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By Doreen Colondres

To pair with: 2011 Lafite Réserve Spéciale Bordeaux
60% Sémillon, 40% Sauvignon Blanc


The arepa is a Venezuelan staple. You may be accustomed to seeing bigger arepas that are filled with meat, cheese, chicken, or sweet plantain. However, the arepa can be more versatile. A fun, elegant, and refreshing way to enjoy an arepa is to pair it with a crisp Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc Bordeaux blend. The sweetness of the arepa helps to maintain the citrus and herbal notes of the wine – making it an ideal pairing. The following is a great recipe to serve at a cocktail party or as a dinner appetizer.

Ingredients for the arepa:

  • 1 cup of pre-cooked white corn flour for arepas (preferably P.A.N. brand)
  • 1 1/4 cup of water at warm room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp. of salt

Ingredients for the tartare:

  • 1 pound of fresh tuna, sushi grade, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped in 1/4-inch dice
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1tbsp. scallions, chopped
  • Lemon zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. ají amarillo paste or 1 ají amarillo, blanched, seeded, deveined and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste if needed

Procedure for the arepas:

  1. In a deep bowl, add the water and little by little start adding the flour, salt and using your fingers, start mixing everything slowly. Make sure to keep a steady circular motion while mixing everything together without allowing it to crumble up. Keep mixing until you have a homogeneous mix that doesn’t stick to your hands.
  2. With your hands divide the dough into equal ball portions and start giving them the flat “arepa” shape.
  3. Place the “arepas” on a pan or flat non-stick skillet at medium temperature and cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side.
  4. After they’re golden on each side remove them from the heat, set aside to serve with the tartare.

Procedure for the tartare:

  1. In a large bowl, add orange juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, ají amarillo and combine well.
  2. Then add the tuna, scallions, cilantro and mix well.
  3. Carefully mix the avocado into the tuna mixture and combine.
  4. Season to taste if needed and serve immediately on top of each “arepa”. Garnish with more cilantro and serve.

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