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2+1 Iberian Wine Survey – Andrew Barrow of Spitton.biz

Andrew Barrow of Spittoon.biz

Andrew Barrow from the excellent wine blog Spitton is our first respondent to our 2+1 Iberian Wine Survery. Located in the UK he seems rather happy with the selection!

1) How good would you say your selection of Spanish wines and Portuguese wines are in your local wine market? If you exclude Port/Rioja/ and Sherry how is the selection?

The UK is blessed with a superb range of wines. You should be able to find wines from every corner of the globe. In regards to Spanish and Portuguese wines the range available is very good indeed. Every supermarket, wine specialist, off-licence will have some wines from both countries – at the very least a Rioja or two. Online there are several specialists who concentrate only on wines from Spain, Portugal or both. We can also order direct from Spain if necessary – I know of two or three small independents based there that offer a great range of wines. So in short the range available is excellent. (I can supply urls of the wbesites if required – See Below). Generally Portugal is less well represented than Spain.

2) What’s the last Spanish or Portuguese wine you had and what did you think of it? Would you buy it again? Got a tasting note?

I have been eating out rather a lot recently. Twice this week in our local Spanish restaurant La Bodega. They have an excellent wine list, if most are a little expensive. I dont recall the name/producer of the red we had but it was rather good – it wasnt a Rioja. Last night we had a rather good Sauvignon Blanc with lots of fishy/chicken tapas. Again cant remember from which region though sadly. Is wasn’t Reuda.

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1)What is one question you have about Iberian wine in general?

Is sherry destined to go the way of Marsala and be relegated to cooking use only?

Good question and one that I personally feel very strongly about. The problem as I see it is image. For too long Sherry was the Grandma wine (nothing wrong with Grandma’s I love both of mine very much!), and in the US brands like Fairbanks inappropriately used the name Sherry to market their wines. Therefore, it’s the job of us sherry lovers to try to get the word out that it’s not just a “lost” wine meant to be cooked with. Andalusia is currently promoting more tourism to reinvigorate the local economy and if this is successful, it would help in the future of Sherry. How can you not fall in love with sherry while sitting on a beach at sunset with a plate of seafood and a glass of manzanill?! It’s an incredible beverage with so many styles that once the image issue gets resolved, we can then begin on the education part. But for now, buy yourself a bunch of sweet green olives, maybe an anchovie or two, and then pick up a bottle of chilled Fino Sherry. Sit outside in the shade in the summer’s heat and tell me if life gets any better!

Thank you Andrew for taking part and I encourage everyone to stop by his blog: Spitton!

Till next time,

Ryan Opaz

Links that Andrew uses when looking for Iberian wines in the UK:

Spain

Laymont & Shaw
Decanter Wines
Spain Direct
Moreno Wine Merchants

Portugal
Chase Wines

Both
HispaMerchants

If you want to take part in Catavino’s 2+1 Iberian Wine Survey, send us a note at: comments(.at.)catavino(.dot.)com