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

Tag Archives: Alentejo

Wine O’Clock: Another Great Wine Shop in Matosinhos, Portugal

Last week, we mentioned a fun little wine shop called Vinhos & Coisas, which happens to be located not a block away from yet another fantastic wine shop called Wine O’Clock. Founded in 2006 by wine enthusiast, António Nora; wine collector, Francisco Freitas; and soccer player and wine lover, Pedro Emanuel, Wine O’Clock is a super swanky two tierred wine shop lined with dark hardwood floors, large flatscreen TVs and computer monitors for you to peruse their website at your leisure. Wine O’Clock consists of 3 stores located in Matosinhos – just north of Porto, Aveiro – just south of Porto, and Lisbon, with plans to open two more shops in 2010 in both Lisbon and the Algarve, if the […]

Top 10 Portuguese Wines at Essencia do Vinho 2009

Last Thursday, we came to Essencia do Vinho to not only conduct our very first workshop on social media and blogging, but to also participate in the “Top 10 Vinhos Portuguesas”. But before we list the wines, we both want to make it clear that although these wines are considered the creme de la creme of Portuguese wines at this one contest on this one day, please let it be known that these wines only won a jury prize. The wines were all tasted blind, and generally in this setting, some wines do not ‘show’ well. In fact, we both rated wines that we tend to enjoy lower than we might otherwise. 10 whites, 27 reds and 5 ports were […]

A Lil’ Southern Hospitality and a Lot of Salt in Alcácer do Sal, Alentejo, Portugal

Last month, after a long stint of not venturing south in Portugal for quite some time, we decided to visit a little city in the Alentejo called, Alcácer do Sal. If you take the country road IP-1 south of Lisbon for an hour and a half, you will pass beautiful stone pine forests and houses with chimneys topped with stork nests – two iconic symbols of the region. Eventually, you’ll encounter an ancient city situated along the Sado River, surrounded by a small hill with a historical castle atop overlooking rice fields, rolling pastures and forests in the horizon. Alcácer do Sal has an interesting story behind its name. Derived from the Arabic Al Qasr (the castle) from when the […]

Sesimbra: A Seafood Lover’s Paradise in Portugal

Wine may be one of my favorite things to drink, but seafood is definitely one of my favorite things to eat – especially shellfish.  And as you may already know, coastal Portugal has no shortage in this category! Within a 50km radius outside of the Lisbon cityscape, you have direct access to several other smaller coastal cities for your sun, sand and seafood. I have flocked to almost all of these cities by now, and when it comes to seafood, specifically shellfish, my number one pick is Sesimbra. Sesimbra is a small, mountain isolated town situated on the southern shore 40km outside of Lisbon. Its long, horseshoe shaped beach is cut in half by an old military fort, and surrounded […]

Jose Maria da Fonseca’s 2004 Domini and the Portuguese Black Sausage, Porco Preto

Last month, when my parents were in town visiting, I took them on one of my favorite local winery tours, the Manor House Museum Tour of José Maria da Fonseca. Easy to find on their website, this legendary Portuguese winery offers daily tours of the founder’s original estate and winery located in the town of Azeitão, just 40 minutes outside of Lisbon in the Terras de Sado wine region. For a small price, you can walk through the antique cellars that still hold their famous barrel-aged red, Periquita and their 100+ special reserve Moscatels de Setubal, while learning about their illustrious wine-making history. At the end, you offered a tasting of 2-3 wines, normally consisting of a white, red and […]

Wine of the Week – Herdade da Malhadinha Nova 2006

It’s been a month and a half since the European Wine Blogger’s Conference, and shamefully, we’re just now getting around to not only retasting many of these wines, but simply entering our notes on the numerous great wines we tasted. Today, I want to point out a wine that I think is starting to mature gracefully and is worth your attention. In 2006, I visited Herdade Malhadinha, while still in a learning phase regarding Alentejo wines. My palate was exercising itself to include a whole ranging of grapes and flavors I wasn’t used to. It was at Malhadinha that I first realized the great potential of the Alicante Bouschet grape having tasted a wine that was vibrant and alive after […]

Wine of the Week – Fitapreta Vinhos

There is no way I can start this post without sharing my elation that my hand is free to type. For those of you who are not in the know, I have been in a cast for exactly 78 days, as reminded to me by my doctor this morning. But now, my cast is gone, and from its hard powdery depths springs a hand that is dying for some sun, a splash in the sea and the ability to type at lightening speed without hearing “clunk” “clunk” every time my plaster thumb hit the space bar. Ahhh, life is officially good. So getting back to today’s topic, our featured wines of the week consists of a big, bold Portuguese wine […]

How is the 2008 Iberian Harvest Shaping Up?

Feel the chill in the air, the earthy aromas of dried leaves and wet soil, the vibrant orange and red colors on the tip of the leaves like small dabs of paint radiating from the deep dark green background? Sigh, this is my favorite time of the year. I love to fill a thermos with hot tea, chocolate, or better yet, mulled wine; layer myself in flannel and fleece; and enjoy a day in the mountains basking in the warm heavy glow of the September sun. The brisk winds rustling the dry, cracking leaves is like music to my ears. The magic of autumn brings a sense of warmth in my belly, as it calls for heavier and richer foods […]

2+1 Survey Returns with Joe “1WineDude” Roberts

Awhile back, Catavino ran a feature we called the 2 + 1 Iberian Wine Survey. The idea behind the survey was not only to get wine bloggers feedback on Spanish and Portuguese wine, but also an opportunity for readers to gain a better perspective as to what’s available outside the big peninsula. To be honest, we had originally intended to run these surveys while we were on vacation in France, but as it currently stands, it may be a little while before Catavino can actually unplug itself from all the action flowing through our headquarters. That said, we’re going to run some of these anyway and invite all of you who still want to participate to please send us your […]

Iberian Links Around the Web – or the Decanter Commentary

Welcome to another addition of Iberian Links around the web! Despite Labor Day being celebrated yesterday throughout the EU, in addition to family and friends arriving from both London and Madrid, we still found a little space in the day to collect a few news bits that you might be interested in to share your thoughts on in the comments below! The Ultimate Luxury: You’re Very Own, Vineyard in a Box! Ever want to purchase a vineyard but were afraid that you’d kill the vines in the first year? Maybe you know a decent amount about winemaking, but have a perfectionist side of you that only wants to craft the ultimate, world-renowned wine? Well, guess what? Now is your chance! […]