Paladar launches series of Latin American wine dinners

Latin American restaurant, bar and bodega, Paladar, in London SE1, is to launch a series of bi-monthly wine dinners, the first of which on Thursday 19 April falls in the week of World Malbec Day.

The intimate dinners, for a maximum of ten people, will be hosted by Paladar’s Ecuadorian sommelier Rafael Cabezas-Castro alongside an invited guest expert, and feature food pairings from Colombian head chef, Jose Rubio-Guevara.

Taking place in Paladar’s bodega, the wine shop and semi-private dining room with a chef’s table offering views of the open kitchen, the format for each dinner will vary; some will feature one particular wine style, others will be a 'meet the winemaker' and focus on just one vineyard, and others – such as the first - will be wine and food pairings. Their common theme will be celebrating and increasing awareness of the outstanding wines being produced across Latin America.

The first dinner on Thursday 19 April will have a particular emphasis on Malbec, to coincide with World Malbec Day which falls in the same week. The special guest will be Stephanie Hénnion, founder of Déjeunons sur L’herbe, a Lille-based agency specialising in private and corporate wine tastings and bespoke wine courses.

The featured wines will be: Casa Valduga Brut (Brazil); Casa Marin, Estero Vineyard, Sauvignon Gris (Chile); Bodegas Garzon Albariño (Uruguay); Bodegas Norton Reserva Malbec (Argentina); and Zuccardi Malamado fortified Malbec (also from Argentina).

Hénnion will introduce the five wines, each matched with a course from chef Jose’s menu which will include:

Seabass Ceviche with passion fruit tiger’s milk
Palm Heart tiradito with aguachile; sweet corn and pickled jalapeno
Grilled octopus with bread fruit tempura, lime and candied red onion
28-Day aged Sirloin steak with corn bread and chimichurriBlue Corn Churros with coffee dulce de leche and chocolate sauce

Sommelier Rafael will explain how each wine complements the dish it is paired with and answer guests’ questions, while chef Jose will be on hand to describe how he created his dishes, leaving guests with an all-round understanding of how Latin America’s wines can be paired to the flavours of the region’s food.

The next dinner, on 28 June, will feature the wines of Viña Cobos in Mendoza, Argentina. This vineyard, established by American master winemaker, Paul Hobbs, formerly of Robert Mondavi and Opus One, explore the terroirs of Mendoza and produces some wines of true character and quality. The guest speaker will be Viña Cobos winemaker, Andrés Vignoni.