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Favorite Wine Experiences of the Summer: Share Your Priceless Moments!

etiquetaSB_BLanc07Whenever I’m asked, “What was your favorite….”, I end up looking a bit starry eyed, clueless as to how I can answer the question sincerely. Life is compilation of experiences, both good and bad, and to narrow down your rich treasured moments to a single point in time is both daunting and elusive to me. However, far be it for me to hold back on an experience that touched both Ryan and I this summer.

One of our favorite experiences was visiting DO Montsant to partake in a tasting of approximately 80 wines, most of which were both surprising and distinct in character. Having visited the region on several occasions, focusing most of our attention on the Priorat, our knowledge of the Montsant wines were minimal at best. And if anything, we went there with several preconceived ideas, in much the same way we did with Rioja, believing that the wines would be of lesser quality or simply repetitive of the surrounding area. However, like most fantastic and memorable experiences, our assumptions were incorrect, and fortunately replaced with a more realistic and exciting version of the truth.

That said, one of our favorite moments was not only tasting a wide range of Samso and Garnatxa barrel samples with architect and owner of Portal de Montsant, Alfredo Arribes, but also savoring his 2008 Barrel Fermented Santbru White, made with 80% White Grenache, 15%  Macabeo and 5% Chardonnay. The wine showed amazing white floral notes encircled by rich and creamy aromas of orange and lemon zest. In the mouth, the wine was full and fresh with zesty acidity, good structure and a lingering mineral citrus finish. Considering the wine spent 5 months in French oak barrels, the wood blended seamlessly into the wine, showing once more how DO Montsant is an exciting and high quality wine region.

For all our Newsletter subscribers, this is the post to leave your stories for us! For those of you who don’t know what we’re talking about, please make sure to sign up to our Iberian Wine newsletter! :)

What was your favorite wine experience of the summer? And what made it so memorable and special to you? We encourage both newsletter subscribers and non-subscribers alike to share your experiences!

Cheers,

Gabriella Opaz

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  • Cornell

    Gabriella – my favorite summer memory includes wine but not the wine that was included in the memory. This summer I traveled with my wife to Norway to visit her sister and family which is always a treat, and something we have not done in the summer for 5-6 years. This year included two outings that were enhanced by the inclusion of wine but are not remembered for the wine consumed. The first was a challenging and difficult 5 days of backpacking into cabins in the Norwegian mountains near Stavanger with my brother and sister-in-law and their son and daughter. These were touch hikes taking 7-9 hours/day over rough trails and considerable climbing up and down. We brought with us different 3 box wines – one each from Spain, Italy and California. They were wonderful and having them at the end of the day was a wonderful treat, and something we looked forward to for each of those three days.

    What were they – what grapes were used – what will I remember about their subtle and exquisite notes and finishes?? Nothing. What I will remember is a fantastic trip made even better because we carried in a good basic wine to enjoy – even though it added a little extra weight but worth every extra ache.

    After returning from our adventure we were then very fortunate to be able to spend four days with my in-laws on a small island (in the only cabin) on the southwestern coast of Norway doing basically nothing more strenuous than an occasional game of bocce and reading books. Again, this included wine (and other spirits if the truth be told,) and again I do not recall much about the wines other than one was a Vinho Verde and was perfect for a warm summer night on a small island eating seafood and looking at the ocean. I learned about Vinho Verde from Catavino and it has become one of my favorite summer wines, but while the details of the wine escape me, the lingering memory is a night and meal enhanced and made special by the inclusion of a fun, light and tasty wine.

    These are my summer memories and they include wine. I continue to learn more about wine as I read Catavino and I am drinking better wine because of this knowledge. I know more what I like and what I look for, but my pleasure and memories come from the total experience. I will never be able to describe a wine, or compare and contrast wines as Ryan and Gabriella even though this is something I wish I could do, but regardless the inclusion of the wine has enhanced my memories and made a special occasion even better.

    Cornell

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