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Thanksgiving has now come and gone. The delicious smell of garlic mashed potatoes drifting throughout the house has been replaced with Turkey sandwiches. The screeches of playful children running gleefully under foot is now a faint memory as normalcy has settled back into the house. And kitschy paper Turkeys so meticulously pasted to the windows and hung from the chandeliers are now being packed up in exchange for the 12 boxes of Christmas gear located in the back corner of the attic. Ahhh, Thanksgiving. We absolutely adore this day, an ode to food and family, but it is one of the few cornerstone holidays in American culture which we give up our careful devotion to waistlines, and while throwing caution to the wind, allow ourselves little sugar and fat filled treats throughout the day over two solid months. And as much as we’d like to pretend that calories don’t accumulate upon themselves, as small bites don’t inherently have calories of course, our hearts know otherwise.

But rest assured that the Spanish have your back this holiday season with a magical substance called, Cava. The University of Barcelona recently found that Cava actually reduces the levels of substances in the body known to cause the buildup of arterial plaque, which may lead to arterial disease. And if this isn’t incentive enough for you to be stocking up on Cava this holiday season, the study also found that it reduces the inflammatory markers that predict atherosclerosis, a chronic disease characterized by the constant inflammation of the arterial wall. Simply by opening and pouring yourself a nice tall glass of Cava, you’ll not only be helping your heart while snacking on christmas cookies, but you’ll also be helping your palate. And, if you find yourself at a loss, unsure as to which Cavas are worthy of your bathing your heart and arteries, Catavino will be dedicating the month of December to this glorious substance!

But throughout the month of November, Catavino is still devoted to exploring Port wine. So far we’ve covered the infamous House of Sandeman, some basic port styles such as ruby, tawny and vintage. If all goes well, we’ll be ending this week discussing LBV, Colheita and White port styles, in addition to some bodega profiles, our tasting notes for the month and some fantastic interviews! But in honor of our most recent post on vintage port wine, we like to point you over to Spittoon where a recent tasting note on Quinta do Infantado Vintage, 2003 has been posted.

However, if Port wine isn’t seducing you to the wine store, maybe the 2003 Herdade do Esporao Trincadeira will. Dr. Debbs in a pre-trytophan state highly suggests you consider purchasing this wine from Domaine547 as it is not only a fantastic wine, which we wholeheartedly agree with, but it also pairs well with her anti-Turkey recipe, Pasta with Saffron and Sausage Sauce.

On a more serious note, I wanted to take a moment and sincerely thank both Dr. Debbs and Richard for their recent write-ups on a Portuguese wine tasting called, “Wines and Portos of Portugal” hosted by Vini Portugal and Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto (IVDP). Although they each attended their respective tastings on either side of the US, both walked away convinced as to the quality and diversity of Portuguese wine.

After this tasting, I am fully convinced that Portuguese wines are the next big thing. Spanish wines have primed us for all that the Iberian peninsula has to offer. And what a fun trip it will be to explore this region and its wines! I’ll have some more specific notes on wines and producers in upcoming posts, but until then start asking your local merchants to stock some Portuguese wines. – Dr, Debbs

Finally, and most importantly, many of the wine representatives I spoke with definitely had passion about Portugal and their wines. You could readily feel this passion as they spoke of the wines, talking about the varietals, the wine making and more. This passion certainly is enticing, making you more amenable to tasting their wines. It is events like this, with such passionate advocates of their wines, that will help sell Portuguese wines. It certainly made me more of an advocate of their wines. – Richard

I sincerely encourage you to take a moment and read their articles. As much as I would like to believe that our writing can convince you as to how phenomenal, intriguing and passionate Portuguese wine is, there are no better advocates than two objective wine lovers. And while your catching up on your reading, we’ll be staring in a new pilot television program about ex-pats made for a British cable channel, being filmed in the Gothic district in Barcelona this afternoon. Our adventures will continue with a pre-Thanksgiving event, playing cards and drinking wine with friends throughout the evening. Then, when the sun peaks its head over the Mediterraneans sea tomorrow morning, we’ll all be in the kitchen drinking Cava and orange juice mimosas, while prepping the Turkey! I love the holidays :-)

Take Care,

Gabriella and Ryan

  • RichardA

    Good luck with the TV show! Maybe it will hit BBC America some time. Thanks for the mention. As for Portuguese wines, I actually bought two today, and neither was one that I had tasted before. I just took a chance on them. Both are made from indigenous grapes and I look forward to tasting them. I also look forward to Cava month, as I love Cava, better than Champagne.

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com RichardA

    Good luck with the TV show! Maybe it will hit BBC America some time.

    Thanks for the mention. As for Portuguese wines, I actually bought two today, and neither was one that I had tasted before. I just took a chance on them. Both are made from indigenous grapes and I look forward to tasting them.

    I also look forward to Cava month, as I love Cava, better than Champagne.

  • Dr. Debs

    Thanks, you two! And happy Turkey day to you!

  • http://goodwineunder20.blogspot.com Dr. Debs

    Thanks, you two! And happy Turkey day to you!