One good rule to follow is to choose a wine from the same region as the food; if centuries of tradition have worked for locals, then it should surely work for me. Since paella originates in Valencia, my first instinct is to look for a wine from that region. Monastrell (a.k.a. Mourvèdre in France or Mataro in the New World) is readily available in our market, but it's full-body, high tannins, and dark fruit character would likely clash with the seafood-based paella. Likewise, the traditional Moscatel de Valencia would be more suited to a dessert, and although widely planted in Valencia, I can't say our stores are abundant with neutral white wines from the Merseguera grape. So much for regional consistency.
Barcelona: Home to the World's Best Chilean Paella
My thoughts then trended toward my first visit to Spain. Naturally, while in Barcelona, I wanted to have an authentically Spanish paella experience. Delicious as the paella was, I was disappointed when, at the end of the meal, I realised we had ended up in a Chilean-themed restaurant. This memory made me think that if "authentic" paellas can be found in different regions and households, surely different wines would suit the palate as well.