Food & Wine: 5th Element & Squid Ink Paella

Food & Wine: 5th Element & Squid Ink Paella

  • Harvest To Bottle

Black paella is one of our favourite Spanish rice dishes, yet it took us a while to try it at home because it always seemed a bit intimidating — but then we tried Traynor’s 5th Element and we knew this wine deserved a bold dish. 

This 5th Element is an eye catching orange wine that winemaker Mike Traynor is especially proud of. This bottle was named in honour of his son Quintin who spent much of his childhood with him in the vineyard. A non-vintage, skin fermented, field blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc made using a solera system where each year they bottle one barrel from a stack of six barrels. 

If that much thought and care could go into the bottle of wine, we knew we had to do the same in the kitchen and challenge ourselves by creating our first at-home paella. 




  • 1/2 cup of Traynor’s Sauvignon Blanc
  • 4 cups of seafood stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of saffron threads
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 4 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pound of P.E.I. mussels or clams
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 3/4 pound whole cleaned skinless squid tubes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 cups of Arborio rice
  • 3 teaspoons of squid ink
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley chopped



Step 1: Combine seafood stock, water, wine, and saffron in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat; cover and reduce heat to low. Keep over low heat until ready to use.

Step 2: Finely chop the onion, tomatoes and garlic. 

Step 3: Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 15-inch paella pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture, squid, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to the pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly all the liquid evaporates, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in paprika, and cook 2 more minutes.

Step 4: Add rice and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice is slightly translucent, about 1 minute. Remove 1/2 cup of stock mixture, and reserve for use in the next step.

Step 5: Add squid ink, and stir just until rice is evenly distributed. (Do not over stir.) Cook over medium-high heat, 15 minutes, without stirring. Rotate the pan to ensure even heating. If paella begins to look dry in parts, add reserved stock mixture to that area, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time.

Step 6: Add mussels or clams, hinge side down, equally spaced around the pan. Cover and cook 4 minutes. Increase heat to high, and cook, without stirring, 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover with aluminum foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Top with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

The light savoury spice notes from the 5th Element tie in with the briny components of the seafood and breakdown some of the heavy oils from the dish. The wine is rich, soft with a hint of tannin and extract which are highlighted by the juice expressed from the lemon wedges… and like you’d say in Spain: “Salud!”.   

Do you have a favourite dish to pair with Traynor’s wines? Share them with us @traynorvineyard so we can taste them along with you.