This is an indispensable tool for those who want to follow, in English, what really goes on in the world of Spanish and Portuguese wines – lively, informative and, most important, first-hand, on-the-scene knowledge!
Victor de la Serna http://elmundovino.elmundo.es

Spanish Wine Certification Sponsorship Status, Rias Baixes Goes Web 2.0, Sherry Gets Some Lovin’

698462445_3513647cd4The Spanish Wine Certification Course

For those of you living in a cave, far far away from the gruelsome summer heat, “surviving” on those cases of Spanish wine you’ve respectably stashed away for nutrients, we’ve had a rather amazing opportunity for bloggers eager to get a little brush up on their Spanish wine knowledge that you may have missed out on. Starting on June 12th, the Wine Academy of Spain began its 2009-2010 USA tour. And per our suggestion, they’ve very generiously offered to give 1 free registration to each of the 12 courses being offered across the USA, including: Houston, Chicago, Boston, new Haven, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Cleveland, Washington DC and New York. Each course allows you to taste over 50 wines – including sherry and cava, provides you with a solid educational foundation, and will hopefully incite you with a passion for Spanish wine. And to boot, the top 15 high-scorers, across the USA, will be treated to a week long Spanish Wine Tour covering Spain’s top DO’s.

The only point of entry was to write a blog post by June 15th, convincing us that you’re a good candidate for the course. And although not everyone followed the directions to a “t”, like adding the link to your post to the original article, we did get some rather creative and ingenious entries. However, now comes the time to decide. And over the weekend, we’ll be picking out those articles we feel most moved by. But since we’re feeling rather generous, we’re allowing anyone interested in submitting an entry to do so by Sunday, June 21st.  There are still a few cities lacking entries, such as NYC and San Francisco, which just so happen to be located in famous wine producing regions!!! 8 million people in NYC and no one  wants a free ticket to a certified wine course?! We simply can’t believe that.  So even if causes a little chaos in our life come Sunday evening, but so be it! If it provides one more person with the opportunity to learn about this fabulous wine producing country, we’re happy to assist.

So get your entries in today!!! And check out the original article here.

Rias Baixes Gives a Warm Gallego Welcome to Wine Bloggers

There’s a few rumors that we at Catavino tend to highlight any news that revolves around wine blogging and Iberia. One might go so far to call us biased, and truth be told, we are! We love when Spain and Portugal step out of the norm and connects with their fan base in new and interesting ways, and it just so happens that Rias Biaxes has done just that. According to the website, Wines of Spain, USA marketing campaign launched by the Regulating Council together with ICEX and IGAPE, and with an annual budged of $750,ooo, has recently used some of the great wealth to bring over 6 journalists to learn about the wines of Rias Biaxes. Now this might not sound increidbly astounding, but these little group of 6 is not only comprised of mainstream press and radio journalists, but also, wine bloggers. This is fabulous news, because it means that they’re taking down the iron curtain to include journalists who not only connect with a different segment of the population, but who also create an archive for people to easily reference in the future. By the end of the day, we can only hope this little brush web 2.0 just might influence D.O. Rias Biaxes to reach out even further and actually start a campaign themselves. Well done Galicia!

An Ode to Sherry

Oh how we love sherry. This past weekend, while on the northern coast of Catalunya called, Costa Brava, Ryan and I savored a few bottles of Fino Sherry. This is a wine that screams refreshment on a hot day. It’s the elixer that makes all wrongs in our world right. To us, its magical, but we’re not alone! Around this exact same time last year, Eric Asimov from The Pour published a very poignant article as to how underrated dry sherry truly is.

Dry sherry is both the greatest value and the single most abused category in wine. In what other wine genre can you find world-class examples for less than $20 and sometimes even less than $10? Yet dry sherry is perennially maltreated. The same restaurants that install expensive refrigerators and gas-injection preservation devices to care for their other bottles leave the sherries — if they even have any — in some warm, dusty corner of the bar. Am I annoyed by this? Why, no, why would you think that?

He couldn’t have be more accurate. When opening a bottle of Tio Pepe this past weekend, one of our favorite everyday dry sherries, my uncle visiting from California inquired, “Isn’t that the stuff people use for cooking? Please don’t tell me you’re actually going to drink that?!” In a fit of panic, and slight ignorance as a die hard Miller Lite fan, I couldn’t help but sympathize with his plight. He looked a little like a kid who encounters their first plate of fish presented in its entirety, eyeballs and all. “Yes B, we’re absolutely going to drink this, and maybe you should too.” To his credit, he not only tried it (did I mention his love of Miller Lite), but he also loved it. Dry, crisp and refreshing, he couldn’t have been more pleased by its inviting and exuberant flavor. “That white wine we had the other night was really good!” he continuously stated over our 4 day vacation with a curiously raised eyebrow of surprise.

My theory is that my uncle thought dry sherry was for cooking only because he’s been educated to believe that. Restaurants rarely carry fino or manzanilla sherry, and those that do have warm and expired bottles that can either be used for cooking or as paint thinner. Few sommeliers or waiters are familiar with its delicate and versatile flavor, perfectly capable to be paired with with everything from pesto pasta to thick slices of tuna sashimi flavored with spicy wasabi, nor are they familiar with its fascinating history in both production and distribution. And let’s not even start on poor marketing campaigns launched by the D.O. itself.

In short, thanks Eric for helping support the cause, and maybe, just maybe, you, dear readers, will  try your first glass here soon and let us know your thoughts! Make sure to check out this article here on the Top 5 Mistakes in Serving Sherry.

Cheers,

Gabriella Opaz