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Robert M. Parker Jr.

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Pronounciation: Pick-a-pole Other known names: Picpoul, Folle Blanche, Piquepoul, Gros Meslier, Picpoul, Folle Blanche, Avello and Picpoule Blanc. Historically dating back to the 17th century, Picapoll is a grape varietal native to the Languedoc area of France that has currently found its way to the northeast portion of Spain in […]

Spanish Restaurant Review – Tapas Barcelona

Being that my trip to the States is coming to a rapid close, I decided that there was no better way to spend a beautiful fall evening than visiting one of a handful of Spanish Tapas Restaurants in the Northern suburb of Evanston, Illinois. Squeezed amongst the plethora of high quality international restaurants sits Tapas Barcelona. And although I was unfamiliar with both its menu and atmosphere, I was incredibly excited to not only get a small taste of home, but also experience how Americans choose to express Spanish cuisine.

Wine Retailer – Solo Vino

A few weeks ago, while I was in Minnesota, I made a quick dash into a wine store that I feel is a “must see” for those of you in the Twin Cities. Solo Vino, located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, has been rated one of the best wine stores in the Midwest by both the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Magazine and the City Pages. Founded in 2001 by Sam Haislet, the former sommelier at Zander Café, and Chuck Kanski, another sommelier at places like the Vintage and Pazzaluna, feels as if their intention was to create a liquor store that resembles an incredible restaurant’s wine list.

Bodega Valdamor

Bodega Valdamor produces exclusively from the Albarino grape that has grown on 20 to 50 year old vines from the Salnes area in Galicia. As a result of their desire to pick only the best grapes, they have chosen to not only harvest each plot of grapes by hand, but also vinify each one separately. Although this might sound like a painstaking process when you consider the hilly landscape, it actually isn’t because the vines are typically trained on pergolas (horizontal wires attached to poles allowing the vines to grow up onto them off the floor) to avoid rot that can easily occur in wet and hot environments such as this.