Great and credible information with a fresh approach about Portuguese and Spanish wine and food. Not to mention, fantastic info about new trends as well as age-old traditions from the vibrant Iberian peninsula.
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Iberian Links around the Web

Iberian wine news

This week, we have an array interesting articles for you to peruse at your leisure. Considering that we’ve been rather focused on Sherry over the past week, allow me to direct you outside of Jerez, if only for a moment, to other news hitting the Iberian front.

Richard and his lovely wife, Juanita, spent 14 days exploring the Spanish countryside with the help of Cellar Tours, a high end wine and gastronomy tour company based out of Madrid. Both Ryan and I had the great fortune of meeting both Richard and Juanita as they whisked their way through Barcelona at the tail-end of their tour. His notebook always handy, Richard chronicled his entire trip from the moment he left the tarmac in Boston to his lasting impressions of his world wind Spanish adventure. I would highly suggest taking moment to read his stories, ranging from six course meals in Rioja to quaint little gourmet stores he discovered in Madrid. It’s a great read, and of course, we’d love his writing to convince you all in how fabulous Iberia truly is!

Gerry Dawes, a long time Spanish food and wine writer, has recently published an article on the quality of wines made from the Mencia grape varietal grown in the northwest portion of Spain. What I like about Gerry’s article is his undying support for fresh young wines, meant to be enjoyed for their sweet red and black berry flavors instilled with a ruddier more mineral element. Mencia wines are not market-styled wines that are high in alcohol, abrasive and aggressive aimed at blowing you over with their sheer power; instead, they seduce you with their silky mouthfeel and fruit forward demeanor.

Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher
, some of our favorite wine writers, from the Wall Street Journal recently published a great article on the rise of quality and value driven wines from the Ribera del Duero in the US. Interestingly, although this region has been well spoken of among wine lovers, its availability has been rather sparse up until recently. Now, this meager 50,000 acres of vineyards in the Ribera del Duero are producing approximately five million cases a year, an impressive amount for such a small area. In their article, Dorothy and John not only provide great research behind their conviction for supporting the wines of Ribera del duero, but they also offer some wonderful examples worth checking out in your local wine shop.

Domaine 547 and Catavino have joined forces again to provide unique and great Iberian wines for you! And as a result of our first attempt in working with Domaine 547 having gone so well, at least we think it has after reading Dr. Debbs recent post, we’ve extended our presence by providing you a 5% discount on purchases with Domaine 547. To receive the discount on their site, simply choose your wines and continue on to the checkout page. Once you go through both the first page (entering shipping information) and the second page (the type of shipping desired), you will arrive at the billing page. In the billing page, enter Catavino in the “Discount Coupon” section under Redemption Code. That’s it! You know have knocked off 5% off your entire order.Thanks Jill for making Catavino such an affordable name!

Facebook is not only for young teenagers craving, yet another, way to communicate with their school buddies, it’s also for business. Reported in July by Techcrunch, Facebook’s number one demographic is not 18 to 21 year olds, but rather people falling in the 35 and wiser category. Although we don’t necessarily fall into this category (we still have a few years yet), Catavino has created more connections, met more wine lovers, and has learned an inordinate amount about wine through Facebook. Plus, it’s not only user-friendly, but it’s also interesting. You have a rare opportunity to learn about people beyond their contact information through the applications they download like Snooth, photos of their recent wine trip, or the music they enjoy will sipping a glass of Tawny Port. Additionally, there are several groups you have the opportunity to both join and learn from. Groups such as Wine 2.0, Sherry Lovers, Passionate About Port, Cava Lovers, Pimp my Wine Blog, Wine Bloggers, and of course, Catavino. We are currently creating a little special something for Facebook and will be launching it in the coming months. We trust you’ll enjoy it, but for now, we encourage you to get on Facebook and explore. You might be surprised what you’ll find!

Okay, so I lied, I am taking you back to the region of Jerez, but it’s for a good reason. There have been two fantastic articles published on Sherry as of late, both worthy of your attention. Imbibe magazine has published an entertaining and informative article as to Sherry’s growing popularity in restaurants and bars across the US. The second is from Adam Withrington on his preconceived notions of Sherry as a Brit, followed by a recap of his tour through Jerez, Spain. Both are fun, descriptive articles and very appropriate considering our last few weeks dedicated to sherry.

