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Tag Archives: EWBC

White Rioja: A story of redemption

Editor’s Note: In the run up to the #EWBC (#DWCC) happening next week, Tara O’Leary, has placed the spotlight on what makes Rioja white wine such a treasure! Spain, the country of matadors, Gaudí and Rafa Nadal; of vibrant fiestas, flamenco and fútbol; of tapas, paella and manchego; of Sherry, Cava and white Rioja.  Yup, that’s right, white Rioja. It’s not really surprising that, when playing a game of ‘word association’, the rapid fire answer to ‘Rioja’ would likely be ‘red wine’, considering it does account for more than 80% of the region’s production; but I would caution you not to dismiss the whites too easily. White Rioja is a story of redemption; of the little guy who fights against oppression and […]

The Grapes of Rioja: Unveiling the berries behind the iconic wine

Editor’s Note: In the run up to the 2013 #Digital Wine Communication Conference happening in 2 weeks, Tara O’Leary, has unveiled the essential berries that has made Rioja so famous.  Do you remember your first Spanish red wine? No? Me neither, but chances are it was a Rioja. Rioja has been the standard bearer of the country’s wines for much longer than my wine drinking career, and still takes top billing amongst consumers in the trusted, familiar and dependable category for Spanish reds. But Rioja could never have won the hearts of so many without those all important grapes that make it famous. Let’s propel these little berries, both familiar and anomalous, into the spotlight and give them their rightful 15 minutes […]

Rioja Terroir: Approaching the concept of terruño in wine

Editor’s Note:  With a view to the EWBC: Digital Wine Communications Conference launching in just a few weeks, John Perry has taken a very complicated concept – Terroir – and broken it down in a fascinating and approachable way to help us understand how it significantly affects Riojan wine.  Wine has a complicated vocabulary. For the beginner, learning some of this jargon is often the first step to increasing knowledge. Sometimes, even professionals come across an intimidating term and are reminded that things are not as tightly defined as they seem. One such concept is terroir; probably one of the most controversial in the industry. We all have a general idea of what it means, yet it means different things to different people. […]

Oak in Riojan Wine: Fundamental or a style choice

Editor’s Note: In exciting anticipation of the #EWBC (#DWCC), which will be held in Rioja in just 3 weeks, Quentin Sadler explains how the success, the aromas and flavours of Rioja wine all revolve around oak. The red wines of Rioja are the first love of many wine drinkers. I think that is because they have a very clear identity which makes the flavors accessible. That identity quite clearly comes from oak aging, long aging in oak barrels, more specifically aging in American oak barrels. Modern Rioja is better made, riper, fuller and fruitier than Rioja of the past, but those vanilla aromas and flavors from aging in oak barrels is still the defining characteristic of the region’s fine red wines. Rioja does […]

Catavino hosts the Digital Wine Communications Conference 2013

On a late Friday afternoon, I find myself staring out my living room window wondering how eight years has passed since the creation of Catavino. While the late afternoon autumn rays stretch across the wood floor, seagulls scream in the distance, and I smile. I reminisce back to our tiny bedroom in Madrid that we shared with 2 other couples. Ryan sat typing at the dining room table behind a waterfall of guitar and bass parts left by our musically obsessed roommate. Unclear exactly how to create a blog, Ryan scavenged the internet for information, gleaning small bits of advice here and there to fashion a new design. “Gabriella, we need to write down more of our experiences. People are […]

Gemütlichkeit: The Ideal Descriptor of Austrian Gastronomy

Live in Iberia long enough and you’ll quickly realize that cozy is not part of their lexicon. Neither the Portuguese, nor the Spanish, have adopted a word that fully encompasses a term that is intimately familiar to colder climate regions. Cozy to me connotates a sense of comfort, warmth, ease, relaxation and peace. It might be exemplified by a candlelit restaurant with a roaring fire, dark wood furniture, heartfelt laughter, and of course, a thick lingering aroma of grilled meats and roasting garlic among subtle notes of wine glasses chiming in celebration. In many ways, I equate cozy with a sense of home. Throughout the past 6 years we’ve lived in Iberia, I can’t say that I’ve ever truly felt […]

2010 European Wine Bloggers Conference – Vienna, Austria

Here at Catavino we’ve been known to roam, bringing you stories from London, Norway, Italy and India. Today, we are proud to say that you are about to hear a bit about Austria!  Some of you will have heard, but just to refresh your memories, we are the co-founders of the European Wine Bloggers Conference which takes place in a different European country every year. Our first conference was in La Rioja, Spain in 2008, followed by Lisbon, Portugal in 2009 and now, Vienna, Austria this past weekend – home to the grape Grüner Vetliner. We’ll be writing more about the Conference, please check out the following links: Photos – Visit the EWBC flickr group Videos – If you get […]

Respite During the Storm: Catavino’s 2nd National Geographic Expedition

Some of you might remember last year, when we took part in a portion of a Lindblad Expedition from the north coast of Spain around the coast of Galicia to Porto, and finally disembarking in Lisbon. 5 days and nights filled with food, wine, culture and lazing on a boat ship, with fine seas and sunny skys. Obviously, our experience carved out much of our expectations for this year’s trip, but little did we know that the seas can turn for the worst. This year, fall weather brought with it a considerable amount of rain, which create “swells” – a word that has zero relationship to a happy, “swell” of a time. With Gabriella looking a fine shade of pea […]

Catavino Back in the USA: First Stop, New York

Approximately a year ago, we almost lost the opportunity to attend the NAWBC 2009 as a result of a missed flight. Our stress and frustration only mounted when the realization barreled down on us that our tasting at the famed Portuguese restaurant, Aldea, in New York was the following day. With tickets eventually in hand, our first time to New York was primarily spent in a taxi cab, lacking anything in the way of tourism. This year, however, we completed our goals! We savored a gigantic bagel, an amazing Thai meal and the opportunity to see a small slice of the city on foot. We meandered through Grand Central Station with our mouths agape, spotted few dozen historic buildings, strolled […]

Aquapura: A Slice of Extravagance in the Douro Valley

Recently, while sneaking off to the Douro Valley for a much needed vacation, we briefly stayed at Aquapura, a converted 19th century manor house near Regua. Nestled in 8 hectares of rolling vineyards, this 5 star hotel combines sleek, modern lines with the gentle and calming elements of Feng Shui. It is an homage to peace and tranquility, with dimmed lights to calm the nerves, aromas of herbs and flowers to ease the senses and large open spaces to unleash the spirit. Friends and family had lauded its excellence, as did the 20+ bloggers who visited last year after the EWBC, leading to a much anticipated visit. For weeks I was dreaming of grape oil massages, warm starlit evenings sipping […]