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Wines of Alicante: The Eye-Catching Treasures of Spain

As a wine hobbyist among professionals and experts, I often feel that I have the advantage of being able to sit back and enjoy what comes to hand rather than having to analyze endlessly. Another privilege of the enthusiast, be it golf, sailing, ornithology or anything else, is the feeling that you can drop your subject into conversation to universal approval. We all know that this is not always the case, but while attending the Seville Book Fair in a professional capacity this week, I was out having tapas with some competitors (or as we like to say “people who share the same market space”) and from what started off as rather a stiff conversation, when I mentioned that I […]

Valencian Cava: The Difference is in the Grapes

This is my second go at writing this piece. For some reason, the first attempt turned into a lament at the cava on offer at the interval break during operas and concerts at Valencia’s spectacular Palau de les Arts. I suspect a less long-winded mention may creep in again, but I’ll try to focus more on my intended subject of Valencian cava. I’m sure Catavino types are more than familiar with the fact that the Cava Denominación de Origen is not defined by a geographical area. While it is true that the vast majority of cava is made in Catalonia’s Penedés, when the DO was established – the result of EU legislation and Champagne’s ceaseless vigilance against unwarranted use of […]

The Fatal One-Size-Fits All Tag For Wines From Spain

It’s good to be back on these pages. While failing to come up with contributions for Catavino over the last several months I have been mentally filing away things that caught my attention, or most often just got my goat – and in my defence, I’ve also been contributing articles to the old-fashioned world of print, of which more later. I’ll try not to bore on with a list of moans, but there is one bit of wine journalism that I’ve been meaning to engage with. It concerns a piece in the Daily Telegraph by wine correspondent, John Ray, back in the dark days of February. The article is written against the topical background of the economic crisis, and looks […]

Grape Profile Verdil: A Highly Misunderstood Indigenous Grape of Valencia

Editor’s Note: If you remember, a little while back, Ryan reviewed the book “Valencia, Land of Wine“, written by Joan C. Martin and translated and edited by John Maher. While, in Valencia, we asked John how he felt about writing the occasional piece for us on Valancian wine, being our resident expert and all. And to our great surprise, he agreed. You’ll see from his elegant prose and witty humor that our choice was a good one! We are very happy to have him join us and suggest you check out his profile on our “About” page for more information. That said, his piece today is a request on my part to have him share his knowledge on the native […]