WHO SAYS you can’t fall in love with something that can’t love you back? Guests at Barcino’s wine event “Perfect Pairing” in UP Town Center on Valentine’s Day fell in love with the variety of wine and tapas pairings in the masterclass format, conducted by Barcino’s founder and present Business Development manager, Oscar Bosch.

The meal started with a Fragrantia No. 6, a Moscato, which had a tartness at the center and a refined taste akin to candied lemons. This was paired with pintxos de pulpo (octopus) and pintxo de pate de tuna. The wine managed to highlight the chewiness of the octopus, while polishing with a creamy cleanliness the fish’s more base flavors.

Next came a Fragrantia No. 9 Syrah, a rosé with a scent almost like, well, roses, with a hint of grass, a certain crispness and juiciness in the taste (like biting into an apple), punctuated with a note of candied plums. This was paired with piquillo peppers stuffed with fish, wiping off its fattiness and gives it some refinement. No surprises here, but a Vinas del Vero Luces Tinto, a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah went well with grilled tenderloin with mushroom gravy, perhaps because of the wine’s hint of black pepper, with the aggressive odor of a wooden cask, with a slight hint of patchouli leaves. This final seductive note served as a tonic for the paella negra, which surprisingly had a light tonic effect on the slightly heavy dish.

Said Mr. Bosch after the tasting: “It’s very important to educate people. If you educate the people, the people will become your customers in the future.” Barcino has 17 stores at present, and Mr. Bosch said that they plan to open five more, but plans to explore more options in Spanish cuisine. — JLG