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 News from Around the Web

Iberian Wines News From Around the Web

The Meaning of Wine Blogs
Tom Wark from Fermentations recently posted the results of a survey he conducted last week asking readers what wine blogs meant to them. He received 172 responses on his blogs survey and here is a taste of what he found out:

To FERMENTATION Readers Wine Blogs are a very trustworthy source of wine commentary and information that is apparently craved on nearly a daily basis that also rival wine magazines as the source they’d turn to for reliable wine reviews. Wine blogs are most appreciated for their regular updating, the independence of the voices behind them and the interaction they, leading the readers to turn to a good number of other wine blogs.

What can I say other than we are extremely happy to hear that our efforts to overthrow the major wine rags is working and can only assume that our [wine blogs] strength will continue to grow. The more authentic, sincere, straightforward, interactive, while continuing to cut down on both jargon and pretension our articles can be, the better. In addition, if you have a blog and are reading his post, send Tom an email telling him that you want to participate in the next survey. He figures, as do I, that by promoting a more complete survey across the entire web, we might get some interesting numbers!

France and Germany Fight Against EU Wine Reform
This whole argument is getting silly. The reforms talk of banning chapitalization and yet allowing for the use of wood chips. The banning of chapitalization, a practice of adding sugar to wines in order to increase sweetness or body and has been in use for centuries as a central tool in winemaking, would wipe out German wine. Therefore, I completely understand Germany being upset, but wood chips? Who cares! What does it matter if the quality of the wine is poor? Let the market decide by punishing those wineries that use them. I’m not high and mighty enough to condemn anyone for trying to make a buck in life, and if using some wood chips can help a winery to produce wines of quality, than go for it. I buy wine based on many standards: first, what the label says; second, the tradition or style of the wine; third, whether it goes with our dinner; and finally, and this does happen often, I buy based on loyalties and relationships. I like getting to know my wineries and the people who make the wines. It’s easy when they have personalities like El Jefe, but they also are names that stand the test of time. New cheaper wines will not hurt the sales of Bordeaux 1st growths (though I wish it would cause the lower prices).

Finally, they do NEED to rip up vineyards. There are far too many vines in Europe making brandy and plonk; hence, this is long overdue. This does not apply to vineyards that are make quality wine, but rather vineyards that are either not in production or whose wines are no longer salable. This land, in many cases, is ideal for other forms of agriculture, ensuring that sprawling condos don’t pop up where grapes once grew.

Maybe the current proposal needs some tweaking, but the “fight against reform” is silly. It should be the “fight to ensure reform” that we are talking about.

Brazilians are Digging Those Portuguese Wine!
Portugal has remained the third-largest wine supplier to Portugal in the first six months of 2007, exceeded only by Argentina and Chile, increasing their exports by approximately 34%! This makes us pretty happy here at Catavino, because we’ll be traveling to a certain country come August and it will be fun to report back on what we find. Any guesses as to where we’re going? I’ll give you a hint…think octopus, Fado and Vinho Verde. We love us them Portuguese wines!

Until next week…

Gabriella and Ryan Opaz

Finally, one last thing. Sadly we’ve had to change the forum again. Long story, but usability for some reason was not what we thought it would be. We tried to make it more simple, user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, but if no one is using it, what’s the pont. Sorry for the trouble. We’ll be launching the new forum full steam when we announce the Virtual Tasting for August (it’s a REALLY special one!). The new forum (and the last one) can be found here. It’s a bit buggy, but stay with us and we’ll try to get it working right asap! Cheers, the annoyed code monkey behind the scenes.

  • bbennett

    If you get a chance to hear Dulce Pontes, go for it.