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Iberian News from Around the Web

Iberian wine news

First on our plate is for those of you who will be in London on Tuesday, October 2nd. WSET, or the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust, will be hosting a course on Spanish Food and Wine Matching. This particular workshop is one of many in which WSET explains the principles behind food and wine combination. Therefore, you may not only try a Tempranillo with grilled Chorizo, but also with Paella to compare how the food’s acidity, spice and sweetness reacts with the wine. Personally, I think this sounds like fun, and if I didn’t have the convenience of Spanish wine and Tapas bars out my back door, I think I’d give it a go!

Adrian Murcia, a passionate Riojan food and wine blogger based in NY, has taken a short hop over the Atlantic to Rioja, where he’s been posting an interesting series of articles worth reading called, “Letters from Haro“, on a new Vibrant Rioja campaign. The campaign aims to create an educational documentary film on the region by the James Beard Award-winning producer/director John Barkley. The backdrop to this story is that Vibrant Rioja, a partnership between DOC Rioja and Wines from Spain, pays Adrian to blog about Riojan food and wine with the caveat that he has full editorial autonomy. Now on one hand, I think it’s fantastic that Spanish wine organizations are getting on the Web 2.0 bandwagon, commissioning bloggers to promote their wines. On the other hand, why would you commission a blogger, but then take 20 steps back saying, “…opinions expressed herein are entirely the author’s own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Vibrant Rioja, Wines from Spain, ICEX, or the Regulating Council of DOCa Rioja”?

Heading southeast to Catalunya, the Priorat region had approximately 500 hectares of white pine and brush wiped out as a result of a four day fire. Fortunately, according to Joseph Puig, the winemaker for Odysseus Wines located just a short distance from where the fire began, few wineries were affected. “It [Priorat Region] caught fire in Pradell de la Teixeta and la Torre de Fontaubella, outside of the DOC Priorato… so there wasn’t any risk for the grapes.” This is good news for winemakers in the area, considering that the production this year will already be lower than usual as a result of the low precipitation.
In other news, a recent NY Times article came out with some exciting news to kick of our Wine Blog Wednesday Theme on Portuguese Table Wines! It appears that the 2002 Casa Cadaval Padre Pedro from the Ribatejo has been listed as the number 1 wine for under $10. The bigger news of the this story, however, is that this article went on to highlight Portugal has a fabulous source for inexpensive quality wines worthy of exploring. We obviously couldn’t agree more and are excited to hear what gems you find come October 15th.

Finally, we come to our last tidbit of info from Ana Patuleia Ortins, the author of both the book, go “Portuguese Homestyle Cooking”, and the blog, “Portuguese Cooking“. She was kind enough to provide us a little taste of her writing using Vinho Verde as her muse:


Pleasures of Vinho Verde

Crisp, cool, light and low alcohol (9 to 10 percent), vinho verde is the perfect wine to serve with various dishes or for no reason at all, on its own merit.. Some popular names, Casal Garcia, Aveleda, Santola, Tres Marias, Alvarinho, to name a few. Translated as “Green Wine”, not for the color but for the very young grapes used to produce this wine This popular Portuguese wine, from the northwest corner of Portugal, is a great partner for starters one might serve, summer or winter.

For starters it is a great match to serve with dishes like Bolinhos de Bacalhau (codfish cakes), Salada de Grão, (chick pea salad), and Rissois de Camarão, (shrimp rissoles).The simplest of kales soups, Caldo Verde (Green Broth) is commonly accompanied with vinho verde.

Although I am likely to enjoy a glass of vinho verde with these dishes, vinho verde stands very well on its own as an aperitif; a perfect aperitif on a sultry summer afternoon and if you feel a fit festive, as a friend of mine commonly is, toss a fozen strawberry into the glass to captivate your mood.

If anyone picks up the book, let us know how the recipes turn out!

Late Addition to Our Links Page:

Yesterday, at the Spanish Embassy in London, the 2007 winners of the New Wave Spanish Wine Award were announced. This annual event sponsored by Off License News and Wines from Spain, seeks out the best Spanish wines in the UK off-trade. Atkin, the chairman of the judge committee, commented on the astounding improvements Spain has taken in creating quality white wines in recent years. His statement was followed by awarding a 2002 Albariño wine: Pazo Señoráns, Selección Añada from the Rías Baixas DO.

Till soon,


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