We’ve partnered with Marqués de Cáceres to curate two warm-weather menus featuring Spanish dishes paired with their premium wines—perfect for big hosting moments to casual weekend dinners. From crisp, bubbly Cava to spiced, oaky Rioja Crianza, there’s a lil’ something for everyone.
When I think of Spain, I think of my trip to Barcelona that coincided with the summer solstice when I spent the night watching fireworks explode in the skies over the densely packed crowd of summer revelers. Or, the afternoon I spent in Mercado de la Boqueria snacking on cones of meats and cheeses and skewers of albondigas, taking breaks to indulge in fresh melon slices. Summer and Spanish fare are deeply intertwined in my mind, including the bold flavors of Spanish wines like those crafted by Marqués de Cáceres. As a Rioja-based, family-run winery, they know how to bottle the feeling of warm sun on your shoulders and a breeze in the air that wafts all the delicious smells from what’s cooking. Their wines pair incredibly well with regional dishes, so below you’ll find my recommendations for a three- and four-course dinner—wine pairings included—to celebrate the season and toast to a country that holds so many special summertime memories.
This first menu is a casual, low-lift meal that’s perfect at the end of a long day spent swimming and sunning, when you’re sun-kissed and just a touch tired, but ready to dig into an amazing dinner.
Most likely, you have some potato chips around your house for various parties and snackable moments. In comes this Potato Chip Tortilla Española From Ferran Adrià, which bypasses the tedium of slicing and boiling all those potato slices that you need to pull off a traditional tortilla española. Instead, this recipe recruits an already thinly sliced and cooked potato: the chip. Dressed up with Serrano ham, pickled piquillo peppers, and fresh thyme, slice it into classic triangles for serving or little square passed bites to feed a crowd. Marqués de Cáceres Cava is an ideal match as the wine’s crisp flavor and delicate bubbles are perfect for cutting through the rich layers of the tortilla, while still allowing the dynamic flavors to shine.
Nothing is tastier or simpler than grilled vegetables, and according to recipe developer Marian Bull, this recipe for Escalivada (Catalan Roasted Vegetables) is “the Catalan answer to ratatouille.” Perhaps the ultimate hands-off dish (the vegetables hit the oven to roast for two hours while you do literally anything else), it can be paired with simple grilled or toasted bread for sopping up all the tart sherry vinegar, or broadened with a fish or meat accompaniment. Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza is a lovely spice-forward foil to roasted vegetables, as its strong blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Graciano grapes provide body and heft to carry the vegetal notes throughout the palate.
Spanish Butter Wafers are the final element in this menu. They can be baked days in advance and kept in an airtight container for whenever the mood strikes, plus they’re easily riffable. Could these be the base for melty, gooey s’mores? Absolutely. Should you use them to make adorable ice cream sandwiches? Also, yes. Serve these alongside chilled glasses of Marqués de Cáceres Verdejo—its notes of vanilla and spice will complement the buttery wafers and help you toast to the lovely evening.
A four-course dinner is the perfect amount of time to balance chatting with eating, without leaving guests too idle, or too full. To start, a Garlicky Roasted Potato Salad done in a style reminiscent of crispy patatas bravas. This twist relies on punching up store-bought mayo with zingy Dijon and freshly squeezed lemon juice to form the garlic aioli that’s drizzled on top. This dish can be served at room temperature or chilled, and it makes a great duo with Marqués de Cáceres Rosé as the wine’s berry notes and smooth finish round out the allium.
Continuing to play with big flavors, the second appetizer brings smoky notes that will smooth over the allium-tang from the potatoes. Though the deeply savory Smoky Lentil Soup is supposed to be the star, I think the true shining element is the garnish: a hearty paste of fresh parsley, almonds, bread, and garlic called almond picada. (Feel free to scoop any extra onto hunks of crunchy bread.) The Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Crianza, with bright acidity and oaky depth, lightens the smoky undertones and complements the herbaceous, vegetal notes of the dish.
For the main course, I wanted to highlight a vegetable dish that could be adjusted to fit your party size and hunger needs. Pisto Manchego With Eggs, a dish made throughout Spain, is a tomato-based stew that’s basically a “summer garden in a bowl,” according to recipe developer Caitlin Raux Gunther. The best part is that the eggs can be incorporated in a bevy of different ways. “In the sunny southwest, Andalusians throw in eggplant, as do their neighbors to the east, in Murcia. In Rioja, a cook might finish her pisto by beating a few eggs directly into the mixture at the end. The Bilbaínos up north double the eggs, and it skews more toward a veggie-heavy scramble,” says Caitlin of the numerous possible iterations. A glass of citrusy, light Marqués de Cáceres Verdejo is a delightful accompaniment to the eggs, in whatever way you wish to serve them.
Torrijas is a Spanish bread pudding-esque sweet that can be your dessert and your breakfast the next day (if there are any leftovers, that is). Serve each custardy-soaked piece with stone fruit, fresh berries, or lightly sweetened whipped cream. With its gentle bubbles and fruity aroma, Marqués de Cáceres Cava will carry the memory of summer fruit and cream through the rest of the evening.
Our friends at Marqués de Cáceres have been producing fine Spanish wines for decades, and it’s been a family affair all along. Five generations of Forners have finessed the winemaking process for luscious Rioja Crianza, vibrant Verdejo, and more traditional wines from the heart of the Rioja, Rueda, and Ribera del Duero regions of Spain. Learn more about the wines and where to find them here.
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