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Housekeeping and New Toys!

Today, I write to you from a position of a person with a head cold and a pile of port wine in front of me. Currently, we’re working to put together a large tasting of 2005 ports and assorted odds and ends. Our objective is to release a PDF at the end of the month for you all to peruse and explore at your leisure. This will hopefully become a new feature here at Catavino as we devote each month to a theme and summerizing it with a “buying guide” based on our recommendations. So today, we want to offer you a few tidbits of information, a new feature, and a question.

First, a new feature!
Catavino has a newsletter! If you look in the second column on the home page you’ll see a sign-up form for our newsletter. This is a new feature and will be different from the RSS feed that some of you subscribe to by email. While the RSS emails are just emails with our latest posts, the newsletter will include things that never make it onto the main site. Each month, we’re aiming to send out one newsletter covering some of our most popular articles, current unpublished happenings in Iberia, interesting events you may want to attend, and few odds and ends that may tickle your fancy. Please sign up, tell a friend, and pass it on. The first newsletter will most likely come out around the holidays.

Special Offer for Catavino Readers Only

The Big Book of Sherry Wines

When we were in Jerez to get our certification, we were given a book by the Consejo titled “The Big Book of Sherry Wines”. This book alone made the entire trip worth our time, not to mention all the fabulous sherries we tasted! It was an incredible and unexpected gift, which we wanted to pass on to you. Unfortunately, a quick perusal of Amazon yielded no results. So after a few emails, I learned that the book is not available to most of North America, but the Consejo did offer us a deal. Catavino has the opportunity to buy and ship these comprehensive Sherry wine books ourselves. And considering our vow to spread the word of Sherry wine, regardless of how we get the book to you, we’re committed to doing so. Send us an email, or leave a comment, and we’ll start a list of those who would like to buy a copy. If we can get enough people together, we’ll order a lot of them and ship them off. The book is EXCEPTIONAL and will bring any novice up to a level of proficiency with just one glance. I can honestly say that this is the best Sherry educators tool we’ve seen. Here’s the catch though, the price is a bit high for our friends with the weak dollar. 60 USD will get you the book, but we are still working out the shipping costs. Maybe we can find a good deal, we’ll let you know, but if your interested let us know. We can’t say that we’ll be able to do this for sure, but we did want to at the very least offer it for you to decide on.

Upcoming themes!
As we’ve past the mid-point of our month devoted to Port, it’s time to give you a forewarning of our next theme: Cava! That’s right! We’re covering Cava as an alternative to Champagne for the holidays. Hence, we want to make sure you start thinking of questions for us to answer. We’ll be visiting the DO Cava in Villafranca de Penedes and tasting several different Cavas both new and old favorites. Finally, as we start coming to the end of our Port theme here at Catavino, we want to point you to Domaine547 where Jill has some great Port now available. Remember, if you use “Catavino” as your coupon code, you’ll get 5% off your entire order no matter what you buy! Please support Catavino today! (P.S. Jill promises to have some yummy Cavas next month as well!)

Last note – A Question
I’m sick and feeling like lying in bed and listening to the last of my Harry Potter MP3, but I’ll probably get bored with that, so I need something to laugh at and to cheer me up. So here’s the question that I hope all of you can answer: What is the funniest, saddest, or most interesting story of when you were sick and there was wine to taste? I want to hear about the wine you missed out on, or the wine that tasted like…well, nothing, due to a stuffy nose! Make me feel better by sharing some of your best tales of tasting with a head cold. I look forward to hearing from everyone!! It will help cheer me up as I stare at all the Port wine sitting in front of me that I won’t be tasting today.

Cheers, sniffle, sniffle,

Ryan Opaz

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