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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The Textures of Porto: What Makes a City Beautiful?

Have you ever struggled to see what someone else finds beautiful? “Look!” your partner says with a smile, “Isn’t that tree absolutely beautiful?!” Staring at the emaciated lopsided trunk with 3 blooming red flowers, you smile, “Yeah hon, it’s sweet, but not sure I’d call that beautiful.” “What do you mean? It’s stunning in this light? How could you not see it?” It’s hard to “see” what someone else sees, isn’t it? I say this because Ryan and I had a very similar experience of Porto. If I’m to be honest, I wasn’t ecstatic to move to a city known for its gray wet skies and gale force winds. Having spent many vacations in Maine as a child, I was perfectly […]

The Life of a Spanish Goat Herder

Editor’s Note: There is something to be said for those who are willing to throw caution to the wind and try something new, different, risky, but on the most basic level, incredibly satisfying. This particular interview is with a husband and wife team who did just that. Originally from the UK, Diane and Peter Elliot of “Experience Olvera” are now goat herders in Andalucia, selling goat’s milk at .50 cents a liter. To give you a sense of their hard work, 2-3 hours of milking lends approximately 80 liters, which doesn’t include time spent caring for the goats or their land. Are they living the high life? No. But are they enjoying a very peaceful and simple life that has […]

Portugal Through the Eye of a Camera: Interview with Videographer Matty Brown

Editor’s Note: Today, we are featuring a young passionate videographer located in the USA, Matty Brown. Matty has created several works on Iberia, but has passionately spoken of his deep love with Portugal. With our impending move westward, we wanted to get Matty’s feedback on what calls him back year after year. Can you give us a little intro as to who you are? My name is Matty Brown, and I am a visual storyteller and a freelance filmmaker. I create moving portraits of life around me: the mundane and the exhilarating alike. I have been making videos since I was five, after the 1989 earthquake in San Francisco inspired me to be a filmmaker and to think differently and creatively about […]

GSMA Mobile World Conference: Tech Tips on How to Eat and Drink Well in Barcelona

Next week, Barcelona will be inundated with a digital waterfall of techies attending the largest mobile conference in the world. The GSMA Mobile World Conference attracts some 60,000 mobile players including mobile phone and tablet manufacturers, telecom operators, trade associations, service providers, app developers and amateurs developers who are keen to discover the next “must have” device for 2013. The #MWC13 is no small event, but despite the deluge of new tech prognostications hitting the interwebs, we’re rather skeptical that our tech friends will take the time to look up from their mobile units to ensure a delicious meal. That’s where we come in. Being that Catavino prides itself on its latest gadgetry, in hopes of taking that next 1 million […]

Word to the Wise: Never Order Suckling Pig on Valentine’s Day

Editor’s Note:  Loosely based on my parent’s honeymoon back in 1969, I couldn’t resist adding a modern spin for the holiday. It’s Valentine’s Day in Madrid, and you’ve got everything for that day completely set. You’re not like those other guys who think a bouquet of roses and the whisperings of a few sweet nothings in your girl’s ear will woo her into submission. Oh no, you’re suave, sexy, Latino in style and have concocted a master plan to have her swooning by the end of the evening. Silk pinstripe shirt, check. Perfectly ironed slacks, done. Enough cologne to suffocate an entire pueblo, yeah baby. Bring it on! Looking at yourself in the mirror, giving that sly wink followed by […]

Red Grape

Catavino Begins Cultivating a New Writer: Hello Baby!

Time for the big announcement, something that will make our wine tastings a touch more exhilarating. We both are very excited, and proud, to announce that the Opaz family is soon to be “Plus One”. Shocked? Well, so are we! Life is about to get a bit more challenging and a whole lot more rewarding. In all honestly, we figured we needed a little extra adventure in our lives, and a baby alone just doesn’t cut it. Where’s the challenge?! Instead, we’ve upped the ante by choosing to: Have a baby Move to a new country Learn a new language Build a new business Create a new community What? Too much? Nah, we’ve tackled this level of insanity before, and we’ll do it […]

“The Way” – A Thoughtful Film about the Camino de Santiago

Last week, having had one of those “need to disconnect!!” days, we decided to pop in a video we’ve been meaning to see for ages called, “The Way“. Directed by Emilio Estevez, and starring his father, Martin Sheen, the movie tells a moving story of the trying relationship between a father and son. Estevez – “You may not agree with the life I chose, but it is mine and I chose it!”  Seen – Staring out the passenger side window, in route to the airport, the son replies, “You don’t choose a life, Dad…you live one.” That last sentence sets the tone for the remainder of the film as Estevez gets out of the car and embarks on his methodically planned […]

Guest Houses: The Perfect Accommodation in Spain and Portugal!

Despite the address on our mail, our soles rarely touch Barcelona soil. Have a conversation with us in Spanish, or Catalan, and you’re quick to learn that we’re not from around these parts. Instead, we can be found in any given wine region, around the world, often per the request of a client or new event. The byproduct of this dreamy little adventure is that we’ve become “experts” in choosing accommodations. If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ve unexpectedly become very well versed in describing poorly designed shower fixtures, overly designed bedding complete with 5,000 pillows and scant outlet availability for the tech-obsessed among us (tip: bring a power strip). Consequently, on the rare occasion that I can choose my lodgings, […]

Elves, Fireworks and Festivities: How Bubbles found their Way into a Cava Bottle

The following effervescent legend is sponsored by our friends at CellarVie Wines which, with 400 wines from 16 countries, is a great place to buy Champagne and Cava online. Sitting just below the Christmas tree, my nephew and I cuddle tightly in a ball, as I sip upon a glass of Cava. Snuggling deep into the thick cushions, his blond hair cascading across my lips, he smiles up at me and asks a a rather unsuspecting question, “Aunt Gabby, how did the bubbles get into the wine?” “Well, that’s a brilliant question! How do you think the bubbles found their way into my glass?” I inquire, kissing his ridiculously soft forehead. Furrowing his eyebrows, clearly deep in thought, he smiles […]

A Catalan Christmas Poo: An Unsuspecting Holiday Celebration

Snuggling close to a crackling fire as the bitter winds rush past double paned windows, I smile enjoying the warm smell of cinnamon and nutmeg, the clink of ice in scotch tumblers and the docile tones of Bing Crosby floating in the background. Christmas equates to everything cozy: warm nurturing foods, giggling laughter of children, and of course, the gentle blinking lights on the Christmas tree. And despite the fact that the Holidays can occasionally lead to family feuds, drunken brawls and the occasional disowning of your cousin Bob for public disorderly conduct, it has never included the celebration of poo. Yes, you heard me correctly. Despite Catalunya’s fame for creating one of the most glorious cities in the world, not […]