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Tag Archives: Drink

Aguardente Bagaçeira: Portugal’s Seriously Strong Wine Spirit

After a fantastic picnic among friends, we gathered at an outdoor café to finish the afternoon with a stiff drink called bagaço. The boys ordered two very full snifters of a crystal clear beverage that I had never heard of, nor did I have to chance to ask just how potent it was before it was passed around to “enjoy” a healthy swig. Erring on the side of caution, I took a tiny sip, but that’s all it took before my eyes popped wide open, and my face clenched and shuddered in pain. I rapidly slammed my fist on the table until the wave of fire passed; and when I came back from the fifth dimension of hell, all that was […]

Celebrating the 2011 Vintage: A Rare Port Wine of Exceptional Quality

At 9am on a cool Friday morning in Foz, with a stunning view of the Atlantic ocean, I joined a room full of international Port wine experts to taste 56+ 2011 Vintage Port wines.  These wines, in their youth, have an uncanny ability to strip enamel and burn tastebuds. And while you suffer the strength of these monsters, you are participating in an exercise of divination with only a cloudy, purple, crystal ball to guide you. It demands the taster make grand pronouncements as to the future of a beverage wound tight in tannins, acidity and fruit. Will it age into an elegant treasure to share with future generation? Not the easiest judgement to make, but one worth the adventure no matter the dental […]

Spanish Beer Sucks, but It Might be Improving!

90% of the beer scene in Spain consist of cheap lagers. Nothing wrong with a cheap lager, but after a few, or sipping them for 6 years straight, you go numb from a lack of inspiration and flavor. If made in the traditional way, Lagers present simple flavors that are clean and leave your palate ready for more. Slakers of thirst and lubricators for all matter of late night foods, lagers clearly do one thing well, but sadly, that’s the extent of it. Personally, I’m an Ale man. I like flavors. In addition to being a wine geek, I love to explore the ales that give many wines a run for their money. From hoppy American IPA‘s to super sour Guezes and […]

Senseless Crime: A Priorat Winery is Hit with Vandalism

Not an hour ago, Catalan blogger, Joan Gomez Pallares of Devinis requested that we hit the internets with an important Press Release. Normally, we’re not ones to republish PR’s verbatim, but in this case, we feel you should hear it directly from the winery itself. We tried to call the winery, Terroir al Limit, for a statement but no one answered, understandably so. Also keep in mind that although petty crime is common in Spain, we rarely hear of vandalism of this nature – or of violent crime at all – and are truly saddened for the winery, extending our deepest sympathies. If you would like to contact the winery directly for more information, just head over to the the […]

Dominio de Sexmil: A Rising Star in Tierra del Vino de Zamora

Tierra del Vino (do not confuse this with Vino de la Tierra) is yet another small region pretty well overlooked by the wine world. Its full and correct name is Tierra del Vino de Zamora but everyone who lives within its borders calls it Tierra del Vino (land of wine). There are regular discussions over large dinners, frequently brought up by those who have a handle on the notion of marketing, as to why the appellation was not called, simply, Zamora. These are often-repeated, never settled debates, that almost always end with an authoritarian voice saying ‘this has always been Tierra del Vino’. That settles it. (Flickr photo by migturrado) The land of this appellation – or more correctly, Denominacion […]

Resolutions and Rewards: How to Preserve that Gorgeous Iberian Wine for Yet Another Evening?

January typically sees hordes of grown-ups and semi-grown-ups persuading themselves to ‘give something up’. Normally, in the case of grown-ups and wine lovers, this means going on the wagon for the month in a vain attempt to persuade themselves that they are not beholden to the bottle and that they are ‘being healthy’. Come February (in the Northern hemisphere), the winter has shown no sign of abating – despite the empty promise of longer days – and everyone is back off the wagon, on foot, drinking ‘winter warmers’ like a naughty Shiraz or a cockle-warming Côte-Rôtie. By March, we’re back into the swing of things and the rest of the year follows the year before that, like some endless Bacchanalian […]

Mas Candi: Reinvigorating the Native Grapes of the Penedès

As we’ve boasted on many an occasion, the Penedes is an unlimited geyser of native grapes. From our beloved Xarel.lo, a white chameleon grape capable of displaying intense tropical fruit and mineral aromas, to Samso, a vivacious and precocious  red grape, the Penedes is a multifaceted palette of flavors. Yet, despite our undying support for this treasure trove of gorgeous fruit, it’s uncommon to find a winery equally dedicated to preserving its native resources. Over the years, wineries have eagerly ripped up their perfectly disorganized vineyards, chock full of native grapes, to plant internationally renowned grapes. Though varieties such as Chardonnay, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Gewurztraminer have crafted some impressive wines of both personality and quality in Spain, it […]

September 24th: We’ll Say Garnacha, You May Say Grenache, While Others Will Say…..

…Abundante, Aleante, Aleantedi Rivalto, Aleante Poggiarelli, Alicant Blau, Alicante, Alicante Grenache, Aragones, Bois Jaune, Cannonaddu, Cannonadu Nieddu, Cannonau, Cannonau Selvaggio, Canonazo, Carignane Rosso, Elegante, Francese, Gamay del Trasimeno, Garnaccho Negro, Garnacha Comun, Garnacha Negra, Garnacha Roja, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Pais, Gironet, Granaccia, Granaxa, Grenache Noir, Grenache Rouge, Kek Grenache, Lladoner, Mencida, Navaro, Navarra, Navarre de la Dordogne, Navarro, Negru Calvese, Ranconnat, Red Grenache, Redondal, Retagliadu Nieddu, Rivesaltes, Roussillon Tinto, Roussillon, Rouvaillard, Sans Pareil, Santa Maria de Alcantara, Tentillo, Tintella, Tintilla, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcarnero, Tocai Rosso, Toledana and Uva di Spagna. (Source Wikipedia) (photo credit: rayparnova) Here in Spain, this dark, inky grape is called, Garnacha or Garnatxa; and without much in the way of argument, we can […]

Virginia: A Corner of a Foreign Field that is Forever Spain

Last week I enjoyed a spectacular trip around the wineries and wine regions of Virginia. The state, or more correctly Commonwealth, is a beautiful place and the wine areas are largely dominated by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachians. Indeed Virginia is hot and humid – in the summer anyway, so quality grapes can really only thrive at the higher altitudes of the Blue Ridge, or near the ragged, Rias Baixas-like coastline of Chesapeake Bay. Most of the American wines that we are offered on this side of the Atlantic are made from a narrow range of Grape varieties; Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel with a few others thrown in to spice up the mix. Well Virginia […]

Portuguese Traits Distinguish Connecticut Immigrant from Neighboring Vineyards

Editor’s Note: A few month’s ago, we were contacted by a passionate Portuguese emigrant, living in Connecticut, who longed to share stories about the foods, wines and culture of Portugal. And having stumbled across Catavino, she felt it would be the perfect location to place such stories, a request we couldn’t refuse. Sonia Andresson-Nolasco is currently a Senior Writer at Event Marketer magazine. She has worked as a journalist at newspapers and magazines for eight years, and we’re elated to have her contribution! Please give Sonia a very warm welcome, and let’s hope this piece will be the first of many more to come. Amid stainless steel tanks and oak barrels Joe’s white-bearded face lights up as he recalls his […]