Swank n’ Smith Wines impress in first Tasting Packages “to go” from El Rincon Criollo

El Rincon & Swank n’ Smith Wines delivered as Covid forced our first “to go” wine event in Gourmet Wine Getaways’ 24 year history.  Bottom line- all pairings were well received as clients enjoyed in the comfort of their own homes and backyards. Bravo!!    

Best Wine

Most popular wine of the event was the 2014 Monarch (GSM blend).  Dark cherries, plum and a touch of oak on the nose gave way to a great acid-tannin balance with flavors of intense mixed berries.  “We don’t often match chicken with a red wine”, said Peter Kerr, Gourmet Wine Getaways wine expert, ” but here the garlic (garlic roasted chicken) ratchets up the flavor intensity- hence the GSM pairing”.  Enjoying a 6 year old red wine also worked in making this a lovely choice.

Wine and Food Pairing highlights

The most popular pairing of the event proved to be a virtual tie between the 2018 Roussanne paired with the Pina Colada Shrimp and Calamari, and the 2015 Laureate Reserve Cabernet paired with the Ropa Vieja (a long time El Rincon favorite).  The textures of the food dishes in each case were a near perfect match for the wines.  5 years of age made the Laureate Reserve lovely in every regard and allowed it to mesh with the delicious beef dish.  With the Roussanne, this was a case of a classic pairing:  a mouth-watering, tangy wine and a soft, briny seafood dish.

Overall, Owner Chef Jason Graff and his culinary team did a fine job pairing these food-friendly wines with their outstanding Cuban cuisine.  Although it was a great success, Jason hopes to have you back to “his place” in Culver City once we can all safely gather to enjoy food and wine together.

Meanwhile, we are hard at work to create another Tasting Packages to go event.  Check our calendar for the latest information.  And, please fill in your name and email below and we’ll keep you informed with an occasional email

The backyard was the perfect place to enjoy the pairings- a Tasting with Friends (photo credit Bruce R. and Gee W.)

El Rincon’s famous Ropa Vieja paired with 2015 Laureate Reserve Cabernet (Photo credit to Dan I. and Peggy K.)

Tasting with friends featuring the Shimp/Calamari with the Roussanne and the Ropa Vieja with the Laureate Reserve Cabernet. Two very successful pairings! The tostones were a great starter and the Flan a perfect ending. (Photo credit to Bruce R. and Gee W.)

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