The Goyas 

End of week treat at Taberna Verdejo

This place seems to be the watering hole of choice for winemakers passing through Madrid – don’t think I have ever been here without meeting someone or other and today was no different. Jose Mas, of Mas Asturias, up in Bierzo. Fortunately I have some of his wine, but it was not sherry so we move on.

On to the “La Goya” – a special edition manzanilla which I find extremely elegant. Pale in colour and very floral in the nose – really expresses the chamomile it is named for – the salinity  is integrated and it has all the vegetable, yeasty bread flavour you would expect. Hits the spot and sets me up for lunch.

Then, with some Navajas, the Goya XL – it calls itself a manzanilla reposada and it has been brewing up for gone 10 years. As often happens, it is darker in colour but slightly quieter on the nose – same aromas, maybe a bit more salt and iodine but definitely sweet herbal tea. On the palate it is definitely more intense – plenty of yeasty power to balance the salinity. And it goes on, and on, and on, keeping its shape pretty well.

And on we go, to the mackerel escabeche, with the Monteagudo Amontillado – also from Delgado Zuleta. To be honest, I have messed up this pairing – the mackerel is delicious, the monty too,  but they are at odds. One (zee fishh) is vinegary and sweet, the other mellow and dry. My bad.

Next up is a salad of sweetbreads and carabinieros and just take a look at this.  

Again, though, the pairing is not great by me – the sweetbreads would be pigs in muck with the monty, but the salad calls out for acid and freshness. (For this dish I would probably go champagne – and it deserves it.)
And now my esteemed colleague from Bierzo has started plying me with his wares so wish me luck. 



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