Pairing Paella With Red And Rosé Rioja Wine

If you are a lover of paella or you want to try this dish, then you might be left wondering what types of wine that you should pair with it. There are a few different wine options that will pair well with Paella, including red and rose rioja wine.

All wines will offer you a different palette, flavor, and aroma, and these are all things that should be considered carefully when you are choosing the perfect wine to have at dinner.

Paella can be many different things, depending on the ingredients that you use, but there is a selection of wines that will work really well with the dish.

In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you need to know about pairing paella with red and rose rioja wine, so you can have an easier time selecting the right wine for you. Just keep reading to find out more. 

Pairing Paella With Red and Rosé Rioja Wine

What Is Paella?

If you were wondering, paella is a rice based dish that actually originates in Valencia, Spain during the 8th century. During this time, the dish was usually made with chicken, rabbit, snails, and beans.

It would have been cooked over an open fire in a paellera, which is a wide and shallow pan with two handles.

As time went on, this one pot meal has evolved, and there are now multiple different versions of it around the world.

However, some of the best versions of this meal, whether they are made using seafood or meat, will be cooked uncovered with short grain rice and a good quality broth.

Although, there are some purists that would argue that this dish must be made in Valencia with the local water.

Other people that prefer the more traditional approach would insist that ingredients like onions and garlic should never be used in a Paella dish, or that the dish should only even be made using seafood.

The one thing that most people seem to agree on is the fact that rice is the first ingredient that should be used to make a great paella dish.

It is no coincidence that paella originates from Valencia, which is where the unique marshlands are ideal for the reproduction of rice. When it comes to making your own paella dish at home, there are lots of different ingredients to choose from.

You should choose whatever you like to eat, and use the best quality ingredients that you can find for the best results.

What Wine Should I Pair With Paella?

Similarly as when it comes to choosing the right ingredients for your dish, you should also choose a wine that you feel like drinking. You should carefully consider the ingredients that you are using and try to find a good wine match for them. 

For example, if you are making a seafood paella, then you might be after a crisp white wine. If you are making chicken paella, then perhaps a hearty red wine would be more suitable.

Something that can pretty much be paired with almost any type of paella is rose, especially in the summer.

Another great wine to pair with paella is one of Spain’s most famous wines; rioja. Just like paella, this wine comes in various different styles.

They can range from young, fruity and berry scented to complex and brooding with subtle notes of floral spice, depending on the amount of aging and the winemaker’s intentions.

For a more humble dish, like paella, you should look for crianza or reserva riojas that have been aged for at least a year, but ideally longer than this, in barrels.

These types of wines will offer you a lot of straightforward fruit flavor, and vibrant acidity, but due to the aging process, they have started to take on some tannis and complexity too.

You might even decide on a crianza for seafood paella and a reserva for a meat paella, as these are often great combinations.

The Best Wines For Paella

Herminia Rioja Tempranillo 2015 – This is a well-priced wine at just $12, and it has a bright ruby color with aromas of cherry fruit and a hint of tar.

It is a smooth and medium-bodied wine that has silky tannins that both support and enhance the cherry fruit flavors and earthiness of this wine. You would struggle to find a better red rioja at such a low price.

Marqués de Murrieta Reserva 2014  – Another great choice is this away-winning tempranillo blend that features delightful aromas and flavors of ripe cherries, for just $25 a bottle.

It also has subtle notes of tar, ash, and earth, which gives it a stunning complexity. You should open the bottle a few hours before you intend to serve it to allow all of the flavors to develop.

La Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva 2009  – A slightly more expensive option at $35 a bottle is this Vina Ardanza wine that is eager to please with its soft freshness, delicate tannins, and long aftertaste.

The La Rioja Alta brand makes a wide range of wines, and is one of the best rioja producers. Of the 3 available red wines, this is the one with the most weight on the palette, and it is well-balanced with its bright flavors.

Which Rose Goes Well With Paella?

Beronia Rosé 2018 – This is an aromatic rose with aromas of a fresh fruit salad, including apples, pineapple, strawberries, and more. It has a medium body on the palette and contains lots of fresh fruit flavors, with a lingering finish.

It is perfect for combining with seafood, and it is also a great summer rose.

Recipe For Paella With Seafood And Chorizo

If you have never made paella before, then you might want to use the recipe as a guideline when you are making your own rendition of this hearty and nourishing dish. The below recipe will serve four people.


  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 4 links of raw Mexican or Spanish chorizo
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of saffron threads that have been soaked in 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon of regular salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper 
  • 2 cups of Arborio or another short grain rice
  • 4 cups of chicken stock 
  • 1.75 pounds of small clams
  • 1 pound of raw shrimp
  • 1 pound of calamari that has been sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups of either frozen or fresh peas
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 jar of fire-roasted red bell peppers, sliced into 1/4-inch slices lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley


The first thing that you need to do is remove the sausage casings and then break them up into 1 inch pieces. For Spanish chorizo, you should remove the casings and thinly slice the sausage. 

Next, heat a large paella pan, or a large saute pan, over a medium heat and add some olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, you can add the sausage and saute until it is cooked through.

Make sure to stir it frequently. It should take around 6 minutes to cook. If you are using Spanish chorizo, you should saute for around a minute.

Once cooked, remove the sausage from the pan and put it on a plate. Now, add the onion to the pan and saute until soft and golden. Then add your garlic, and saute for 30 seconds.

Once you have done this, add the paprika, turmeric, and saffron (with the water) into the pan and stir, scraping at the bottom of the pan.

After around a minute, you can add the tomatoes, salt, and peppers. Continue to cook until they are completely mixed in and the onions have turned a rusty color. This should take around 2 to 3 minutes.

You can then add the rice and stir it until it is completely coated with the oil and spices. Now stir in the stock and bring to a simmer.

Once this is done, you can reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for around 10 minutes without stirring. This will ensure that the grains soak up the liquid. You can move the pan every few minutes or so to ensure all parts receive direct heat and cook evenly.

The mixture should be slightly soupy, but you can add more stock if you need to. Add the clams to the rice mixture and bring back to a simmer. Cook for about 3 minutes. You can then proceed to add the peas and cook for a further 5 to 8 minutes.

While the clams are cooking, you can heat a large saute pan with 2 teaspoons of oil. Season the shrimp and calamari with salt and pepper and saute over a medium heat for around 3 minutes.

Finally, mix the chorizo, shrimp, and calamari into the paella and sprinkle with lemon juice and red pepper slices. Let it sit to warm the added ingredients.

Once this has been done, your paella dish will be ready to serve. You can either serve the paella in multiple individual dishes or in one dish and allow people to help themselves. 

This recipe will serve four people, so you can split it into four portions once you have finished cooking. You could always add extra ingredients if you are serving more people at a dinner party, or you can half the ingredients to serve just 2 people.

Emma Miller