TN: Rioja, Albarino, and Champagne with great tapas

Betsy and I met Mark and Nancy last night for dinner at Ibiza in Chappaqua. And I was glad we did- great company, great wine, great food. We basically put ourselves in the owner?s (Ignacio) hands and let him bring out a long succession of dishes. Best tapas night I?ve ever experienced
Sardine and tomato toast, and boquerones and avocado on toast (table fave was the sardines, but to me it was a dead heat)
Tuna tartare with sesame oil, Cod croquettes
Salmon with seaweed bomba rice, Scallops with broccolini and a broccolini emulsion
Octopus with smoked paprika, Garlic Shrimp
Empanadas with lamb shank on a sweet potato puree.
Sea bream with sweet potatoes and pea puree
Duck breast with little cubes of polenta, bacon, & dates, Beef cheek in an intense red wine sauce
Everything was delicious. There were also 4 desserts, bread pudding with pistachio ice cream, tres leches cake with pear foam, a goat cheese cheesecake with honey and thyme , and another dessert I forgot
2015 O?Forrollo Albarino (Rias Baixas) Really slurpable Albarino, rich pear fruit accented with citrus, with seashell and seabreeze notes. Bright, lively, long. B+/A-
2002 Piper-Heidsieck ?Rare? Champagne. Mark generously brought this because I had liked recently, and I liked it just as much this time, though with a food pairing my take was slightly different. With tapas this seemed less toasty than on its own, but still crisp, rich, and delicious, elegant and excellent. A-
1981 Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva (only says Reserva on front label, but rear DOC stamp says Gran Reserva, and I was told only GR made). Wasn?t sure if we needed red, but carried a couple of Riojas in case- old school ones are usually pretty filtered, so good travel wines. This was a little surly when first decanted, but ended up showing well. Cherries and citrus zest, leather, spice. Good finish, and I was happy to have with the lamb, beef, and duck. B+
Very fun evening with nice people, and I can?t wait to go back to Ibiza Kitchen.,
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice.Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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DaleW

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