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Experience Spain in wine-pairing dinner

A La Carte Columns

July 16, 2017

Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: KELLI BULLOCK

Cold Water Lobster

Earlier this year, Heela Mottus, general manager of Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar in Waikiki, enjoyed a rare adventure: an oenophile’s tour of Spain’s vineyards.

The spectacular trip included visits to vineyards in Rias Baixas, Rioja, Andalusia and Malaga.

Some of the offerings from the Jorge Ordonez Wine Dinner, which will take place Aug. 9.

But the highlights of Mottus’ tour were the wineries of the legendary Jorge Ordonez, champion of Spain’s forgotten vineyards. Inspired, Mottus returned to Hawaii with a vision for an unforgettable feast.

On Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 6:30 p.m., Il Lupino will host the Jorge Ordonez Wine Dinner ($135 per person). The evening’s unique menu pairs a variety of savory Mediterranean courses with the magnificent Spanish wines that captured Mottus’ attention on her tour. Victor Ordonez, son and protege of the famed vintner, will be the special guest.

Grilled Octopus

“Though we are an Italian restaurant, our wines come from all over the world,” Mottus says. “This is a wonderful opportunity for people who want to learn about Spanish wines.”

Dinner will launch with a series of tapas, small plates of delicacies such as grilled langoustine, Spanish mussels, Jamon Iberico and murcia al vino (goat’s milk cheese macerated in red wine). A fine pair of wines is featured: 2016 La Cana Albarino and 2015 Avancia Godello.

Grilled Octopus, the dinner’s third course, is tossed with roasted heirloom potatoes, chorizo, tomato medley and red pepper aioli. It’s delightfully paired with 2013 Bodegas Breca Old Vines Garnacha.

Limited reservations will be accepted for this dinner, but many pairings on the special menu, developed with help from Ian Serle at Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants, are regularly available by the glass, including Jorge Ordonez Bodegas Botani ($12) and La Cana Albarino ($14).

“Italy and Spain have similar dishes, so we offer grilled langoustines during our Happy Hour, and the meat and cheeses as well,” says Mottus.

Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar

Royal Hawaiian Center
2233 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki
922-3400
Daily, breakfast: 7-11:30 a.m.; lunch: 11:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; happy hour: noon-6:30 p.m.; dinner: 5-10:30 p.m. (11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday); weekend brunch Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Illupino.com

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