“This is a very personal project for me. Hence the name ‘Mia’ which means ‘mine’ in Spanish.”
I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a wine tasting at Tapeo Restaurant and Tapas Bar with the creator of the featured wine we would be enjoying. Gloria Collell was visiting the US from her home of Spain to share her love for her wines, called Mia, which are rolling out nationwide in September!
I was excited to attend this lunch for a number of reasons… a little bit of me time (I think other new moms can totally relate!), getting to go to Tapeo, and getting to enjoy some wines while not sitting on the sofa having the dog jump on me trying to have some as well. Plus, when I visited Boston in the fall of ’02 with my mom to check out the college I was going to attend my mom and I ate at Tapeo, so it brought back great memories of that night as we enjoyed some great food as we excitedly talked about how the info session we had just attended went.
Fast forward to the present, and here I am sitting in front of the stunning Gloria Collell as she was sharing her story about how she was born to the wine business, as her childhood memories revolved around wine, and how for the past twenty years, she has worked on a number of different projects with the wineries of the Ferrer family of Freixenet fame, from technical departments to export. She recently suggested an idea to the Ferrers for a line of young, fresh, easy-drinking wines. They liked her vision so she was entrusted with the project and given the freedom to develop her wine, which is how Mia was born.
Things kicked right off with the Plato Mixto- Jamón Serrano, Manchego Cheese, Pimientos & Olives ($18). The jamon and cheese where robust and full of salty flavors from the curing and aging, respectively. To accompany the appetizers we were, of course, served a glass of wine! We started the tasting with a glass of Mia’s White.
Mia White 2013 (SRP $10) is a blended wine that consists of Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Parellada and Moscatel. It has a nice tropical character with fresh aromas of apple and pear, as well as subtle hints of white flowers and orange blossom. I found that it is the kind of wine I’d love to enjoy a summer’s warm evening as the light flavors and the chill will help me cool off while relaxing.
In addition to the Plato Mixto, we enjoyed Chorizo a la Plancha- Seared Spanish Sausage ($8.50). I love chorizo- it’s meaty, flavorful, and I just love the hue of it as well. The char on the chorizo was just perfect as well. The saltiness of the meat went so nicely with the Mia White. It nice broke up intense flavor and balanced out the tapas plate.
I just love how colorful the text/font is on the wine bottles. Its brightly-colored mosaics are reminesient of Gloria’s Barcelona and its Park Güell, which was designed by, Antoni Gaudí. I like how cheerful it is, and I figure it will help me identifying the bottle pretty easily on the store shelf.
Be still my heart!
This next course was killer. I only wish that I paid close attention to the server as she described this but I was took lost in thought over the sight and smells as it was placed in front of us. All I do remember was that it was cooked in the very Mia wine that we were about to enjoy to create a nice continuity with the flavors of the entree.
The meat was extremly tender as it was slow cooked in the Mia wine, along with some fresh vegetables. It had me thinking of fall on this hot summer day as I could easily invision myself making a roast like this at home and then enjoying it with a glass of Mia.
The tender meat was served with Espinacas a la Catalana- Sautéed Spinach, Garlic, Pine Nuts & Golden Raisins ($7.50). This is something that I need to make at home. I don’t normally have golden raisins on hand (my rabbit eats them all up!), but I will grab them just for this very side dish to enjoy with dinner.
Mia Red 2012 (SRP $10) is a fruity and full-bodied red, unoaked to allow the vibrancy of the Tempranillo grape to shine. It is aged in stainless steel tanks, so the natural flavors and aromas from the wine are preserved without any added notes from wooden barrels. Be sure to take a moment to enjoy the lovely aromas of voilets and orange peel beore you enjoy the fruity palate that is rich with notes of plum, red berries, and just a hint of spice.
Well, here comes the paella!
Tapeo treated us to BOTH styles of Spain’s Paella. We enjoyed the traditional kind with Saffron Rice (Paella) and the kind with cut pasta, which is actutally called Fideuá. Both styles were served ‘Valenciana’ Style- Pork Sausage, Chorizo, Chicken, Shrimp, Scallops, Squid, Clams & Mussels ($38 for 1-3 people/$66 for 4-6 people).
Both styles were really good but I liked the Fideuá style as it was the first time I had it with pasta, compared to rice. I always like to try something new. Plus I am a sucker for allioli sauce, which is drizzeled on top.
Oh, I was stuffed at this point. Everything was fantastic. I was gobbling up food and sipping wine but of course I couldn’t pass up some dessert and the two Mia wines we would enjoy with dessert.
The Mia Moscato Rose ($12) is a blend of 98% of Moscato and 2% of Tampranillo. It is a delicately sweet sparkling pink Moscato with lovely floral and tropical aromas. Plus it was just so pretty to look at. I loved the light pink color and the dancing bubbles!
The Mia Moscato (SRP $12) is a fruity and sweet sparkling Moscato with a light freshness. It was really light with a nice blance of sweetness and acidity that creates a delicious finish.
Throughout the meal Gloria shared with us how she developed the Mia wines. They conducted tastings in four countries- UK, Switzerland, Germany, and the US- which took 8 months. Ultimately, they concluded that while people insist that they like dry wines all the data showed that they really prefered a swwet, light wine. It seems that people don’t want to admit to enjoying a sweet wine, as if that indicates that you don’t have good taste, you don’t have a sopisicated pallete.
They created the wines for everyone to enjoy with everything from cheese, seafood, and sushi. The sweetness in the wine paris well with the soy sauce. It has been enjoyed so much that it has now been enjoyed in 46 countries, including Uganda and Korea!
And every dessert course needs chocolate! This chocolate cake was really rich and fudgy. It’s always hard to resist molten chocolate cake. At least for me!
The Tarta de Santiago- Almond- flour Cake with Coffee Cream ($7.50) and the Flan del Dia- Fruit Flavored Flan of the Day ($7.00) were both so enjoyable. In fact, the Tarta de Santiago was my hands down favorite.
I really enjoyed this lunch for a number of reasons, but I was so glad I got to meet Gloria. Gloria is just the kind of amazing, sincere woman who you want at your next party. Sure, this was a press event for her wines but there was nothing put on by her. She was funny, honest, and super friendly without it being forced at all. It was her last stop, in fact she was heading directly to the airport after our lunch, but she didn’t even seem distracted about the long flight ahead of her, or the fact that she just broke her cell phone. oh boy!
Gloria just seems like that person that I could email in a few years, if I ever happen to magically get to Spain, and ask for restaurant recommendations, but instead of just sending an email she would insist upon meeting me and showing me her favorite places. And of course, we would drink Mia wine!!
I am looking forward to getting some Mia to have on hand for the nights when Autumn gets to sleep early and Price and I have a moment just to enjoy a few minutes relaxing, you know, before we fold 5 loads on laundry while watching America’s Got Talent. ha!
While I received this complimentary lunch and wine tasting provided by Freixenet, all thoughts and opinions are my own.