Their success; their ability to effectively communicate about spanish and portuguese wine; their energy to grow and create dynamic, authentic and extraordinary services have attracted hundreds of thousands of iberian wine lovers from around the world.
Joan Gómez Pallarès http://www.devinis.org/

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Aromatized Wines: Can we protect the “style” Sangria in Spain?

The levels of stupidity attained by my fellow man rarely fail to amaze me. Granted, I occasionally feel hopeful that logic will creep into the fold, but as you’ll quickly read, I’m still not holding my breath. On Tuesday, January 14th, 2014, the European parliament – in the middle of saving the whole of Europe from collapse – took it upon themselves to protect the term “Sangria”. From what I can tell, they gave geographical protections to a host of aromatized wines, including: Clarea (a drink I’d never heard of) along with Vermouth, Glühwein, etc . By a vote of 609 to 72 and four abstentions, we are now safe to say that the term Sangria must be reserved for Spain. According to […]

#inCostaBrava I saw some marvelous things

A momentous 2013 has almost come to a close, and to be perfectly honest, it’s been a good year. I’ve travelled a considerable amount, moved countries and had a son. 2013 will mark one of the most memorable years of my life. However, it’s around this time that we sit with a list of what our future may hold, and if I may chime in with a suggestion, you should seriously consider visiting “The Costa Brava“. The Costa Brava, translated to “Wild” or “Rough Coast”, is located just along the Mediterranean in northeastern Spain. A stunning landscape extending from Blanes (approximately 60 km northeast of Barcelona) to the French border, it is renowned for its gorgeous scenery, avant guard cuisine, and […]

BurroBeer: A Surprisingly Refreshing Offering

I’ve known Dominic Lombard for many years. I believe we met when he was still slinging other people’s wines at fairs and spending more time in a plane than on the ground. On and off we chatted through the social networks, following one another’s most recent projects, which included his Blackboard wines. A fantastic example of a successful wine brand, it was no surprise when I heard he had a new project in the works: Burrobeer. Great products need great packaging, and Burrobeer has it. It’s clean, simple and to the point, but the best part is what’s inside the bottle. Dominic decided to go with a wheat beer and a spiced ale. Both styles I tend to look at warily […]

Taste Porto Food Tours: Bring your Appetite!

When we arrived to Porto, we knew we had a considerable amount to learn. Despite visiting this charming city for over a decade, our visits were typically part of conferences or press trips, and thus, focused on a certain set of restaurants, hotels and historical sites. Though it gives you a general sense of the city, it doesn’t give you an insider’s view of great places to visit. So how do you visit a city? The most common way is to jump in and explore on your own, to go rogue! Another option is to let the experts guide you on a few tours. When we sought out the second option, there wasn’t much on the table; especially when it […]

O-Port-Unidade: A Fantastic Collaborative Project for Charity

Ever try and get a small group of friends together for a photo? A bit like herding cats, no? Now imagine getting 16 of the top Port producers together for a photo?! O-Port-Unidade is a small project started by our friend and one time contributor on Catavino, Axel Probst of WorldofPort.de. Not only was this a convenient way to get a photo of the port wine trade’s most important individuals, but it has turned into a great way of  giving back to the community. The O-Port-Unidade project will happen on September 22nd, 2013, when sixteen port producers gather at Vale Mendiz to stomp, crush and presumably dance their way around lagars filled with grapes from each wineries vineyards. VIP’s from each Port House will […]

Celebrating the 2011 Vintage: A Rare Port Wine of Exceptional Quality

At 9am on a cool Friday morning in Foz, with a stunning view of the Atlantic ocean, I joined a room full of international Port wine experts to taste 56+ 2011 Vintage Port wines.  These wines, in their youth, have an uncanny ability to strip enamel and burn tastebuds. And while you suffer the strength of these monsters, you are participating in an exercise of divination with only a cloudy, purple, crystal ball to guide you. It demands the taster make grand pronouncements as to the future of a beverage wound tight in tannins, acidity and fruit. Will it age into an elegant treasure to share with future generation? Not the easiest judgement to make, but one worth the adventure no matter the dental […]

Portuguese Wine Invasion – Midwest Tour

For years, we’ve spoken of our adoration of Portugal; but since our move, we’ve been shocked by the number of people who are unaware of its existence. This becomes even more profound when we head back to the States and realize that very few of my wine geek friends are familiar with Portuguese wine beyond Port. Hear this enough and your heart gets heavy. Understandably, you want people to know about Portugal. You want people to have the same joy and elation you have. We quickly realized that although we couldn’t buy every one of our close friends a ticket to Portugal, we could potentially, bring Portugal to them. With this in mind, we noticed that there were a few […]

Value wine: I do not think it means what you think it means.

I was at a tasting a few days ago in Porto where the presenter pointed out at the beginning of their talk that they wanted to focus on “value wines”. However, he then continued by saying that, with regret, while that was the goal, he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He felt that he needed to show some wines at higher price points instead to show what Portuguese wines were really capable of. When I heard this I was a bit shocked. It reminded me of a scene from what is possibly one of the greatest films ever made, The Princess Bride. Throughout a series of challenges, the ‘mastermind’ Vizzini keeps repeating the word “Inconceivable” until eventually, the […]

Salon “Off” along the Rio Douro: Simplesmente…Vinho

This past Friday, I found my way down to the “Riberia” area of Porto, or rather the historic “Porto side” of the river, where a small group of both established and budding new wine makers assembled to pour their wines at “Simplesmente Vinho”. Dubbed as the first “off” event in Portugal for wine, it begged the question: Off to what? With a keen eye for marketing, these assorted wine “mavericks” hosted their event just up the road from the largest wine fair in Portugal, Essencia do Vinho, which was celebrating their 10th Anniversary. Essencia is a 4 day event, priced at 16 euros, within the stunning architectural wonder, Palacio da Bolsa. For those of you who haven’t visited the Palacio, please […]

Catavino is Moving to Portugal!

Some of you may have heard whisperings that we were pondering a change of location in the next few months, but few may have anticipated a full on commitment to the idea. Alas, we are proud to announce that yes, in a few weeks time, we’ll become new residents of our neighbor to the west: Portugal. Mind you, we are not giving up on Spain. We have spent 8 long fabulous years exploring its vineyards, appreciating its culture and making wonderful longterm friendships that we will continue to cultivate. As Porto is just a short hop over the meseta from Barcelona, we’ll return often, if only to ensure our Cava and Sherry levels don’t drop to dangerous lows. Ah the […]