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Iberian Wine Links around the Web: Pseudo Holiday Edition!

gabandryanWith the holidays here and Gabriella and I traveling back to the US, it’s been harder than usual to stay focused. Family has a way of distracting and making time slip away before you know it.

Nevertheless, we have loads of wines lined up to share with you in the coming weeks, as well as some interesting news we stumbled across online. And if you have a link, or an Iberian wine to share, please let us know at contact@catavino.net! We’d love to know what you’ve been savoring over this holiday season!

Now onto the news:

Emma bought a house in Portugal. Then she started a blog to tell us all about it. Having followed her off and on for awhile now, I’ve thoroughly appreciated her courage and insanity to renovate a house in Portugal. Local laws, customs and neighbors make her tale not only extraordinary, but also worth reading. In particular, check the 2 part series on “old school” wine and  distilling aguardente. Both excellent articles with great photos.

Our friends at Wine Expedition recently enjoyed a meal of Caldo Verde, a traditional Portuguese soup. Probably perfect for warming my shivering bones here in Minnesota. Damn it’s cold! How did we ever live here? Niel does a nice job both discussing wines to pair with this delicious kale based soup in addition to a short history on its creation. Take a moment to watch the video on Caldo Verde and let us know what you think! Oh and for those of you in the LA area, check out their review of Bar Pintxo.

Harvest 2009! Reports are streaming in, and while many regions had a challenging harvest, most wine makers have been optimistic. You can get a brief wrap-up on Portugal’s harvest here, and the 2009 Spanish harvest here, but now it’s time to show off the vibrant colors off the vineyards. Every year, we ask people to put their harvest photos in a flickr group so that we can share them. If  you’re a winery, make sure to add your harvest pictures to the photo pool! Enjoy the show!

Do you have any Port on your holiday wine list? If not, shame on you! Port wine, while good all year round, is especially good this time of the year when friends and family are in town. Sitting around a warm fire with some cookies and a glass of fine tawny or ruby port is something that we find to be requisite for the holidays. The BBC published an interesting article on why new wine drinkers are having some trouble coming to Port wine and what’s being done to fix this. It’s worth a read! Also check out For the Love of Port’s Forum, as David Guimaraens, winemaker for Grahams, has been answering your port question throughout last week! This is a must read.

portrubyFinally a lot of people have been asking what we will be drinking this holiday season! Truth is, I’ve been drinking a lot of Hoppy Beers. I’m even considering a short post on these, if I hear enough support in the comments. But as to wines for the dinner tables, we’ll be thinning our cellar and tasting through a few samples that made their way here. Full notes and stories to follow soon. We have also picked up various cavas and a bottle of our favorite Alvear wine “Fino en Rama 2004”, a vintage “sherry-esque” wine made from PX and aged in a solera system. Seriously great stuff, and something I haven’t tasted in a few years. We also brought a Noval LB Ruby from Spain, which throughly enjoyed alongside a roaring fire while we’re up on north shore of Lake Superior.  I also might throw in one of these babies, we’ll see.

So for now, I hope all your holiday travels go well and that no bottle broke in transit. We’ll be back this week with a few more treats!

Ryan Opaz

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