Appellation: Rioja Rosado DOCa
Pairing: Chorizo Stuffed Peppers
Sommelier: Mark DeWolf, CAPS National President

About the Sommelier: In 2002, Mark passed the International Sommelier Guild's final exam with the second highest mark in Canada. After graduation Mark took a position as an editor of one North America's largest on-line wine publications, Appellation America. Since leaving Appellation America, Mark started his own beverage consultancy company, and became the Publications Editor and Art Director of Occasions Magazine, which is produced for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation. Mark is the currently Creative Director, Food & Drink of The Saltwire Network - one of Canada's largest privately owned media groups.  Mark additionally heads the Tidal Bay Independent Tasting Panel and co-ordinates the Atlantic Canada Wine Awards, Atlantic Canada Beer Awards and soon to be launched Atlantic Canada Spirits Awards.   Mark has been a Sommelier instructor with CAPS since 2004. Mark supports key industry organizations including Femmes du Vin and Tasting Climate Change, working as their Director of Sponsorship.

Much like the famous reds of Rioja, the region’s rosados are versatile, offering a range of styles. From 100% Tempranillo to blends with other indigenous varietals (i.e. Garnacha), Rioja rosados offer something for everyone. While historically they tended to be quite pigmented, recent adjustments to regulations have allowed producers to producer paler rosados in-line with consumer trends. The results are some fruit driven wine styles – often in the primary red fruit vein – blessed with a freshness and vitality thanks to the region’s northern location and a general move to higher elevation vineyards.

Coming from Atlantic Canada, which shares an ocean and a love of seafood with Spain, I’ve always found there is a symbiotic connection between the whites and rosados of Rioja and our seafood. We have shared fishing grounds – mostly amicably – for centuries.  I also believe Rioja Rosado works wonderfully with tapas. The match should never be complicated or overpowering so as to allow the freshness of wine to come to the fore.   Enjoying a glass of Rioja rosado with this recipe for Stuffed Mini Peppers.

Stuffed Mini Peppers

6 Servings

12 sweet mini peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup dry-cured Chorizo, diced
1/4 cup roasted pepper, diced
1/6 cup Spanish green olives, chopped
3/4 cup Manchego cheese, grated
1/4 cup parsley, grated

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 °F. Place peppers on baking sheet cut side up. In a bowl, combine green onions, Chorizo, roasted pepper and olives. Top each with equal amounts of grated Manchego. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully place on platter. Sprinkle peppers with parsley.


*Cru by CAPS & the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers would like to thank and acknowledge the Rioja DOCs and other funding partners for supporting the production of this content.