After a long and luxurious weekend of visiting touristy sites around Barcelona, I was a little awe-stricken this morning when I opened my inbox to a deluge of Spanish and Portuguese wine links. Normally, we would let this wait for Friday, but with the amount of fun facts, recipes, instigating articles and events happening right now, we felt it would be best to mix it up a bit and bring you the information now! Enjoy.
Warm Spanish Cocktail
Erin Hartigan at usaweekend.com published a whole slew of suggestions on how to use those remaining bottles of liquor sitting idly on the counter into some delicious belly warming drinks. One suggestion in particular that obviously caught our eye used Spanish wine as your base for a funky sounding warm sangria.
Mull more than just wine. Scott Beattie, bar manager of Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg, Calif., uses mulling spices to seasonalize sangria: “I take cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, toast them, add orange and pineapple juices, and cook that mixture down.” He adds it to a strong red Spanish wine and equal parts cognac and dark rum. Freeman likes Glhwein, Germany’s hot, spiced red wine. “Add juniper, cinnamon and allspice, or even rosemary, to red wine,” he says, and to sweeten, use elderberry syrup, cassis or Cointreau.
Portuguese Stone Soup
I admit that I’ve heard of stone soup in my past, but I wasn’t familiar with the etymology of its name until now. One version in the Times Colonist speaks of a beggar who was so desperate for food that he pleaded for ingredients to add to his pebble-filled broth. So touched were the townspeople that they eagerly gave to the beggar in hopes of thickening his soup. By the end of his rounds, he had gathered enough potatoes, carrots and leftover meat to not only fill his bag, but eventually, his belly!
Another version speaks of French soldiers during WWII who were unable to ferret up enough scrapes to make a soup. Thinking on their feat, they lined a cauldron with stones, filled it water, and as the mineral aroma wafted into the air, people passing became inquisitive as to the soup’s base. Conceding that they were making stone soup, the soldiers politely requested additional seasoning from the people. Eager to be of service, the people scattered in all directions to contribute to the feast. In time, the soldiers had gathered enough food and wine to literally, feed an army.
If you would like to dig under the thick ice in your backyard to scramble up a few pebbles for your own stone soup, we encourage you to look at the article! Try this stone soup recipe made with spicy chorizo and let us know how it works out.
By the way, we know what wines Ryan thinks pair well with stones, but what about you? What would you pair with your stone soup?
The Bostonians are Digging Portuguese Wine
Stephen Meuse at the Boston Globe wrote a compelling article on how attractive Portuguese wines are suddenly appearing to Bostonians, while importers are increasing their prices in light of the weakening dollar. While many EU wines are becoming increasingly difficult to afford, Portugal has kept it quality despite its bottom dollar rate. This article suggest five Portuguese wines worthy of your attention.
Do Spanish and Portuguese Wine Pair with Vegetarian Food?
Sure they do! Considering that I, personally, am an enormous advocate of the rabbit cuisine, who is to say that wine can’t marry well with a vegetarian burrito, Thai curry noodle dishes and spicy Ethiopian food, chock full of spicy legumes? Arturo Ciompi at the Independent Magazine gives a long list of possible wines to pair with everything from gazpacho to mushroom-barley soup. When looking at the author’s advice on which wines to pair with your next vegetarian dish, overall, I think he/she did a good job, although I would add a few extra suggestions of my own:
Video Interview with Portuguese Winemaker
Per and Britt at PK Wine Brief Dialogue recently published video interview with Sandra Alves, one of three winemakers at Herdade do Esporao in the Alentejo. Alongside the legendary winemaker David Baverstock, Sandra has aided in creating a long list of exceptional Portuguese wines. If you have a moment, check out the interview!
Allowing Children to Drink Alcohol
The US based newspaper, The Telegragh, recently posted an article on the merits and morality of allowing children to drink alcohol at a young age. We’re not talking 18 here either. The article suggests that children can learn how to drink responsibly by taking sips of alcohol by age nine. Why? Because children start experimenting at this age, and rather than allowing sips of alcohol to occur behind your back at a party, why not cut it off at the pass by guiding the child through the experience with you?
When considering all the hoopla we’ve created across the Internet with our recent post on actively educating children on the process of winemaking, I’m excited to see more articles written about children and wine!
Catavino Gets in Pictures
During the annual conference on tourism (which included a section on blogging) held in Madrid two weeks ago, Ryan was cornered for an interview by a Finish blogger. If you have a moment, check him out and let him know how he did 😉
One last comment. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, we’ll be attending the II annual Conference on Climate and Wine this weekend. We expect to conduct several interviews at the conference, but would really appreciate some ideas on questions you would be interested in having people answer. This is a very controversial topic in the wine the world and any feedback you have would be helpful!