The Tasting Panel magazine

January 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 46 of 108

D.C. BEAT Small Plates, Big Wines JORDI PARONELLA BRINGS SPANISH FLAIR TO THE WINE PROGRAM AT JALEO by Scott Greenberg / photo by Mark Finkenstaedt W Jordi Paronella shares a passion for soccer and wine with his boss, José Andrés, which is clearly displayed by the colorful foosball tables at Jaleo in D.C. hen your passion is turning people on to innovative Spanish food and wine pairings, it helps to have a diverse background. Fortunately, Jordi Paronella has just such a pedigree. Paronella is currently the Sommelier for celebrated chef José Andrés' Jaleo restaurants, where he responsible for developing and enhancing wine lists that complement the tapas-style menu at the four renowned Spanish-centric restaurants, with three locations in the Washington, D.C. area and an outpost in Las Vegas. It is not as easy task. With so many uniquely flavored small plates landing on the table at the same time, Jordi's mantra is versatility. But this is exactly what he has trained for. Jordi began his food and wine adventure waiting tables at 14 years old, gradually working his way up as he focused on his formal education in Barcelona, where in 1999, he earned his diploma in hotel management from the prestigious Escola Superior d´Hosteleria i Turisme Sant Ignasi. In addition, Paronella holds a Sommelier Certificate from the Escola de Restauració i Hostalatge, a Master's Degree in oenology, viticulture and winemaking from the Escuela de Enología d'Espiells and a Level Three Certification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Jordi loves working with wines from his native country because he believes that "Spanish wines offer such wonderful diversity." For example, he points out that "sherry is unique because Spain is the only place in the world where it is made." But he acknowledges that Spain is also at the forefront of crafting "amazing new wines, like the Burgundian-styled red wines from the Galicia region. And exciting 'New World' wines from Montsant—the region surrounding Priorat—that emphasize freshness and elegance." He has a veritable arsenal of wines with flavors and textures to complement the diverse menu choices at each Jaleo restaurant. But his greatest pride and joy is showing off the amazing collection of wines from elBulli, the worldrenowned Ferran Adrià restaurant that closed its doors in 2011, now on the list at the Washington, D.C. location. The wines were acquired through a combination of strong connections and good timing. And should you inquire, Paronella would be happy to suggest just the right wine the next time you stop in. 46  /  the tasting panel  /  january 2014 TP0114_034-65.indd 46 12/19/13 9:27 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - January 2014