By Zoltan Szabo and Jamie Drummond

Last night Richard Kitowski and Jocelyn Klemm of The Wine Coaches presented a selection of wines from two of our favourite producers from both Rias Baixas and Bierzo; Terras Guada and Pittacum, with winery representative  Mar Dopazo on hand to guide us through both bodega’s bottlings.

This wine dinner was located at Toronto’s Cava Restuarant where Chefs Chris McDonald and Doug Penfold collaborated to create another stellar meal designed specifically to accompany the evening’s wines.

As I have mentioned previously on Good Food Revolution, Chefs McDonald and Penfold always do a top notch job when composing such a menu. This evening’s pairings, detailed in photographs below alongside Zoltan’s tasting notes, were yet another triumph.

Cava are still hosting what must be the best wine dinners in the city, and for $95 a head (including wine but excluding tax a gratuity) one has to understand that, for a dinner that comprises food and wine of this calibre, this is an absolute steal! Keep an eye on Cava’s website for upcoming events.

Guest of Honour Mar Dopazo from Terras Guada/Pitticum

Renee from The Siren Group and Chef Chris McDonald

2008 Pittacum Rosado ‘Tres Obispos’, Bierzo
Made from 100% Mencia. Deep pink with light purple edge in colour. Blueberries with herbal nuances. Medium bodied and fresh, unusual and very good, indeed.

2009 Terras Gauda ‘La Mar’, Rias Baixas
Blend of Caiño Blanco, Alvarinho and Loureiro. Peach, floral and honey with underlying mineral tones.  Good concentration and intensity here. 10,000 bottles of it produced with fruit coming from low yield vines. Excellent pairing with Cava’s suquet of Pacific halibut and wild Irish mussels, Fanny Bay oysters and sea urchin aioli.

Suquet of Pacific Halibut with Wild Irish Mussels, Fanny Bay Oysters and Sea Urchin Aioli

2010 Terras Gauda ‘O Rosal’, Rias Baixas
Alvarinho, Caiño Blanco and Loureiro, barrel aged. Reminds me of a Viognier, stone fruit, white blossoms with a viscous mouthfil, yet wonderful freshness. The brilliant Chris McDonald served it with corn and chanterelle soup with Nova Scotia lobster, the pairing was magical, as always when dining at Cava Restaurant.

Corn and Chanterelle Soup with Nova Scotia Lobster

2006 & 2007 Pittacum, Bierzo
100% Mencia. Dense ruby – purple. Both are fairly rich, black fruit – driven, med – weight reds, the 2006 is obviously softer and also fruitier, with more coconut – oak accents; the 2007 is more complex and multi – dimensional with black raspberry, rhubarb, pepper spice and intriguing bacon fat, horse saddle notes. Matched with paella of Chantecler chicken, okra and snails.

Paella of Chantecler Chicken, Padron Peppers, Okra and Snails

2007 Pittacum ‘Aurea’, Bierzo
Old vines of 100% Mencia planted in 1905, yield as low as 1 KG of grapes per vine. 100% high quality French oak used here. It got a northern Rhone – like character, black fruits, tar, grilled meat and bush herbs. Medium to full with excellent depth and well balanced structure. 10,000 bottles produced.  Fantastic pairing with lamb foursome, roast loin, braised cheek, pickled tongue and brain fritter.

Local Lamb Four Ways - Roast Loin, Braised Cheek, Pickled Tongue and a Squash Blossom & Lambs’ Brain Fritter - with Smoked Pimenton Sauce and Braised Dandelion Greens

Spanish Trifle with Pedro Ximenez Prunes and Seville Orange Sabayon

Both wineries are represented in Ontario by TWC Imports. Terras Gauda also produces a splendid coffee liqueur.
Read more of sommelier Zoltan Szabo at and follow him