It is close to impossible to visit Barcelona and not take the short jaunt south to Sitges, where you can bask in the stunning blue waters and grand villas of this small but bustling Catalan town. Renowned for its gorgeous beaches, festive gay ambiance, Film Festival and Carnival – it’s a place of stunning beauty and incredible food. I have been to Sitges only a handful of times, the last of which I spent eating a mouthwatering pot of mussels while longingly staring at the sea wishing that my ridiculously heavy, plaster cast was water resistant. Having recently broken my hand in a moronic sailing accident, where I tripped over a mooring line while “gracefully” leaping onto the cement dock, […]
I sometimes like to believe that my father is a master pyromaniac in the most docile sense of the word. The week before Independence Day, my brother and I would pile into the back of my father’s car and go for an hour and half car ride north to Wisconsin, where it is legal to buy firecrackers, but just not use them. I remember these times fondly, walking into makeshift tents set up alongside the highway lined with dozens of cardboard boxes overflowing with clown colored tubes with names like Bottle Rockets and Dragon Twisters. My dad would always break the bank that day, and like a kid in a candy store, he couldn’t say no to things that light […]
As Ryan and I were enjoying a “lazy” Sunday morning filled with articles to be written, ideas to be churned and coffee to be drank, we decided that the day was too beautiful to be spent inside, preferring a quick jaunt up a mountain with a bottle of Salvador Poveda. Made with Monastrell grapes and containing only 12 percent alcohol, it was the perfect addition to a much needed lunch stop in the nature reserve of Sant Llorenç del Munt on top of the Serra de l’Obac mountain chain. We later tried the wine at dinner, allowing it to both chill and rest after hours of being rattled about, but the consensus was basically the same: it is a wine […]
2005 J. Miquel Jané Penedès – Spain, Catalunya, Penedès (11/11/2006)100% Cabernet Sauvignon Gorgeous Ruby color, very clear. The nose shows a light vanilla/cherry nose with cassis liquor, rose petals and a touch of spice as it opens. Pretty fun to smell though the nose is the highlight. Fruit driven in the mouth with a fully dry aspect and medium acidity. Raspberry and cherry make up the palate and though it is a fun wine to drink the complexity of the nose does not come through fully.
Within the last few years, the production of sparkling wine has extended over all of Spain’s oenology, up to the point in which today, nearly all of the autonomous communities can raise their glasses to a toast made with local bubbles. However, amongst the majority of them, cava without doubt acts as the Spanish sparkling wine par excellence. It claims one of the highest levels of the world’s market share. It is the second sparking variety with the greatest commercialisation throughout the world. In the Cava Denomination of Origin, there are 272 registered wineries and between all of them, they produce more than 221 million bottles.Continue reading this article….
I went to a tasting a couple of days ago at [Lavinia->http://www.lavinia.es/dsp/?disp=home.HomeDispatcher&Code1=1789460937&Code2=169] in Madrid and had the chance to try about a dozen wines – some great and some not so hot. Currently, the weather here is down-right balmy, and when the temperature gets this hot, my mind tends to wander towards rosés. Crisp and perfect for the heat, many rosés also carry with them a firm body that acts as a nice compromise for those who want a red. The other great thing about rosés, are that they are very versatile in food pairing. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Below are notes on the 2 still wines I had from this category. Make sure to check them out! Till […]
It isn’t hard to see the cultural connections between Catalonia and France, regardless of the obvious geographic proximity. Recipes, Roman ruins, and modern wine-making techniques have all trickled over the border. Even the Catalan language stems in part from the medieval langue d’oc, echoes of which are still heard today in modern Provençal. Samfaina is a dish that truly embodies the simplicity of mediterranean cooking; a preparation remarkably similar to the famous, humble ratatouille of Provence. However, Samfaina foregoes the powerful herbs of its neighbor to the north, instead relying more on the subtle qualities of local produce, delicate olive oil, and the pan fond of the sautéed salt cod in the case of this classic recipe, Bacallà amb Samfaina. Bacalao, in […]
Portugal might be on its knees economically, but the wine industry is going from strength to strength. Exports are growing quietly (between 5-10% per year over the last decade), and the country is beginning to escape the shackles of being seen only as a value producer. I’m not talking about Port, which has its own long-established market and following, but rather about “still” or non-fortified wines. Portugal was known for knocking out large quantities of “rustic” fare in decades gone by, but this started to change in 1986. Accession to the EU was a watershed which split apart the old cooperatives and saw the emergence of smaller, more quality-lead wineries. Not surprisingly for a country which is relatively new to […]
One of the most unexpected thrills of Vejer de la Frontera for a first time visitor is the huge number of eateries hidden away in the beautiful Pueblo Blanco. A further surprise is the impossibility of eating badly in this gastronomic paradise. Vejer doesn’t rely just on summer tourists – there are the regular visitors as well; hence, if the food isn’t good, the restaurant will close. One would be forgiven for comparing Vejer in Cádiz, Spain to Ludlow in Shropshire, UK. Both are out of the way places, off the gourmet map. But interestingly, both have a plethora of spectacularly good eating places which makes Vejer a fab weekend getaway for the food minded. What’s made Vejer an enchanting foodie […]
There are few cities in the world that are internationally known for their parks. Off the top of my head, I can think of Central Park in New York City, Parc Guell in Barcelona, Stanley Park in Vancouver, Griffith Park in Los Angeles, Lincoln Park in Chicago and Monsanto Park in Lisbon, but never once has anyone boasted of the rich, green paradises of Porto. Never has anyone sat down with me and said, “Hey Gabriella, make sure you squirrel away some time to see some of the most delicious gardens, incredible vistas or panoply of birds that grace our city parks!” As a lover of all things leafy, I’m amazed that this nugget of information is kept secret, and […]