Last Friday 12th October, I was invited along to the Georgian Hotel’s first Spanish Tapas and Wine evening, and a fun evening was had by all. On arrival, we had an opportunity to try four Spanish wines brought along by the local wine merchant, the Haslemere Cellar whilst listening to a guitarist strumming some Hispanic tunes and nibbling Manchego. We were then led to our tables, which contained our starters, which included a selection of bread, olives and meats. Also on the table, in our case a table for two, were four decanters with wine, one white, one rose and a couple of reds, all chosen to pair the food we were going to receive. Everything was sourced locally.
The bread was fantastic, as were some very juicy small tomatoes and the large, fat green olives. A bowl of very moreish almonds was quickly dispatched. The wines came from the General Wine Company, based just over the border in Liphook and Petersfield, who gave us an introduction to all the wines. All four were excellent. The white was especially great, Ego Bodegas, Goru El Blanco Moscatel Chardonnay (Jumilla), the moscatel grape adding a lovely dimension to the chardonnay. The Bodegas Beronia, Rosado (Rioja) was also very pleasant, very quaffable.
After a while, the main dishes arrived in small bowls for sharing. Chunky chorizo cooked in sherry and Albondigas, meat balls in a garlic tomato sauce, were both good although more sauce with both would have been good. In addition, some calamari served with a garlic and lemon aioli, a couple of toasts with tapenade, Piquillo pepper and anchovy, some lovely Padron peppers and Patatas Bravas, that well known dish of fried potato with a spicy tomato sauce. All very pleasant. We pared most of these with two very good red wines, Casa del Marques (Rioja) and Dominio de Eguren (Codice Castilla), the latter offering more fruit and being the pick of the two.
The dishes were on the small side, which became understandable three quarters of an hour later when the second round of the same tapas were proffered. By this stage, we were quite full (and looking at watches as the dog-sitter needed rescuing) so we declined and asked for the cheese plate, which comprised more Manchego served with some lovely grapes and a delicious glass of Gonzalez Byass Tio Peper ‘En Rama’ sherry.
The evening was well attended and at £25 per head inclusive of a glass of each of the five wines was good value. I would have preferred to have had all the tapas at the same time (or at least known about a second course) but you are now all forewarned for their next event! Stefan Reynolds
The Georgian Hotel, High Street, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2JY
Tel: 01428 656644