Wine & Art - Walk on the Beach with a glass of Halará
Ok so this isn't a work of art that's in London, but it has been in the past.
Back in 2019 the National Gallery held the exhibition Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light, and it really opened my eyes to how beautiful the artist managed to capture light. I wrote a blog post on it if you are interested, pairing the exhibition with a bottle of white and a bottle of red which you can find here.
But as soon as I picked up a bottle of Harará, I knew which painting I had to pair it with. It also happens to be my favourite by "the Spanish master of light", but to be honest I really could have picked any of his works. I think both the painting and the wine label give the impression of an unexpected gust of wind, on a blisteringly hot summers day.
It seems as though the woman has been caught off guard, and a strong gust of wind has just blown her hat off. But the windmill in the distance is eerily still - it's not a windy day, but it's one of those blasts which appears from out of the blue and catches you off guard.
Halará Rosso comes from from Marsala, Sicily, and is another fantastic wine from the well known winemaker Nino Barraco. His vineyards lie along the coast, so despite reaching pretty high temperatures, there's always a sea breeze bringing a touch of freshness, just like in the painting.
Painted in 1909, Walk on the Beach depicts Sorolla's wife Clotilde and their eldest daughter Maria, taking a walk on the beach in Valencia. They lean into the wind, as their beautiful white dresses billow out behind them. Maria on the right seems a little more composed than her mother who is struggling with a veil from her hat obstructing her face! Or perhaps she holding it there to protect it from the sun, I prefer the thought that she's struggling like any woman would be in her attire. Could she, like the woman on the wine label, be about to loose her hat?
Maybe the logical pairing would be a nice glass of chilled white, but I've chosen a beautiful delicate, light red wine which I think works really well.
Halará Rosso is 100% Parpato, a rare grape I hadn't tried before now, but definetly one I'll seek out again. It's just your quintessential top quality Sicilian red - fairly light bodied but with so much juicy fruit, concentration and complexity. There's black fruits, a little spice and a mic of Mediterranean herbs drying in the sun.
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Heard in London