seafood dishes - garlicky prawns and clams with rice - that went brilliantly with a glass of 2012 Verd Albera, a blend of grenache blanc and muscat from Spain’s Costa Brava.

Despite the significant amount of muscat (30% I later discovered from importers Indigo Wine) it wasn’t overly perfumed but fresh, crisp and slightly smokey - a deliciously unusual fish-friendly white at a very good price.

*their croquetas are to die for. Some of the best I’ve tasted in or outside Spain.

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