SweervyWine & The City: Vol. 1 – London & La Rioja Alta

The idea of SweervyWine & The City (or #SweervyWineAndTheCity on Twitter and IG) was born when the local wine merchant Armit Wines have announced a competition to win a trip for two to Rioja, Spain. One had to take a photo of any bottle of wine from the producer La Rioja Alta with a famous landmark and publish it on either Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LaRiojaAltaWorld to be in for a chance to win the trip to the winery.

After being extremely lucky to have won a trip to the Ornellaia winery in Tuscany just a few weeks before, I was determined to win the Rioja trip as well. After all, lucky streaks do happen! (Btw, I’m going to Ornellaia late September, so make sure you follow my blog to be notified of the report going online! 🙂 )

So there I was, with my one year old daughter in tow and a bottle of 2008 Viña Arana Rioja Reserva in the pushchair’s storage basket and camera hanging over my neck (looking and feeling very touristy), hitting up London’s landmarks hoping to take if not award winning then at least holiday winning photos.

I didn’t plan to publish more than one or two photographs for the contest but my competitive spirit has taken over my mind and I just couldn’t stop. It became a whole lot! Without elaborating too much on expressions on people’s faces while I was taking those photos of a wine bottle elbowing my way through the crowds of tourists, the majority of them were probably thinking “What’s wrong with you, mama?!”

It didn’t take long until the competition bug bit my dear husband… We ended up getting a second, different bottle (this time a 2007 Viña Ardanza) to take even more pics for him to enter the competition as well!

Here is the outcome of what turned out to be a fun week of photo shooting (maybe not as fun for my baby and the poor wine bottle at 25+ degrees) 🙂

In the meantime, after letting it rest in the wine cabinet for a few days I popped that bottle of Viña Arana and paired it with homemade lamb cutlets & roast potatoes. I love to drink Rioja with my lamb and this was certainly a fantastic pairing. This however, is such an elegant expression of Rioja (which is typically best enjoyed with food), that it was just as great (if not better!) on its own after dinner!

I marinated the lamb for ca. 2 hours in a mix of garlic, thyme, paprika, couple of threads saffron and a few dashes of olive oil. First seared in a griddle pan then finished off in the oven.

Both wines featured in this series are available at a number of retailers. I purchased my Viña Arana from Waitrose and the Viña Ardanza from Majestic Wine.

Now that SweervyWine & The City has developed into a project of its own I will certainly continue creating new series as I travel, explore and discover beautiful places and wines. Therefore sign up for updates on my blog and follow SweervyWine on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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