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

Tag Archives: andalusia

Vejer de la Frontera – The Dining Mecca of Costa de la Luz, Spain

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 […]

Vuelta España Stages 1-4: Sevilla, Jerez, Montilla, Malaga

Spain is world famous for its bright and festive atmosphere, a place where terraces are filled with laughter and plazas are brimming with children playing, guitars strumming and people clapping to the traditional flamenco beat. But nowhere on the peninsula can this cultural heritage be more amply experienced than in the searing hot southern region of Andalusia. Andalusia is extraordinarily unique for several reasons. First, the Guadalquivir Valley, which passes through Cordoba and Sevilla, has experienced the highest temperatures recorded in Europe, reaching 46.6 °C (115.9 °F). Now that’s hot! It occupies a little less than 20% of Spain, with a surface area of 87,597 square kilometers, making it the second largest region in Spain. Finally, it has widely diverse […]

Bar Zim: A Wine Bar Boasting of Rustic Authenticity

Finding a quality “wine bar” in Barcelona is like finding a tapas restaurant without cured Spanish ham, challenging! For me, a quality wine bar isn’t about pomp and flash, nor is it about who can have the most wines from Rioja. A quality wine bar doesn’t need an attractive metrosexual god donned in a pressed black apron with his hair perfectly gelled to one side serving wine enveloped in a Riedel goblet, nor does it need trendy chillout music in the background to set the mood. What the ideal wine bar does need is quality and affordable wine by the glass served by a knowledgeable and passionate host who’s created a low key and friendly environment for all walks of […]

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 […]

Casa Rurales: The Perfect Way to Explore Spain and Portugal in Affordable Comfort!

There is a secret in Iberia, a tidbit of information so valuable that even a worldwide economic recession wouldn’t keep you from visiting the peninsula. It’s called a casa rural, or a rural house. Generally quaint and charming, as each one is a reflection of its owner, these houses dot the Iberian landscape in perfect camouflage. (Flickr photo by albertitoglez) What is a Casa Rural (Spain) or Turism Rural (Portugal)? A casa/turism rural is a house located in the sticks, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s meant to be a getaway place, somewhere to hang up your hat for awhile and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.  This is where you’ll find an 16th […]

Get Me Something Refreshing Before I Melt into the Pavement! – Summer Wine Choices

It’s getting hot. My winter comforter is starting to weigh heavy on my little frame, and the hot water handle in my shower is slowly heading towards more arctic temperatures. The sound of screaming and giggling children blow through our windows like a gust of innocence, while the click of glasses rain heavy on the metal bar tables below. Even the enormous kiddy pool expanding across Parque Vallparadis, teasing us from our 5th story window, is finally clean of winter debris to reflect a shiny baby blue surface soon to be covered once again with hoards of happy tanned children. This, my friends, is the time to break open the refreshments among close friends, while enjoying long leisurely evenings under […]

The Delicious Vinagre de Jerez or Spanish Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar (Vinagre de Jerez) must be one of the most neglected condiments. It should really be a staple item in the kitchen cupboard. Chefs have been onto sherry vinegar for decades, but for some reason it has passed the general public by, pushed aside in the rush for “easy-drinking” balsamico style vinegars. Sherry vinegar is not “easy-drinking”. It is complex and intense, but works magic on many dishes and anyway, proper Gazpacho just doesn’t taste right without it. For as long as wine has been made in Jerez, vinegar has been a by-product. In a sherry Bodega vinegar was seen as a failure, especially if too many of the butts turned. However from about the 1950s things started to […]

Los Rebujitos: Mixed Drinks Traditionally Savored during the Andalusian Festival, Feria del Caballo

There’s a tradition in Andalucia for fairs – Ferias – in the spring and summer. The format is generally the same: The Feria lasts about a week; there are corridas (bullfights) in the afternoons; it’s held at a temporary “tent city”, usually on open ground near the edge of town; dancing the “Sevillana” (Sevillana video) is encouraged; women wear Flamenco dress and there are always horses and carriages, bright colours and music. Feria is a time for the whole town or village to let down their hair and have some good old-fashioned fun. The ferias started off as horse or cattle markets where the dealers set up tents (casetas) to entertained clients with wine and dancing. They have kept the […]

Perfect Summer Combination: Manzanilla and Gazpacho!

Officially, we are melting into the Catalunyan soil. Temperatures have risen up to 94 degrees F, which may not be that hot many of you suffering in 100+ degree temperatures, but after 2 months of rain and chilly temperatures, this seems like a sauna to us poor folk. Yet, despite the toasty weather, its exciting to finally ring in the season with our first bottle of Manzanilla. La Bota De Manzanilla #8 Las Cañas, by Equipo Navaras, is from the oldest Manzanilla in the house of M. Sanchez Ayala, situated in the Barrio de la Balsa in Sanlucar de Barrameda. This much I know to be accurate, but if you look at the bottle, listing the number “8″ and Las […]

Vinoble: A Sweet Wine Experience in Jerez, Andalusia

Editor’s Note: Justin Roberts is one of our new contributing authors on Catavino.net, having recently agreed to share his experiences of Iberian wine from his home in Jerez de la Frontera (Andalusia). We’re excited to have him aboard as he has a vast amount of knowledge he can contribute to our site after obtaining both the Advanced Wine and Spirits Certification and the Sherry Educator’s Certificate. Couple this with his unique perspectives having lived in South Africa, Argentina and the UK, as well as being from Zimbabwe, and clearly, we have a wonderful new addition to our site. Last week I spent every hour possible at the sixth edition of Vinoble. Held every two years, this wine fair is unusual […]