Secret Ingredient

A Tour of Northern Spain

I just spent 2 glorious weeks in Northern Spain, wine tasting in Rioja and walking on the infamous Camino de Santiago.


Spain truly offers some of the best wine in the world and is always a culinary adventure for me.


The Spanish really know how to live and we took full advantage of experiencing their lifestyle during our two week stay. We enjoyed walking in the streets, stopping in cafés and sitting outside for a visit with friends and people watching. The tapas bars were in abundance. We enjoyed these 2 to 3 bite appetizers in Haro, Pamplona and Santiago de Compestela.  It was great to be able to eat a fabulous treat like garlic shrimp or marinated mushrooms with a few sips of vino tinto and then move on to the next café.

Walking each day on El Camino de Santiago was a wonderful experience.  Each day the landscape changed and I loved the change in food and wine offerings from one region to the next.  We walked through the Cantabrian mountains in the Basque Country to the hot dry bread basket of Spain in Castilla y Leon and into the beautiful, lush and green mountains of Galicia. We feasted on lamb in the Basque country, seafood in Galicia. There was an abundance of fresh produce everywhere including late summer ruby red and ripe tomatoes always served in fragrant Spanish olive oil. 


My visit to the market place in Santiago de Compestela was a chef’s dream.  The Spaniards, like most Europeans display their food so beautifully. After my market tour, I spent the morning in a Galician cooking class; learning how to prepare octopus the Galician way and serve it on beautiful wooden plates, eating it only with toothpicks and never a fork. The seafood and rice stew we prepared was delicious with a big loaf of crusty bread. The chef focused on very few ingredients but created something flavorful and beautiful to look at.  We ended the meal with a traditional Galician cake. Of course, we enjoyed the meal with a crisp white Albarino from the region.


Dreaming of Your Trip to Spain?

Does my trip have you dreaming of your own trip to Spain?  If you can’t get to Spain but are now dreaming of the culture, cuisine and wines – Secret Ingredient can help!  We will plan a menu and pair the perfect wines to enhance the meal. We can even coordinate a wine educator to provide insight on each wine pairing.  This is sure to impress your guests and expand everyone’s wine knowledge.  We will leave you feeling like you just experienced a night in Spain in the comfort of your own home.  Contact us today to book a wine dinner this fall.