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Hey, ho! Please let Pancho go! ~ Time for some wine drinking.

Despite our continued posting, we still plan on closing Catavino. Gabriella and I are finished here, onto bigger and better things, but strangely, we can’t stop just yet. I have a few more things to get off my chest, and after my recent post on the Pancho affair; I know I need to do it sooner than later. I’m overwhelmed by the response to my last post, and maybe this blogging thing could pay off if we could pump out a post like that more often. The truth is though, I don’t want too. I love wine. Actually I love flavors. Wine, beer, booze, food, foams, gels, confits and stacked culinary creations of unknown heights. I love it. If it tastes […]

Cha, cha, cha, changes…Spanish wine needs to learn from the Pancho affair

Jay Miller is out. Neal Martin is in. This is the story that spilled onto “the Twitter“, in the blogosphere, and onto “the Facebooks”. Regurgitated and recycled from one blog to another showing that there is no limit to the amount of naval gazing possible by any niche community. The scandal relates to whether Pancho Campo charged money to make Jay Miller magically appear  in any given Spanish wine region’s back yard so that Parker‘s surrogate point giver Jay, could bestow a fresh layer of numerical digits upon the Spanish countryside. Read the full details here if you’ve been under a rock this week. Between you and me, I think Pancho is guilty and Jay is just lazy. For Jay […]

How it all Began, a Quick Look Back at the Early Years

When we first moved to Spain, we arrived with almost nothing. Our Spanish consisted of  ”hola”, “gracias” and after a couple of days hanging out with other Spaniards, “Vale”, the ubiquitous “ok”. Our friends were back in Minnesota, but we were in Madrid and lucky enough to have a place to live. A fellow TEFL student offered up a room in her shared apartment which was about the size of a small closet. It had two thin twin mattresses on the floor, a small wooden wardrobe, and a tiny alcove where I placed a board on a stack of boxes to create a makeshift desk. Our money was limited to a few thousand dollars in savings which we promised we […]

Harvest 2011: A Look Around Spain and Portugal

What is the harvest looking like in Spain and Portugal? Having put in a few calls from across the peninsula, the answers varied tremendously. So rather than interpret it from our standpoint, we felt it would be more appropriate to post information directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. However, if you’re a winery that wasn’t included, please send us an email, or leave a comment below, with your take on the 2011 Vintage! Thanks to everyone who submitted, and we hope this year turned out to be a great one for you! Cheers! Linaje Garsea – Ribera del Duero, Spain In general, we have noticed older grapes reaching sugar levels 10-15 days earlier than normal, predicting an early […]

Iberian Wine Harvest 2011 – A random assortment of challenges

This year, we’ve heard a wide range of harvest stories from across the peninsula: earlier than normal harvests, some later than normal, while others are reporting red grapes being picked before the white grapes – a highly unusual event. Consequently, we’re absolutely clueless as to how the 2011 vintage will end up. Not that we are very worried. We’re firm believers that vintage generally doesn’t matter, and we’re not alone on this. Granted, there are a handful of wine geeks out there that will contest this belief; but winemaking nowadays can take any grape and turn it into a decent wine. Now, while it may not be the same wine as last year, it’s still good, drinkable wine. That said, […]

Tempranillo Day

Yesterday, we celebrated “Tempranillo Day“, a concept put forward and championed by our friends at TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society). And though a fabulous evening, “grape days”, which are all the rage right now (#cabernet day was also yesterday and #grenache day is coming up soon) are a bit tiring and becoming a little silly, in our humble opinion. We’re all for cheering on wines from certain grapes, but we don’t seek our wines based on their grape variety; we much rather focus on their story and history. So last night, we decided to open up 2 wines, one which states 100% Tempranillo, and the other which contains a wee bit of Tempranillo (as pointed out by Victor de […]

Wine as a Backdrop

Recently, Gabriella has been writing simply for the love of writing itself, a very welcomed trend considering the amount of talent that seems crammed into her tiny pint-sized frame. I bring this up, because a few days ago, she presented a piece that not only left me speechless, but pulled at my heartstrings. Though not unexpected, it was a story that I felt needed to be shared. As you know we at Catavino try to remain focused on Iberian wine, with the occasional foray into other countries and events, but beyond Spain and Portugal, our goal is simply to educate and entertain. At the same time, we feel a story should reflect reality, the raw truth of everyday life, but that’s […]

Churrasqueira: Savoring Grilled Meats in Portugal

This past week, while enjoying one of our favorite cities in the world, Porto, it occurred to us that we were harboring a delicious secret that should be revealed. This cuisine, though not entirely secret to the entire population of Brazil, is unknown to many, and it’s called Churrasqueira (Churrascaria is Brazilian). Last Sunday, while scouring the internet for cheap meal that would satiate the belly, we eventually asked the front desk for a little assistance. Unfortunately, the hotel attendent was less that enthusiastic about our chances to find anything interesting, as we were not only in the “touristy” section of the city, but it was also Sunday night. Having stumbled across a place called Churrasqueira Brasa online, located just down the […]

The Continuing Spanish Beer Search: Fort – Barcelona Pale Ale

Since we have lived in Terrassa, a small industrial city outside Barcelona, there has been only one place to buy decent beer. Casa Evaristo is a specialty food store in the old part of the city with a wide range of odd ingredients, wines and foods. Sort of a Whole Foods in the way they overprice their goods, while being the only place in town with this particular selection. In the past, they have held a few local artesian beers and many Belgium standards; nothing to inspire, but when you live in a desert any liquid is desirable. Yesterday, however, I found they had upped the game with a larger selection and some real beers from other parts of the world including some 1st class IPA’s from the […]

Recaredo’s Single Vineyard Cava: Turo d’en Mota

Walking into a Cava producer’s cellar can be an overwhelming experience. What appears to be miles of bottles stacked and laid out before you, aging away to create the delicious bubbles that we all love, seem to tease you, begging for you to reach out and pop one open. Most of the time, this as far as you get. You’re simply left to listen to the producer speak of each bottle’s rarity, as your mind attempts to grasp the enormity of it all. Recently we were commissioned for an article about Cava vineyards, and this led us to a very unique experience. While exploring single vineyard Cavas, we visited the cellars of Recaredo in Sant Sarduni d’Anoia. Recaredo is a […]