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Robert M. Parker Jr.

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An Opaz/Catavino Christmas Letter – A Year in Review

Each year, we as a family(The Opai!) do our best, as many do, to gather our thoughts in the form of a Christmas letter. And despite this years delay in being mailed due to our travels back to our homes in the USA, we still put our best foot forward to create a rather comprehensive wrap-up. Our letters are still in a queue to be mailed out! Around this time of year we also make sure to share a summary post on Catavino, providing you some of the best articles of the year. However we decided to instead share our Christmas letter with all of you. Why? Although it is originally intended for friends and family, many of you have […]

Catavino Wishes You a Very Merry Iberian/Minne(snowtan) Christmas!

“Aunt Gabby”, whispered my eight year old niece into my ear while decorating the Christmas tree, “are we Christian?” “Well, it depends how you define Christian”, I responded. “We tend to be more spiritual than Christian.” “But we’re definitely not Jewish, right?” she questioned quizzically, her right eyebrow slowly rising in curiosity. “Again, I would say that our family is more spiritual, rather than Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist, since we tend to focus on one another, rather than on a particular set of religious rules or norms,” I responded. “But only Christians celebrate Christmas. So we must be Christians.” Taking a moment to consider how to respond, I took a deep breath and said, “Ironically, many people of all […]

II Annual European Wine Bloggers Conference Extraordinarily Brief Update

I am currently writing this from my VIP Grand Lisboa hotel room using every single ounce of energy I have left to get word out that all is well. As many of you already know, Ryan and I have spent the last 5 days in Lisbon hosting the II Annual European Wine Bloggers Conference, and to say it was a success would be an understatement, it was INCREDIBLE. And to give you a sense of what people are saying, take a peek at the following: Event Manager of the VIP Grand Lisboa, “I thoroughly enjoyed your group this past weekend. They were considerate, passionate, interesting and willing to share their knowledge with me about ways we can improve the hotel’s […]

Catavino Leaves San Francisco and Heads to New York: The Last Leg of our American Tour

Sitting in the San Francisco airport, I’m feeling a warm, content feeling inside my belly, similar to the one I get when sitting next to a roaring fire as the rain pelts the windows outside, or when I put a project to bed just as the morning light pools through my office window. This trip, despite the initial upset in travel plans, has become a warmhearted adventure filled with perfect coincidences and incredible fortune. Just when we feared we wouldn’t find a ride, a room or an individual, help always appeared. In San Francisco, when we lost our ride to Twisted Oak winery, Oscar Quevedo pulls up to the airport in his flaming golden orange rental car with two empty […]

Catavino in Santa Rosa, California at American Wine Bloggers Conference 2009

Editor’s note: Due to poor wireless connections, although this post was intended for yesterday morning, we weren’t able to get it up until today.   We’re currently writing you at 6am in the morning from El Jefe’s HQ, from Twisted Oak Winery, with two of baby kittens romping around our bedroom with a mission to destroy anything in their paths. And despite their clearly malicious intent, with those gigantic clear blue eyes, short soft downy fur and incapacity to walk in  straight line without tripping or running head first into a wall, we have to admit, Iggy and Stiggy are insanely adorable, and a wonderful way to wake up after 3 insane days of fun.   For those of you […]

Countdown to Catavino’s 10 Day USA Tour – WBC Meets EWBC

In exactly 10 days, we will be heading to New York City, followed by San Francisco and back to NYC for a 10 day immersion into the American wine blog culture. What does this mean? Having lived and breathed Europe for the past 5 years, we’ve only met less than a dozen American wine bloggers, despite the fact that we are not only American bloggers, but that much of our readership is from the USA. Yet, our conversations and meetings have remained in the virtual world, far from a handshake, the sound of someone’s laughter or the experience of sharing physical space. Consequently, we’ve decided to change this, heading west as a result of the generous sponsorship of the EWBC […]

The Spanish and Portuguese Take to the London International Wine Fair

Both Spain and Portugal made their mark at the London International Wine Fair 2009 edition this past week. Spain has always had a knack for its dominating and stylish presence. Walk past the enormous stand representing the generic body promoting Spanish wines called ICEX and you rarely saw a square foot unoccupied. 13 autonomous communities were represented, including: Andalusia, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Catalonia, Valencia, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra and Basque Country. Even tiny Denominacion de Origines, representing only a handful of bodegas within these massive autonomous communities garnered some limelight, whereby providing importers the opportunity to taste wines that are generally difficult to discover in any other situation. What made Spain so successful at […]

Quick Update from the London International Wine Fair 2009

I’m currently writing you from our quaint little corner where the European Wine Blogger Conference stand is housed at the London International Wine Fair. These three days have been jam packed with amazing talks with everyone from producers to retailers, and from press to critics, all eager and fascinated with social media’s role and influence in the wine trade. And to be honest, we’re exhausted, but we’re also amazed at the positive feedback we’ve received. Starting next week, we’ll be posting more information about the the individual talks we’ve given, the wines we’ve tasted, tastings we’ve hosted, overall impressions of the event itself, and of course, loads of interviews. For now, feel free to watch live video and twitterfall of […]

Catavino’s Big News! We’re Headed to America! See you at the WBC!!!

After last years 2 successful wine blogger conferences, first in Logrono, Spain and then in Sonoma California, we are very excited to announce that this year, we’ll be at both events. Thanks to the support of our EWBC Sponsor, ViniPortugal, the generic in charge of promoting Portuguese wines, we’ll be swinging by New York and then California to help host Portuguese wine tastings, and spread the word about what we’ve been up to in Europe for the past 4 yrs.  As organizers, and proud parents of the EWBC, we see this as a great chance to summit in America and discuss the issues that affect bloggers around the world. USA EWBC Kickoff in New York City and California Our adventure […]

A Week Exploring Lisbon in Preparation for the EWBC

You would imagine that heading out to Lisbon 7 months before the conference might be a little eager, but as we see it, the sooner we can stir up a tidal wave of passion for this event, the better the event will be. Call it naivete, but passion and curiosity is what made us fall in love not only with wine, but with the people within this dynamic, complex and thought-provoking community. Hence, far be it for us to sit on our laurels, hoping that interest will stir naturally, when we can meet face to face those people who make Lisbon the incredible city it is. And wow, is it ever an incredible city! With our tour guide and friend, […]