Saint Valentine and the Remnants of a Head Cold | Catavino
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Saint Valentine and the Remnants of a Head Cold

Porto Ramos

Ah that time of year again where flower vendors and Hallmark greetings are both inundated with requests for tokens of love, while everyday romantics are forced to rush lemming like to the nearest bon-bon shop hoping to find something that can express our love better than our words can. UGH, it makes me sick. No wait, I am sick. No wait, I’m feeling better. Ok, CUT!

My mind’s just not quite working at pre-head-cold intelligence levels, so bear with me. Story goes like this. Last Tuesday, I woke up with the tell-tale scratch in the back of my throat indicating a week free of wine appreciation. The problem being that it was the same day I had to pick up a car and drive north to the region of Ribera del Duero to work on a project where I would be driving about video taping, taking pics and drinking great wines for two whole days. Well, at least this was the plan I had hoped for when designing the trip. Sadly, after my first nights stay at a friends house in Madrid, I awoke bright and early to find myself with the mother of all head colds. Stumbling down the elevator and out to my rented Puegot, I swallowed somewhere just below the lethal limit of cold medicine and proceeded to drive up north, praying to the wine gods for a temporary reprieve. Alas, Bacchus worked no magic, and to top it off, the rain gods felt like a cloudy visit would be the appropriate mirror to my state of health.

Thus, I spent two days in meetings and driving around in the cold wet countryside, mud up to my ankles, and trying my best not to cough as the video camera rolled on. Oh, did I mention the fun foods? No, because why bother? If I couldn’t even smell the dinner at Emilio Moro’s private restaurant, why bother speaking of food at all. Other highlights included, a brief visit to Vega-Scilia, where I saw less of the winery than I did of the “unique terroir” that encased my mud encrusted boots.

Needless to say, I was a bit sad, but I drove back on Friday and promptly went to sleep for what felt like three days. It actually wasn’t until Monday that I really remembered much. I guess it’s what my body needed.

Now that I’m feeling quasi normal, I have been trying to straighten out the last week’s events, while doing my best to get some new work lined up. This, in addition to working on a simpler format for Catavino that should roll out soon. Like we’ve mentioned in the past, we intend on simplifying Catavino to make your reading experience a little more enjoyable. So stay tuned! For now though, my lovely wife has been keeping you enlightened with her wonderful writing and I’m glad to see you enjoying it.

I digress back to the V-Day theme. My sweetie and I usually toss this celebration to the wayside, preferring non-Hallmark-approved days to celebrate our love for each other. On the other hand, this year the timing may be just right. My nose seems to be on the mend and I feel as though I’m smelling a bit more. Is that the cat litter? Maybe tomorrow is the perfect day to open a special bottle, celebrate the clouds of cold clearing from my head, and cuddling up with the one I love.

As far as Iberian treats to share on this “holiday”, there is only one answer in our house: port, chocolate and cheese (Ween fans, I’m talking the food here and not the music)! Directions on how to woo to follow:

  1. Start by using your fingers to gently push into a block soft blue Cabrales cheese. Pinch a piece of the soft salty cheese between your fingers and gently raise it to your sweetheart’s mouth.
  2. Salty sweet goodness with a racy acidity that melds together as you slowly sip a fine LBV port. (Truth be told, the finer the port the better the “woo-factor”, but don’t let it worry you. A good ruby port can do the trick as long as the chocolate and cheese is perfect!)
  3. Follow this with a shard of dark chocolate. Its earthy rich flavors coat your mouth leaving her with a permanent smile on her face.
  4. Quick aside: For this to work it’s true magic, make sure all actions and motions occur while staring deeply into your sweetie’s eyes. If you’ve followed all directions to a tee, and adding a few personal touches along the way, you should have already won a big “super husband” thumbs up. If however, you haven’t received an award by this point, the issue runs much deeper than chocolate, cheese and port for you.
  5. If all is good, take another sip of port, this time letting it linger in your mouth and coat every surface. At this point feel free to try the two person arm wrap, you know the one where you both try to sip wine while your arms are intertwined. If done right you’ll both enjoy the port and the closeness created which could lead to spontaneous cuddling! On the other hand we do suggest a bit of caution. This technique looks easy in the movies, so don’t say you were warned if one of you ends up with broken bones and a stained carpet.
  6. The key here is repetition. We highly suggest to repeat the cheese, chocolate, port and cuddling close combination over and over again until you are both sated or tangled passionately on the floor…screw the carpet stains!

Uhmmm, ok, where was I? Chocolate, sated, floor..ah yes, Valentine’s Day. A GREAT holiday to ummm, find and discover wines and, ah, foods…..Please excuse me~! I need to get ready for tomorrow!

till soon,

Ryan Opaz

  • Bill

    That works for me. But it's chocolate, chocolate and chocolate for my Valentine. Get well!

  • Bill

    That works for me. But it’s chocolate, chocolate and chocolate for my Valentine.

    Get well!

  • Patti

    Ryan – You are such a romantic at heart! Even though you try to cover it up, you are just one loveable softie….lucky Gab!!