That Sunday afternoon began unlike any recent one. Sitting on the balcony of an architectural masterpiece in San Diego, California, gazing out to the Pacific Ocean without a single cloud dotting the sky. The sun beaming down with stereotypical Southern California warmth, it was obvious the next move would be to find something cold to sip. Fortunately, I was at the home of fellow Hispanophile and Dallas-based public relations powerhouse, Janet Kafka. I had been invited to taste a few Spanish wines from their latest launch. How could I pass up such an opportunity?!
The brainchild of Catalan native, Gloria Collell, her new line of Spanish wines, Mia (“mine” in Spanish), embody the youthful exuberance of her hometown of Barcelona. After abandoning plans to become an attorney Gloria moved back to Penedès where she lived and worked as an enologist. Eventually she joined the Ferrer family’s Freixenet Group. Her passion for wine carried her through different projects and eventually landed her with an offer to create her own line. Mia was born. I was fortunate enough to ask Gloria (via email) a few questions about her love of wine and wine-making.
“I grew up in a family dedicated to winemaking; my grandfather made botas, hand-crafted leather pouches for storing wines, and my father was the first to create the regional distribution of wine in bottles, where it had only been sold in bulk before. Though I briefly considered a career in law, I quickly realized that winemaking was my passion. It’s my family history, and so much of who I am.”
What do you look for when you make wine?
“We look for balance and fresh fruit.”
How do you know when you have a good vintage?
“We know it by steps, flowering is telling you something, then harvest, then blending, until you have the final wine.”
What is your favorite wine that you’ve made and what makes it your favorite?
“Mia Pink Moscato. Because I never thought a perfumed sweet wine would please as many men as it does…”
What do you like best about your job?
“Sharing wine tastings with colleagues and friends, and then, the nicest part is every time I receive an email from a consumer, telling me how much they liked Mia wines. This is our final objective, and should always be, to make wines for consumers.”
And it is a wine for wine-lovers of all levels.
The Mia line was created to showcase the best of Spain’s native varietals and are the ideal accompaniment to everyday occasions. Five wines – three still and two sparkling – comprise the line-up, and all are meant to be enjoyed in their youth. Take one look at the Gaudi-esque label and you are instantly transported to Park Güell looking over the vibrant Barcelona skyline. Oh, and one more thing. No corkscrew required! All Mia wines are screw cap (with the exception, of course, of the sparklers) so you can bring them with you anywhere (well, within reason). Let me now introduce you to Mia:
Mia Moscato – 100% Moscato grapes from several Mediterranean areas around Spain are used to produce this fruity and slightly sweet sparkling wine. Wonderfully intense stone fruit (peach/apricot) aromas fill your nose. This wine is well-balanced with accompanying acidity. A delicious crowd-pleasing party wine.
Mia Moscato Rosé – Also produced using Moscato (along with 2% Tempranillo), this wine is pale pink in color with aromas of flowers and tropical fruit which carry through on the palate. Slightly less sweet than the Moscato sparkler, this Rosado sparkler is absolutely delicious and (almost too) easy to drink. According to Gloria, men love this wine!
Mia White – Made from Macabeo, Parellada, Moscatel, Xarel-lo, this aromatic and refreshingly light wine consists of grapes primarily indigenous to the Penedès region. Apple, pear, and orange blossom are evident in this light and crisp wine. (Pairing suggestions: Manchego cheese, salads, grilled seafood, fish tacos, or chicken.)
Mia Rosado – Gloria’s light and floral rosé wine is made from the Bobal and Sumoll varietals. Delicious notes of raspberry and strawberry are present in this wine which is 100% stainless steel aged. A VERY easy drinking wine. (Pairing suggestions: gazpacho, sautéed chorizo, grilled salmon, pizza, or Thai food.)
Mia Red – The lone red in the Mia line-up is a young, fresh, fruit-forward Tempranillo – Spain’s noble grape. This unoaked red is rich and fruity and exudes aromas and flavors of red berries as well as hints of spice. This is an extremely versatile food wine. Drink this with a slight chill. (Pairing suggestions: white meat, beef, lamb, pasta, or pizza.)
This small line-up of five wines characterize youth and freshness. Each is unique in its own way and typify what Spain has to offer in a quality wine which will not break the bank. These wines are starting to pop up in stores around the country, so keep your eyes open and grab a few for your next party (or just a quiet afternoon or evening at home) and enjoy. ¡Buen Provecho!
Life is short. Drink Spanish wine!
NOTE: I wrote this article while away in Florida visiting family and friends. On a visit to a local wine shop I found a couple of Mia wines and, of course, quickly scooped them up. I must say the Mia White was extremely refreshing as I lay poolside dripping from sweat in the hot (and humid) Florida sun. The bottle did not last long.