Refreshing trick to enjoy summer

Summer is here. Spain is under a heat wave. It’s 7.30pm and it’s 35ºC outside.  Fortunately for all of us, we have  some solutions to palliate the heat (apart from the healthy and always very recommended one, keep yourself hydrate with water), today I have a light and easy recipe and a delicious rosé wine from Rioja that we had the chance to taste this weekend. We also mixed the wine with some other spirits, and we got as a result a couple of excelent cocktails that I will share with you in the next days.

I have to confess that the rosé wine I present today confused me a little bit when I tasted at home. With a beautiful salmon-pink colour I don’t expect to be like that. I am used to the rosé wines from Navara, fruity, sweet and with an intense red-lollipop colour, and this rosé from Rioja is every bit as good as Navarra’s. I didn’t taste it too much fruity but it is indeed very refreshing, easy drinking, with flower and citrus notes. It is a wonderful option to have this summer.

Rosé Ramon Bilbao with garlic rice au gratin
Rosé Ramon Bilbao with garlic rice au gratin

We first did the strict tasting that I will share at the end of this post, but after the proper protocol, we served it in a glass and added some ice and the result was extraordinary. It is like a “Tinto de Verano” (red wine with soda, very popular in Spain to order wherever you go no matter if you are in the Sout or North of Spain), refreshing and quenches your thirst. The cocktail we did I should say it was also very succesful. What we did then I will share it in another entry.

Rosé RB with ice. Tremendous!
Rosé RB with ice. Tremendous!

Pairing this Rioja 100% Garnacha we had some delicious garlic rice au gratin. Of course, it is not for a gala night but it is a light meal to share with your family and friends, and enjoy a day with good wine, good meal and good company. I am looking forward to repeat the experience with friends and a good terrace at the Madrilenian mountains.


Garlic rice au gratin. Recipe by Nuria.
Garlic rice au gratin. Recipe by Nuria.

 Garlic Rice au gratin


1 glass and ½ of rice (3 persons)

5 or 6 cloves

1 bag of grated cheese (special to cook au gratin)

Olive oil

Boil the rice for 20 minutes and remove the water with a strainer.

Add the cloves in a pan with the bottom covered with a fine layer of olive oil. Make sure all the pan it’s covered with it by bending the pan a bit.

Fry the cloves untill they are a bit brown. Add the rice and fry it gently until it is all well mixed.

In a proper dish for an oven, add the rice and sprinkle the grated cheese. Put it inside the oven to cook au gratin for about 5 minutes until it’s brown.

Ready to enjoy! Bon Apettit!

Tasting note

Ramon Bilbao Rosé 2012, the new wine of this winery from Rioja.
Ramon Bilbao Rosé 2012, the new wine of this winery from Rioja.

Ramón Bilbao Rosado 2012

100% Garnacha

Alcohol: 13%vol.

Price: 5,90€

Colour: salmon-pink colour, very clean and brilliant.

In the nose attacks with balsamics and herbaceous notes, fresh and acid, red flowers and a touch of black fruits at the back and touch of wooden notes.

In the mouth is creamy, fresh, smooth, refreshing with a fruity, lightly acid, citrus and toasted aftertaste.

Pairing: garlic rice au gratin.

When you add the ice to the wine it is like a lemon drink with wine. A refreshing “tinto de verano”.

What other wine do you recommend us for the summer? Thanks for sharing your opinion.

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