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: fino

New Correspondent Writer for Catavino: Oliver Styles

Editor’s Note: We have a new and very exciting correspondent writer to the Catavino crew, Oliver Styles! Oliver will be providing us his palate as he tastes through various Spanish and Portuguese wines from his current home in Zamora, Spain. Here, Oliver has provided us a bit of his long and adventurous history with Spanish wine, and hope you will give him a warm and very hearty welcome. It’s galling to think of it now, but within two months of joining UK wine magazine Decanter in 2003, I came within tasting distance of a Vega-Sicilia vertical going back to 1942. Although I was sent to a private Louis Roederer tasting instead, the tales of the ’42 were frustrating, even then, […]

Autumn Cuisine Calls for Sherry and Barrel-Fermented Beasts

So, we arrive officially at a new season, and the usual gastronomic articles appear. In the case of autumn these tend to be about the joys of mushroom-picking in the woods and fields, or getting hold of truffles if you’re rich or have a suitably trained pig. These seasonal utterances are fine, but perhaps more read about than acted upon. Autumn on the eastern Spanish seaboard brings less drastic changes than in many places. Certainly, the heat is less oppressive, but the days are often bright. The evenings are drawing in, so you wear socks and shoes instead of sandals, and maybe have a jacket or something to hand. But to my mind, it’s a chance to enjoy everything – […]

Studying for the WSET with Fortified Spanish and Portuguese Wines

About 3 years after bagging the certificate – I have no idea how the time flew by so fast – I finally signed up to the WSET diploma late in 2008. My first two exams were in March 2009. One about viticulture and vinification in what my father likes to call the “multiple-guess” format. The other was a case-study with a batch of questions needing essay-style answers. The old grey cells are not what they used to be and I am notoriously bad at writing essays under pressure, so I was very suprised (and pleased) to pass both exams, especially the second. I’m still half-convinced the “I’m sorry, we sent you the wrong results letter” will appear at any moment. […]

Spanish Wine Certification Sponsorship Status, Rias Baixes Goes Web 2.0, Sherry Gets Some Lovin’

The Spanish Wine Certification Course For those of you living in a cave, far far away from the gruelsome summer heat, “surviving” on those cases of Spanish wine you’ve respectably stashed away for nutrients, we’ve had a rather amazing opportunity for bloggers eager to get a little brush up on their Spanish wine knowledge that you may have missed out on. Starting on June 12th, the Wine Academy of Spain began its 2009-2010 USA tour. And per our suggestion, they’ve very generiously offered to give 1 free registration to each of the 12 courses being offered across the USA, including: Houston, Chicago, Boston, new Haven, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Cleveland, Washington DC and New York. Each course allows […]

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 […]

Sherry in London

On a trip to London last week, I tried to get a feel for how consumers might see sherry. Just ordinary consumers,not the sorts who buy wines from expensive West End merchants.Of course, this exercise was totally unscientific. In between errands and meetings, I dropped into as many shops as I could to get an idea of what a potential sherry drinker might experience. I stupidly forgot my camera at home, and the pictures my phone produced are simply not up to scratch for this post. So you will have to do with this picture of Tio Pepe and the amusing advert down below. Anyway, the value wines account for the largest part of the steady decline in sherry sales […]

Wine Blogging Wednesday #47: “S” Stands for “Spanish Sherry”

Gabriella fondly remembers when she was a child, sitting in front of the TV listening to Cookie Monster teach the alphabet, and on this particular day, words that started with the letter “S”. This episode is firmly ingrained in her head, because unfortunately, she couldn’t pronounce the letter “s” as a child, handicapped with a severe lissssp. Therefore, words like snake became th-nake and summer became th-ummer. Clearly, this doesn’t bode well when you’re watching your brother happily sipping on his vanilla shake and all you can come out with “Mom, I want a thake too!” Well, today, we’d like to thank Grape Juice for hosting Wine Blog Wednesday, by celebrating anything directly related to a bottle of wine that […]

Top Five Mistakes in Serving Sherry

If you’re the average wine drinker, what do you do when you receive a bottle you’re unfamiliar with? I would imagine that if you’re reading Catavino right now, you most likely peruse the Internet to get the most current and accurate information possible, but I fear you’re in the minority. Let’s pose an example of what your average wine drinker might do with an unfamiliar bottle or style of wine. Let’s assume that your cousin was just given a bottle of sherry for the holidays, and being your everyday wine guy, he looks at it quizzically and assumes it to be a bottle of liquor. As he’s about to put it alongside his bottle of whiskey in the liquor cabinet, […]

The Fear of Sherry

Fears take on many forms. They can come from negative experiences we’ve had in the past, or they can simply come from the unknown, an unfamiliar experience. Several years ago, my fear of the unknown was severely challenged one late Saturday evening while waiting tables in an upscale sushi restaurant. As night turned the corner to early morning, a few tables scattered about with half-drunk customers waiting for yet another bottle of sake, a customer casually inquired if I had ever tried uni. I promptly replied that, no, I hadn’t and wasn’t looking forward to trying it anytime in the near future. John, having been a regular customer of mine for over a few months, looked at me and brazenly […]

Sherry Bar Madrid – La Venencia

La Venencia is a sherry bar located dead center of Madrid, named after a long narrow tool used to sample wines through a small opening in sherry butts (casks). It is also commonly known as a wine thief. The bar is tucked into the side of a narrow street hidden from the busy boisterous streets, which is easy to miss if you don’t exactly know where to look.