February was Rioja in Alberta month, and we were lucky to have ten winemakers from northern Spain visit Edmonton and Calgary to tell us their stories and introduce their wines.

During their visit they hosted dinners in each city, pairing their wines with dishes in local restaurants. The first Calgary dinner was a sold-out evening at Alloy Restaurant with Marqués de Riscal, and the first course created quite a stir with many people requesting the recipe. It paired perfectly with the Rioja Reserva 2014.

Thanks very much to Uri Heilk and Chef Rogelio Herrera for sharing this delicious, yet quick and easy starter. As Heilik says, “It’s very simple, but I guess the best dishes usually are.”

Gambas Con Chorizo


4 chorizo sausages, casings removed

1 yellow onion, diced fine

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs smoked paprika

1 cup (250 mL) red wine

1 L crushed tomatoes

2 cups (500 mL) heavy cream

4-5 prawns per person

To taste salt and pepper


  1. In a large pot cook the chorizo, turn stove on low-medium heat and add in the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika, and cook until golden brown.
  2. Add the red wine and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer for 15 minutes making sure to stir frequently. Slowly stir in the heavy cream and bring back to a simmer.
  3. In a separate pan sauté prawns with a little bit of butter until fully cooked, and serve on top of chorizo cream ragout.
  4. Serve with fresh arugula, grated Parmesan or Manchego cheese, olive oil, and garlic bread

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