Our Wine of the Week, Las Rocas 2011 Garnacha ($14), is a lovely quaffer, a lively red wine with layers of fruit flavors, especially cherries and berries. Anyone who loves red wine will enjoy this one.
In the glass, the wine gives off a rich ruby glow, with sweet aromas mingling with hints of cocoa and vanilla. On the palate, the wine is punctuated with little pops of sweet spice, especially clove and allspice. As the wine splashes onto your palate, bright cherry flavors spread voluptuously until the long finish emerges with firm but fairly smooth tannins.
The wine is lovely with a broad range of foods, from pork tenderloin and grilled lamb to eggplant, tomatoes, farro, wild rice, black beans, chickpeas and more.
Inspiration for today's recipe comes from a Spanish tapas that combines spinach or kales with a rough puree of chickpeas spiked with cumin and paprika. It's a great combination of flavors that resonate beautifully with the wine. Here, the chickpeas remain whole and serve as a bed for succulent, slow-cooked pork.
Braised Pork with Chickpeas and Greens
Makes 6 to 8 servings
2 to 2 1/2 pounds pork butt or shoulder, cooked and cut into chunks (see Note below)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, minced