Catavino keeps you current not only with the remarkable wine developments in Spain and Portugal, two of the most dynamic wine producers on the planet, but you'll learn about food trends, new dishes and restaurants and the ancient and modern cultures on the Iberian Peninsula. And you may not notice it, but Catavino also happens to be one of smoothest designed websites you'll have the pleasure of visiting.
Doug Frost MS/MW http://dougfrost.com

Archive by Author

Spain is Not a Wine Loving Country, It’s a Wine Consuming Country

When I first came to Spain, I was excited to be living in a country where wine flowed like blood through a vast cultural landscape. I also assumed that Spaniards, with wine embedded in their DNA, would be vinous explorers seeking out their next prized bottle. Boy, was I wrong. Wine producing countries like “Spain” consider wine a beverage. Now there are some wine geeks in Spain who have escaped the rote memorization that Rioja=Good and Not Rioja=Bad, permitting themselves to explore outside the box. But even in the ranks of wine “afficianados” there is often a malaise that infects their palates and leads to a lack of discovery and curiosity. Let’s see if I can better lay out the […]

Sherry by Another Name: Exploring Sherry Styled Wines from California and Australia

Sherry, as most of you know, is made in Jerez, Spain, and is a style of wine that is singular in that it is crafted in a region where the local climate helps to cultivate a yeast called Flor. For those that do not know the story of Flor, please check out our Sherry 101 article before your read on. When I first started to explore Sherry, I was lectured that Jerez was the only place in the world where Flor could thrive. Their logic made sense at the time since didn’t know anyone outside in Spain making Sherry style wines. However, many years later, I learned that flor can be cultivated quite happily outside the Sherry triangle, and consequently, “sherry-esque” […]

2010 European Wine Bloggers Conference – Vienna, Austria

Here at Catavino we’ve been known to roam, bringing you stories from London, Norway, Italy and India. Today, we are proud to say that you are about to hear a bit about Austria!  Some of you will have heard, but just to refresh your memories, we are the co-founders of the European Wine Bloggers Conference which takes place in a different European country every year. Our first conference was in La Rioja, Spain in 2008, followed by Lisbon, Portugal in 2009 and now, Vienna, Austria this past weekend – home to the grape Grüner Vetliner. We’ll be writing more about the Conference, please check out the following links: Photos – Visit the EWBC flickr group Videos – If you get […]

Respite During the Storm: Catavino’s 2nd National Geographic Expedition

Some of you might remember last year, when we took part in a portion of a Lindblad Expedition from the north coast of Spain around the coast of Galicia to Porto, and finally disembarking in Lisbon. 5 days and nights filled with food, wine, culture and lazing on a boat ship, with fine seas and sunny skys. Obviously, our experience carved out much of our expectations for this year’s trip, but little did we know that the seas can turn for the worst. This year, fall weather brought with it a considerable amount of rain, which create “swells” – a word that has zero relationship to a happy, “swell” of a time. With Gabriella looking a fine shade of pea […]

Rioja, Please Tell Me Who You Are and How I Define You!

Having just arrived back from the Grandes de la Rioja Wine tasting this past week in Logroño, I’m still a bit befuddled as to how one might define Rioja. When I first started in wine, I was told by many a mentor that Rioja was a region of dried out wines that were over-oaked. The truly exciting wines were from the innovative wine makers working to re-integrate the fruit. When I eventually arrive in Spain, for obvious reasons, I braced myself for wines that were aggressive and lacking character. And although these wines still do exist, I discovered they are fading into the distance. I also realized that mentors can be wrong. Wines from Rioja can be extraordinarily light and […]

Rovellones: “Golden Fungus of the Gods”

I often joke that I live in Spain exclusively for its cured Jamon. It is one of the few things that is truly singular to Spain. Granted, you can now buy it in London, and in limited qualities in the USA, among other countries; but in truth, it is only at its best when fresh and served from the rafters of a smokey bar in the side streets of Spain. Jamon Iberico de Bellota is a priceless experience, but there just might be one more Spanish delicacy you can add to the list: Spanish mushrooms! Now, I know that other countries have their unique mushrooms, and if I lived elsewhere, I would most likely argue their greatness as well. Having […]

September 24th: We’ll Say Garnacha, You May Say Grenache, While Others Will Say…..

…Abundante, Aleante, Aleantedi Rivalto, Aleante Poggiarelli, Alicant Blau, Alicante, Alicante Grenache, Aragones, Bois Jaune, Cannonaddu, Cannonadu Nieddu, Cannonau, Cannonau Selvaggio, Canonazo, Carignane Rosso, Elegante, Francese, Gamay del Trasimeno, Garnaccho Negro, Garnacha Comun, Garnacha Negra, Garnacha Roja, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Pais, Gironet, Granaccia, Granaxa, Grenache Noir, Grenache Rouge, Kek Grenache, Lladoner, Mencida, Navaro, Navarra, Navarre de la Dordogne, Navarro, Negru Calvese, Ranconnat, Red Grenache, Redondal, Retagliadu Nieddu, Rivesaltes, Roussillon Tinto, Roussillon, Rouvaillard, Sans Pareil, Santa Maria de Alcantara, Tentillo, Tintella, Tintilla, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcarnero, Tocai Rosso, Toledana and Uva di Spagna. (Source Wikipedia) (photo credit: rayparnova) Here in Spain, this dark, inky grape is called, Garnacha or Garnatxa; and without much in the way of argument, we can […]

Cabernet Day is Here: Where to find Great Cabernets in Spain

Cabernet Sauvignon is an imported grape to the Spanish wine making world. Considered a “foreign” by many, some regions have been planting it for so long that it’s now perceived as an autochthonous grape. In fact, in Evan Goldsteins book, Perfect Pairings (page 134), it is suggested that it might have originated in Rioja. Imagine that?! Cabernet with a Spanish accent! However, my sense is that this theory is purely speculative. Instead, I believe that Cabernet turned up in Rioja when the Bordelais appeared in the late 19th century, in an effort to escape the phyloxera epidemic that was plaguing France. And as a result of its planting, it spread like wildfire to the rest of Spain. Mind you, no […]

A Trip to San Sebastian, Spain: A Crowd Source Project

We’re embarrassed to admit that after 6 years of living in Spain, we have yet to visit one of the most important culinary treasures in the Spanish Crown, San Sebastian. Exalted around the world, and spoken fondly of by every traveler we know, we are proud to say that we will finally be there for a short visit at the end of September. However, we need to know what to do, what to see, where to visit, and what to taste? So we are asking all of you, our loyal readers and fellow “virtual travelers”, to share your suggestions with us. If we have one long day/night, or if we get lucky, 2 days to explore, we’re looking for the […]

Documentary Teaser on the Spanish Wine Region of Arribes

Zev Robinson is at it again; but then again, he never really stopped. While Zev is currently filming a documentary on Catavino, or so we think, he’s also been covering various regions across the peninsula including the Douro valley, Rioja, Jerez, and Arribes – a wine region which borders Portugal to the west. If you ask Zev what his end goal is with his various documentaries, it’s entertaining to see him scramble for words, as his aim is broad reaching and very personal. He adores listening to people share their experiences, their emotions, perspectives and desires. He appreciates the diverse and changing landscape from one region to the next, while learning how each affects both the people and the culture. […]