I really love Catavino – it’s such an informative and innovative source of information on Spanish & Portuguese wines. The food of the region is key, but it’s just as vital to know about the great wines available too. This is the place to find out!
Jose Pizzaro http://www.josepizarro.com

Iberian Wine Links Around the Web – FITUR, Wine Pleasures, Sherry, Port and more

Extra Extra

Welcome to another episode of “Links Around the Web”. Our originally featured addition, “Wine of the Week”, was sadly pushed up to make room for our long laundry list of links we wanted to share with you. I trust you won’t mind ;-)

Catavino Speaking and Live Blogging at Wine Pleasures
The Wine Pleasures International Wine Tourism Conference and Workshop, joining wine tourism professionals from around the world to discuss, reflect on and develop their ideas, will be hosted this weekend from January 24th – 27th in  Sitges (Barcelona). Ryan and I will be live blogging at both the Portuguese and  Spanish wine tastings on Friday, January 23rd and Saturday, January 24th. Using “Cover it Live‘, we will be providing a play by play of the tasting; whereby, allowing wine aficionados internationally to interact, ask questions, and generally remain updated on the progress of the conference. If you would like to follow the wine tasting via the web, simply go to the page we set up on Catavino with a Live Blog:. Additionally, Ryan will be speaking on Sunday about Social media, and later will be hosting a blogging workshop. If you are in the Barcelona area and would like attend the workshop, leave a comment, or simply come down to Sitges and join us! For more information on the Wine Pleasures Conference, check out this PDF.

Catavino Speaks at FITURtech

fiturtechAs if one speaking gig wasn’t enough in one week, we thought we’d shake things up a bit and fly straight to Madrid after the Wine Pleasures Conference to attend FITURtech, a conference bridging tourism and Web 2.0 by addressing subjects such marketing and social media using video and mobile phones, social media and tourism and blogging and tourism. On January 30th, Ryan will be part of a panel debating the opportunities and the future of web 2.0 and tourism. And on the evening of the 30th, it would be fun to get a bunch of bloggers together to “geek out”. If your in town on the 30th, and would like to hang out with us in Madrid, please contact us! No location has been determined as of yet, but we’d love your suggestions! Wine, food, and blog talk…does it get any better?

Balancing Romance with Innovation

Although I love technology, I’m one of those individuals who still gets weak in the knees when thinking of old wine barrels, manual harvesting and cobweb invested cellars. Sure, there is something to said for state-of-the-are fermentation tanks, and mechanical harvesters that can carry the grapes to the winery in record time, but those stories don’t tend to stir up feelings of romance and beauty. So clearly, the article posted in Decanter of a satellite, created by the University of Santiago de Compostela, taking digital images of land under vine in order to determine not only different types of surfaces, such as land or forest, but also different types of vineyards (recently planted and ground density + or- 35%) is a little unnerving to me. A land analysis that was originally crafted by hand is now done by a machine hundreds of miles into space. It makes me fearful that we’ll soon encounter a time period when man will never touch the soil, smelling the dark wet earth and feeling the grittiness under his fingernails. And with so many wine lovers waxing on about the slow food movement, I wonder how committed we are to our green virtues with wine? Does technology take away your attraction to wine, or is it part and parcel of an ongoing evolution towards our hand’s free, technology powered, future? (Flickr photo by untipografico)

Birth Year Port!

Hey check this out the 1975 Taylor’s Vintage Port recently tasted by Dr. Vino. Always good to see our birth year wines aging well! I wonder what Barrack Obama’s birth year port will taste like in 2109!

Spanish Brandy Deserves a Sip or Three

Evaristo Babé, Presidente of the Consejo del Brandy de Jerez, was recently featured in the Jerez newspaper as the ultimate pioneer in Spanish brandy. His goal, over the past 55 years – yes, 55! – has been to persuade Sherry Houses that Spanish brandy could gain a fair market share if taken seriously. The issue being, according to Evaristo, that whiskey and rum have phenomenal marketing, while brandy lacks the same flashy attention. However, that is not to say that young consumers aren’t catching on, as brandy and coke has been given it’s day in the sun, according to Evaristo. But does persuading young people to drink brandy and coke count as good brandy promotion? I would argue otherwise, as a botellón, the tradional street party is filled with kids holding a liter bottle of coke, filled 3/4 with coke and the rest with their alcohol of choice. Is that appreciation? No, that’s a full on “party”! Show me a young drinker enjoying brandy on the rocks, or in something other than plastic cup, and then we’ve got a conversation. Check out more on Evaristo’s views on Spanish brandy here if you read Spanish. (Flickr photo by by uxud)

Sherry is Paving It’s Way in the USA from New York to California

Two articles have recently come out in both the NY Times and the SF Chronical that about sherry’s slow but increasing comeback in the States. Although still considered your grandmother’s drink of choice, sommeliers, restauranteers and chefs are using sherry’s versatility to craft some exquisite mixed drinks and dishes. Hope to see lot’s more articles like this in 2009! Go SHERRY!

Saludos,

Gabriella Opaz

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  • http://www.prgrisley.com Michael Grisley

    Great articles about Sherry from the NY Times and SF Chronicle. We have been working with Europvin importing Emilio Lustau Sherry into several control states here in the US, and the requests and sales figures for sherry are growing monthly. I can assure you this is no trend and grandmas drink of choice is going to be very “chic” again. With such a diverse range of styles, I have often wondered why Sherry isn't more popular in the US, especially in states with areas similar in climate to Jerez………..Drink up nation!!!!

  • http://www.ourwinestory.com Dylan

    Technological advances are fundamental to the process of winemaking, however, I don't believe there will be a time when everything is automated. Or, at least I hope not. There are people in this business still too passionate about the fresh air and walking the rows. The more things advance down that road, the more we recognize the importance of that human touch.

  • http://vinonoshabla.blog117.fc2.com/ yuko

    Hello, Gabriella! I'll be joining on Jan. 24th. Hope to see you there!!! besos

  • Philby

    There will always be the nostalgic winemaker holding true to his/her craft in the vineyard and in the winery who will shun progress (if you can call it that), but automation is made for the large producers looking at winemaking as a business and not an art form. As for me and my love of wine, I prefer the handcrafted imperfections of a small winery to the streamlined cookie cutter wines of Gallo, Mondavi and the other large producers.

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  • edu

    Sherry by presence, Sherry by Quality…Sherry in bars, sherry in Michelin restaurants. One of the good things about it is that form the lowest prices to the highest, Sherry has always something good to give us. I think something is changing in the Sherry World and it's exciting!!About brandy, if Jerez goes on doing top quality and promoting it, it will come backa as a fashion drinks, even for young consumers (never less than 25!).Best regards,eduGo Sherry, go!!!