Finally, we’d like to inform you on an enormous tasting kicking off tomorrow in Lisbon called “Encontro com o Vinho 2007 / Encontro com os Sabores 2007″, which translates to “An Encounter with Wine / An Encounter with Flavors”. Although I think it’s fantastic that Portugal is having a three day wine fair dedicated to wine and food in order to promote their wines internationally, I find their methodology considerably lacking in forethought. Not only do they not have a website or much in the way of promotion for the event, but they don’t even have a logo! Consequently, if their goal is to really put some hutspa behind marketing Portuguese wine internationally, I’d suggest they find another PR company. If you do find yourself in Lisbon tomorrow, the event will be held at the “Centro de Congressos de Lisboa” and runs through Sunday.

Cheers,
Gabriella

  • RichardA

    My wife's name is Juanita, not Katherine. :)

  • RichardA

    We actually spent 14 days in lovely Spain (though day 14 was just the day we left Spain to return home). I have not finished posting about my trip. I am up to posting about Day 11 and my next post will actually be about our meeting Ryan and Gabriella. I cannot recommend Spain enough as a gourmet travel destination. Cellar Tours was also a great company that really made sure we had a top notch time. And it was a great pleasure to finally meet Ryan and Gabriella!

  • Gabriella

    The irony of this, is that not only did we have a good hearty conversation about Juanita's name and the fact that she isn't Spanish despite the obvious connection, but that I had it firmly in my head that her name was Katherine. Ha! Is her middle name Katherine? I'm reaching for straws here but I've got to try :-)

  • RichardA

    Nope, her middle name is Mary. Mmm….I can't recall talking about anyone named Katherine.

  • Ryan

    Gabriella always write stories about couples and forget the womens name…I wonder what this means?

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/ RichardA

    My wife’s name is Juanita, not Katherine. :)

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/ RichardA

    We actually spent 14 days in lovely Spain (though day 14 was just the day we left Spain to return home). I have not finished posting about my trip. I am up to posting about Day 11 and my next post will actually be about our meeting Ryan and Gabriella.

    I cannot recommend Spain enough as a gourmet travel destination. Cellar Tours was also a great company that really made sure we had a top notch time.

    And it was a great pleasure to finally meet Ryan and Gabriella!

  • http://www.catavino.net Gabriella

    The irony of this, is that not only did we have a good hearty conversation about Juanita’s name and the fact that she isn’t Spanish despite the obvious connection, but that I had it firmly in my head that her name was Katherine. Ha! Is her middle name Katherine? I’m reaching for straws here but I’ve got to try :-)

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/ RichardA

    Nope, her middle name is Mary. Mmm….I can’t recall talking about anyone named Katherine.

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    Gabriella always write stories about couples and forget the womens name…I wonder what this means?

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  • RichardA

    Here is my post on my visit in Spain with Ryan and Gabriella<a href="http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2007/11/span…“><a href="http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/200…” target=”_blank”>http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2007/11/span

  • RichardA

    Here is my post on my visit in Spain with Ryan and Gabriella<a href="http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2007/11/span…“><a href="http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/200…” target=”_blank”>http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2007/11/span

  • RichardA

    Here is my post on my visit in Spain with Ryan and Gabriella<a href="http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2007/11/span…“><a href="http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/200…” target=”_blank”>http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2007/11/span

  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com RichardA

    Here is my post on my visit in Spain with Ryan and Gabriella
    http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2007/11/spanish-vacation-catavino.html

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  • Andrew

    facebook – do i have the time, the energy, the willpower? perhaps those in that age group (which I suddenly realise includes me!) dont have much else to do… is it really worth it and long lasting?

  • http://www.spittoon.biz Andrew

    facebook – do i have the time, the energy, the willpower? perhaps those in that age group (which I suddenly realise includes me!) dont have much else to do… is it really worth it and long lasting?

  • Ryan

    Andrew, once they implement the RSS for groups, I say get in on it! There are some great conversations being had, and some very interesting ideas. The main barrier right now is the lack of RSS so that I can follow a groups discussions on a regular basis. This though is said to be changing soon. Oh and I've also connected with a lot of wine people I wouldn't have otherwise because of this. As to the sherry seminar, maybe I can recommend you next year? If your really interested.

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    Andrew, once they implement the RSS for groups, I say get in on it! There are some great conversations being had, and some very interesting ideas. The main barrier right now is the lack of RSS so that I can follow a groups discussions on a regular basis. This though is said to be changing soon. Oh and I’ve also connected with a lot of wine people I wouldn’t have otherwise because of this.

    As to the sherry seminar, maybe I can recommend you next year? If your really interested.