Match of the week | Lobster with lichen and Torello Special Edition Cava

Match of the week

Lobster with lichen and Torello Special Edition Cava

I went to the most extraordinary wine pairing dinner last week at Elena Arzak’s Ametsa in London, sponsored by the Consejo Regulador for Cava

Arzak, if you don’t know her, runs one of Spain’s most avant-garde restaurants in San Sebastian alongside her father and the menu was a roller-coaster ride of dishes that looked nothing like their descriptions.

There was seabass with ‘celery illusion’ for example where the celery was apparently formed from pineapple - an unlikely but delicious combination with this delicate fish. And an extraordinary dish of ‘pigeon with seeds’ (below) where the pigeon had been disconcertingly arranged on the plate to look like a shot bird lying in a pool of blood (actually a rather gorgeous chocolatey, raisiny purée). It was a powerful dish to match with cava but the weighty 2006 Recaredo brut nature reserva held its own remarkably well thanks to the accompanying seeds.

But the most harmonious match was a dish of lobster claw with swiss chard, a lacy corn wafer and a dusting (I think) of lichen. (It’s hard to keep up with exactly what’s going on in dishes like this.) That was paired with a 2010 Torello Special Edition brut reserva, an elegant creamy cava with a lively mousse and a dosage of only 4.3g. As you’d expect from lobster and fizz it was spot on.

You can buy the Torello which, as you can see, comes in a really wacky bottle from Hic for £16.50 and Great Western Wine for £17.50 - great value for a sparkling wine of this quality.

I attended the dinner as a guest of the Cava D.O.

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