I really love Catavino – it’s such an informative and innovative source of information on Spanish & Portuguese wines. The food of the region is key, but it’s just as vital to know about the great wines available too. This is the place to find out!
Jose Pizzaro http://www.josepizarro.com

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Douro Wines and Portuguese Food: The Perfect Pairings

With the plentiful information we’ve provided about Port and Douro wines, and the beautiful area they originate from this November, hopefully you’re itching to put together the perfect wine trip to the Douro Valley. Lists of the wineries you’re dying to visit are being rapidly typed up. Maps are strewed across your kitchen table. And perhaps you’ve even stumbled upon the perfect location for your eno-tourism accommodation. The only element you may be missing is, what to eat on this fabulous whirlwind tour. Many are familiar with the dishes in your neck of the woods that pair well with Port and Douro wines, but probably few are knowledgeable ast to the types of traditional foods that the Portuguese (especially the Douro locals) like to […]

Spotlight on Douro Wine Producer: Quinta do Portal

There really is nothing in the world quite like heading to the Douro Valley and visiting the vast array of Douro and Port wine producers nestled across the steep terraced vineyards. Yet, it surprises me how so many of these producers won’t open their doors to the public, despite the increasing number of consumers eager to taste their wines before purchasing. For wine enthusiasts who want to make the most of their Douro trip, it’s important to know which wineries are welcome to the public year round instead of playing Russian Roulette. That being said, I’m happy to start you off with a winery you can count on: Quinta do Portal. Earlier this month, my parents and I visited their winery, without a prior appointment, and […]

How to Shop For Food In Portugal: What and Where to Find the Best Produce in Season

In the summer, Lisbon - and Portugal in general – has always been a huge draw for visitors, and this trend doesn’t look to be subsiding. According to Lisbon’s Metro Nacional Magazine July 11th issue, tourist feedback collected by Turismo de Portugal has shown that 91% of tourists who have visited Lisbon were incredibly satisfied with their experience and plan to come back and 78% have ranked it in their top 10 destinations to visit.  This is great news for a struggling economy where tourism could be their best bet for getting back on track. Even better is that Lisbon in recent years has received much acclaim for its top-notch bargain hostels, 5 of them where in fact were rated among the Top 10 Hostels in the […]

Portugal’s Frango No Churrasco: The Tastiest “Fast Food” Chicken you will Eat this Summer

Frango is Portuguese for chicken, it’s far from KFC or Popeyes’, rather it’s a specific type of chicken that is best roasted or grilled over hot coals – normally called Frango no Churrasco (chicken on the grill) or Frango na Brasa (chicken on the hot coals) *Note: The term galinha normally refers to a larger, fattier chicken that’s stewed or used for soup*.

10 Delicious Reasons Why You Should Visit Portugal!

It’s been almost four years since I called Portugal my “home away from home”, translating to a half decade of savoring Portuguese food and wine on a regular basis – something I’ve never taken for granted. Consequently, while searching for information on Portuguese gastronomy, I stumbled across Catavino’s Facebook page. Immediately drawn to Ryan and Gabriella’s story, it echoed many similarities to my own adventure. So, I reached out, expressing my shared enthusiasm and appreciation for Iberian wine and food. (photo by Ryan Opaz) The shock came soon after when Gabriella hinted that I write for Catavino. Me? A writer?! Are we speaking of the same person who dreaded school writing assignments, or even writing thank-you letters?! The idea was […]

Aldeias de Portugal Part 2: A Luxurious Weekend Getaway

I am absolutely in love with Portugal’s picturesque little villages called Aldeias. Recently, in Part 1 of my aldeia experience, I recounted the memorable weekend I spent with Rita’s family at their home in Avecasta, an aldeia in Ribatejo and how in their gracious hospitality, filled my appetite with the freshest, homecooked meals using all local ingredients and showed me some marvelous historical and natural sites around the countryside. When I arrived home, however, I was left wondering (and hoping) if such a wonderful experience could be repeated if I visited other aldeias on my own. Last June, I seized the opportunity by searching for a pretty little guesthouse out in the country over a long weekend and found Quinta […]

Aldeias of Portugal Part 1: Staying with Friends

Aldeia in Portuguese means village, but many of these places are smaller than how a “village” is traditionally defined, with only a handful of houses and a café. However, it is as a result of these little settlements that Portugal’s history, traditional lifestyle, culture and festivals have been preserved and maintained. Most of these aldeias are nestled in the central and northern part of the country, where the buildings and houses are predominately constructed out of “xisto” or schist stone and granite. The people who live in an aldeia tend to be a combination of retirees, shopkeepers and either part-time to full-time farmers, who both work and consume almost entirely from their local community’s economy. Back in May, an English […]

A Tasca do João: A Simple Portuguese Restaurant with a Passion for Hospitality

Portugal is known for its diverse and delicious cuisine, which arguably, can best be enjoyed at one of the many local, hole-in-the-wall eateries in any city or town. Whether we’re talking a rustic lunch counter at a pasteleria, or a mom and pop restaurant tucked away in a tiny side-alley, often called tascas, nothing beats home-style, Portuguese comfort food and drink. But in the sea of all these small restaurants, there has always been one little place in my neighborhood in Lisbon that has never ceased to provide not only excellent, regional food but friendly, personalized service. Over the years, our adoration for it has grown to such an extent that it has become our permanent Saturday lunch spot.Restaurante Imperial do Campo […]

Wines of Portugal International Conference: A Country’s Struggle to Amplify Their Message Internationally

Recently, we experienced Portugal’s first attempt at an international wine conference with “The Wines of Portugal International Conference” in Oporto. Presented by ViniPortugal – the Portuguese wine trade association devoted to promoting Portuguese wines – this three day conference was held in the austere and historical Alfandega do Porto, a former customs building constructed in 1859, by the French architect Jean F. G. Colson. Approximately 450 participants gathered in Oporto, 200 of which traveled from numerous countries including: US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, China and Japan. Along with hearing from internationally renowned wine industry leaders, the program allowed for several wine tastings both at the principle Wine Fair and at several guided tastings outside of […]

Sopa da Pedra: A Humble Gastronomic Tale about Sharing

Have you ever heard the tale of Stone Soup? The legend of how this hearty soup came about is a popular one told throughout most European countries and was adapted to an American version by Marcia Brown. Each version is slightly different depending on your country or region and is usually influenced by varying historical or cultural references. However, at the base of each and every one is a uniting and heartfelt lesson about working together in times of need. The story of Stone Soup was told to me when I was very little, but remained a simple childhood story until I landed in Portugal several years ago. The Portuguese hold this tale very near and dear to their hearts, […]