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

Tag Archives: Barcelona

Barcelona Restaurant Review: Komomoto – Featuring Nikkei Cuisine

Although Catavino primarily focuses on traditional Spanish cuisine, there is something to be said for featuring new and “hip” restaurants that grace our gritty and romantic city streets of Barcelona. And what better cuisine to focus on than a fusion of my two favorites: Peruvian and Japanese. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my history with Sushi restaurants, allow me to give you a short primer: I’m absolutely addicted. The addiction runs so deep, that if I even pass a sushi restaurant on the street, my stomach churns in desire, my palms sweat in anticipation and I find myself jumping up and down like a 4 year old eager to open her first present on Christmas day – […]

A Gluttons Guide to Spanish Culture

I love Spain, but I love the view of the country that I have in my head from childhood and – democracy and human rights apart – that is how I still want it to be. Whenever I am there I seek out the traditional and the old fashioned, because I like it. Not for me the trendy tapas of foaming asparagus concoctions in test tubes. In fact if I am honest, I do not want Spanish food to be creative in anyway – I want the old dishes of my youth; Huevos a la Flamenca, Riñones al Jerez or Chicken Chilindron. As a consequence the trendy new restaurants of Spain leave me cold. I do not want gleaming mirrored […]

The Continuing Spanish Beer Search: Fort – Barcelona Pale Ale

Since we have lived in Terrassa, a small industrial city outside Barcelona, there has been only one place to buy decent beer. Casa Evaristo is a specialty food store in the old part of the city with a wide range of odd ingredients, wines and foods. Sort of a Whole Foods in the way they overprice their goods, while being the only place in town with this particular selection. In the past, they have held a few local artesian beers and many Belgium standards; nothing to inspire, but when you live in a desert any liquid is desirable. Yesterday, however, I found they had upped the game with a larger selection and some real beers from other parts of the world including some 1st class IPA’s from the […]

A Casa Portuguesa: Slice of Portuguese Heaven in Barcelona

We love small businesses! We adore family run establishments that envelope you in their struggles, triumphs, heartbreaks and joy. It’s a rarity in a world being swallowed up by big chain conglomerates, and one that I’m thankful for everyday as I walk the streets of Barcelona, washed in a sea of small tiendas. Mind you, A Casa Portuguesa is not family run, nor is it struggling, really. It is, however, a small Portuguese wine and food shop tucked in Barrio Gracia on the famed street of Calle Verdi. A narrow lane covered in thick green foliage, Calle Verdi is an homage to highly specialized restaurants and shops, for which A Casa Portuguesa has proudly supported for well over a half […]

Redefining Spanish Tapas: The Fine Line between Quality and Price

Part of the advantage of living in Barcelona is that I have an inordinate amount of tapas bars to choose from; we’re talking in the ballpark of 10,000, which includes restaurants that serve tapas. And of these restaurants, a vast majority will get you a few tapas at a very reasonable price. Therefore, you can imagine my jaw hitting the floor when I encountered a bar serving tapas for more than the average “menu del dia” which includes 3 full on courses! Consequently, I began to wonder what the value of a tapa really is and whether I’ve been hoodwinked by a bar to pay anything other than market price? Bar Mut is a gorgeous wood paneled bar in the […]

La Vinateria del Call: A Hidden Gourmet Den of Catalan Perfection

Whenever we have visitors come to Barcelona, requesting the most authentic of food experiences, we have a list of old standbyes that we keep snug in our back pockets. These restaurants are not always the trendiest, nor necessarily hailed as Barcelona’s best, but for us, they embody everything we believe in:  value for Euro, fabulous food, centrally located and showcasing either a few good wines, or a long list of lovelies. Today we want to share with you one of our regular favorites, La Vinateria del Call. La Vinateria del Call is a vibrant, infundibular restaurant tucked inside the narrow, winding streets of the old Gothic Jewish Quarter. “The Call” – meaning narrow lane”- was the term applied to the entire Jewish […]

Natural Wine: Is It a Friend, Foe or Fabrication?

Editorial Note: Fabio Bartolomei from Vinos Ambiz is not only a self-proclaimed natural winemaker in Spain, but he’s also a friend. Having recently attended the Natural Wine Fair in Barcelona (wrap-up article here) a few weeks ago, getting into a rather lively debate about the true definition of natural wine, we asked Fabio if he wouldn’t mind sharing his views on this highly contentious topic. What follows is a very well structured argument by Fabio surrounding the truths and fabrications of the natural wine movement. Many posts, articles and comments I’ve read about ‘Natural Wine’ tend to cover an overly vast range of topics or mention key points in passing that should be expanded upon. This is frustrating in that an […]

Salón de Vinos Naturales (3 Edición): What Classifies as “Natural Wine”?

A few Sundays ago, I attended the 3rd edition of the Salón de Vinos Naturalesa, an annual event held in Barcelona and hosted by l’Ánima de Vi. We stumbled across L’Ánima de Vi several years ago while wandering the backstreets of Gracia, which features natural wines from Spain, France, and occasionally, various other parts of the world. Though elated that I was able to attend, admittedly, I’m a very skeptical “natural wine” advocate. When you talk about wine, you are talking about one of the most unnatural processes used to create a consumable. Allow me to clarify. If you eat a carrot, there are only 3 steps before getting the carrot into my mouth: Plant the carrot from a seed/sprout. Water it, weed […]

A Few of Our Top Gastronomic Experiences of 2010!

To ring in the New Year with friends and family, we’d like to bring you our Top 10 Gastronomic experiences of 2010!! As our lives revolve around food and wine, we love to look back and reminisce on those moments that truly effected our lives. These experiences are in no particular order, and only some of them have been covered on Catavino; however, we’d love to share some of our experiences and ask all of you to share a few of yours in the comments below. Note: Please make sure to click on the title of each experience to learn more. Cinc Sentits Innovation and experimentation are traits we love! Red wine with scallops? Why not! Sweet wines with steak? […]

Vino Joven: Contrasting Cultural Views on Young Quality Wine

Every year in late November, Vila Viniteca sponsors a festival of vino joven (new wine) in the streets of Barcelona. This is always a great chance to taste this year’s wines, harvested just a few months prior and ready to drink. A couple friends and I arrived to Santa Maria del Mar a little after 5 o’clock, paid four Euros for a wine glass and a paper cone full of pasta, and were ready to hit the narrow streets of the Barrio de la Ribera for a little vino and whatever food the local merchants were dishing out. We knew enough to get there early; by 7:00 the hordes of noisy revelers would make any leisurely talks with the winemakers […]