Catavino keeps you current not only with the remarkable wine developments in Spain and Portugal, two of the most dynamic wine producers on the planet, but you'll learn about food trends, new dishes and restaurants and the ancient and modern cultures on the Iberian Peninsula. And you may not notice it, but Catavino also happens to be one of smoothest designed websites you'll have the pleasure of visiting.
Doug Frost MS/MW http://dougfrost.com

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Part 2: Classical Music and Iberian Wine Pairings for Chamber Music

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series covering classical music and Iberian wine pairings by Burt Frink. To understand its origins, and why Burt felt a series was required on the subject, please read his first piece. I love the silence I share with myself and a glass of wine. Often, but certainly not always, I bring music into the experience. Invariably it is classical music. Why? It fits. One of the most suitable choices is the genre of Chamber Music. These are small ensembles of musicians playing with each other. Think about that for a moment. If you are a working musician (God forbid! Such a life.) you spend nearly all of your time suiting your […]

Spanish Bullfighting: The Romance, the Drama and the Traditional Recipes

Recently, the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia (or Catalunya) voted to ban bullfighting; which consequently, provoked me to write an article. Since moving to Spain in 2005, I have attempted to understand the “corrida de toros” – the bullfight. I have tried to learn as much as possible, both the pro and con; and yes, I confess I have attended quite a few corridas. Portugal has its own bullfighting traditions, as does France and Latin America. There is even a type of bullfight on the Zanzibari island of Pemba, off the east coast of Africa – a relic of Portuguese colonialism. However, I’m only familiar with the way it is done in Spain. (Photo by Ferminius) In the part of […]

Iberian Spotlight: The economics of the 2009 harvest and its implications (part 2)

Editor’s note: Everyday, we come across fantastic articles on an Iberian food, wine or cultural experience by a blogger. Some are based here in Spain and Portugal, while others are chiming in halfway around the globe with a new Portuguese recipe or Spanish wine. So in the spirit of sharing quality content, we’re featuring a new section on Catavino called, “Iberian Spotlight”, which will highlight articles we feel are too great to pass by. Many of these bloggers aren’t getting the recognition they deserve, and by spotlighting them, we’re hoping to show added appreciation for their effort! After almost one month of celebrating Christmas, New Year’s and Epiphany, January is usually a pretty dead month in Rioja.  Except in the […]

Iberian Spotlight: The economics of the 2009 harvest and its implications (part 1)

Editor’s note: Everyday, we come across fantastic articles on an Iberian food, wine or cultural experience by a blogger. Some are based here in Spain and Portugal, while others are chiming in halfway around the globe with a new Portuguese recipe or Spanish wine. So in the spirit of sharing quality content, we’re featuring a new section on Catavino called, “Iberian Spotlight”, which will highlight articles we feel are too great to pass by. Many of these bloggers aren’t getting the recognition they deserve, and by spotlighting them, we’re hoping to show added appreciation for their effort! If you want to submit an article to Catavino, or if you know of a blogger we should contact, please let us know […]

Portugal Overcomes Pride to Acknowledge an Unexpected Wine Leader

Last year, I wrote an article on how Spanish and Portuguese wineries could succeed online. I mentioned words such as passion, culture, adaptability and history, which are all powerful reasons why Iberian wineries have a chance to succeed in Social media, but I’m afraid it’s not enough. I left out a key word that holds most of us back from succeeding, fear. Fear that if they try something and fail, everyone will laugh or pity them. Pride is extremely important in Iberia, often times dictating someone’s decisions and actions. From having your plumber blame the mold in your bathroom on your “poor cleaning”, as opposed to his poor grouting efforts, to the winery that won’t sell you their wine because […]

Pruning & Trellising Iberia: How Spanish and Portuguese Grapes Get Their Lush Insides

Editor’s note: We’ve provided viticultural perspectives specific to both Spain and Portugal after Raymond’s article from renowned Spanish wine author, John Radford; Portuguese winemaker, Rui Reguinga; and Port winemaker, Oscar Quevedo. For many of us, this is a particularly cold winter and not one during which we would consider venturing outside for very long unless absolutely necessary. For the winery team however, there’s another important event on the annual calendar, called pruning, and it’s an outdoors all-day task not for those averse to the cold. After the harvest, and during Autumn, the vine’s leaves change colour and fall gently to the ground, prompting the plant to enter a dormant state. This state lasts well beyond other deciduous plants, awaiting that […]

Virtual Spanish Wine and Food Pairing Request: What are your suggestions?

We like loyal readers, but we love readers who send emails, leave comments or give us virtual shout-outs even more! So when CJ and his wife, Edna, contacted us with a intriguing request, we jumped at the opportunity to not only respond to it, but also to share it with you in a virtual wine pairing challenge! Their email began with an innocent request: “…we haven’t the vaguest idea about food pairings (everyone knows about grilled lamb chops and steak, but we like to have some typical Spanish recipes and different presentations for our chef to work on) – which is why we came to Catavino…” Every month, their country clubs asks a member(s) to host a food and wine […]

Traditional Catalan Dish: Spanish Sausage, Spinach and Garbanzo Beans

Spain is synonymous with cured Jamon Iberico, olives and sharp Manchego cheese; but let’s not forget that it’s also the birthplace of a wide variety of sausages. Since the dawn of time, Spaniards have mastered the art of using, salt, spices and fresh air to preserve and cure their meats; and as centuries passed, their creativity blossomed, instigating an array of chorizos, salchichones, morcillas, butifarras, etc. to be eaten alone or with a traditional regional dish. Last night, with my husband (and chef) in London, I needed to don my (erm..his) apron and fashion a few tapas dishes for an impromptu dinner. And although I’m not a die-hard carnivore, I altered my fleshy green side to incorporate some rich Spanish […]

Contribute to the Haiti Cause through Wine

When tragedy strikes, there’s nothing more frustrating than feeling as if you’re powerless to do anything, especially when the devastation is so great. As a result of the earthquake in Haiti, tens of thousands of people have either lost their lives or have been trapped under heavy rubble without food or water. The situation has only become graver as days past, with gangs taking their intimidation techniques to the streets, survivors looting and robbing shops for whatever food they can find, not to mention the mass of orphans needing basic shelter and care. The question being, what can we do? If you’re equally passionate about wine, here’s your opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and contribute to a good cause. […]

Absolving Guilt Through Uneducated “Green” Wine Consumption

Like many holiday travelers, I spent several days this past December going from one airport to another, heavily weighted by bags packed to the gills with Christmas gifts. Sweating under my dozen layers of cotton and fleece, and swearing from the inanity of what we put ourselves through just to add more “consumables” to our lives, I plopped myself down in a large vinyl chair, praying that my plane wouldn’t be delayed (no such luck). Not five minutes after my exhaustion induced nap, I heard a woman with a southern accent snap, “where the hell are the recycling bins?! With thousands of people traveling through here, forced to buy bottled water for ‘safety’ concerns, why there isn’t a recycling unit to be […]