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

Tag Archives: France

Off the beaten track in Porto – Simplesmente Vinho

What do you call a group of small, artisan wine producers at a tasting? If you’re in France or Italy, the “natural wine” moniker might well rear its head. The suggestion being that these are winemakers who eschew overtly industrial production methods, intervene less and attempt above all else to express their terroir. The less charitable may claim this merely means long beards, stinky wines and radical stances on sulphur. In Portugal things are a little different. Here, no-one seems that interested in defining such a slippery category – least of all the 23,000+ visitors to Porto’s annual Essencia do Vinho tasting. The mix of trade and consumer attendees are packed in tighter than sardines, and beating a path to your favourite producer’s stand can turn into […]

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 […]

To Kiss or Not to Kiss: Top 10 Tips for Greeting Fellow Europeans

When we first moved to Spain, not 5 years ago, we arrived totally green and naive. We never jumped on Wikipedia to research the plight and suffering of the downtrodden citizens under General Franco, nor did we study the diverse and regionally specific foods and wines savored throughout the peninsula. We were ignorant of the various languages and subcultures vying for national and international recognition, and we never once thought that relationships would be formed over the course of 4 hour lunches. With only a few months to pack our gear and fly over the big pond, Ryan and I hit dusty Spanish soil with very little understanding of the culture and its people. And although our approach allowed us […]

Wine in Moderation: Catavino Formally Adopts an Educational Stance on Wine Consumption

Editor’s note: As many of you know, Catavino strives to be an educational wine website, by focusing on wine through the context of life. We enjoy wine among family, with food, in times of joy, in times of pain, during births and deaths, and everywhere in between. Wine can be in the forefront of a moment or in the backdrop of an experience. On Catavino, our goal has been to provide information about wine through our everyday interaction with it. However, as educators, it is also our responsibility to not only exemplify healthy drinking habits through our actions, but to make a formal stance as to our position on moderate drinking. Wine in Moderation is a European based initiative to […]

Valencia Land of Wine – Free Chapter: Bodega Vicente Gandia, Chiva (DO Valencia)

Editor’s Note: This is the 2nd chapter we are publishing of  Valencia Land of Wine (see chapter 1st, 2nd, 3rd). Articles are written by Joan C. Martin, and translated by John Maher. Each story is straight from the pages of El Pais’s Valencian edition that highlights an aspect of Valencian wine history through the story of one wine. If you are enjoying the stories, you might consider buying a copy with this link:Valencia Land of Wine. Fusta Nova: Moscatel from the Forest Bodega Vicente Gandia, Chiva (DO Valencia) Fusta Nova is a sweet wine made with Moscatel of Alexandria by Bodegas Gandia. This company is one of the largest exporters of bottled Spanish wine. It was founded in 1885 by […]

DBR Lafite, Bodegas Torres and the Future of Wine in China

At the end of March, broke the news that Domaines Barons de Rothschild – more often referred to in China as DBR Lafite or merely ‘Lafite’ – has teamed up with CITIC, China’s largest government-owned investment company, to produce a ‘Chinese Grand Cru’ in Shandong province’s Penglai peninsula. CITIC hails from the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping; and its remit from the outset was to attract foreign investment. Decanter would have first heard about the venture from importer Summergate, DBR’s Chinese distributor. Summergate partners Ian Ford and Brendan O’Toole were apparently involved early on in a project whose origins stretch back some fifteen years. In 2006 O’Toole and Ford also visited Penglai with DBR’s Christophe Salin (when site selection […]

Part 3: Confessions of a Chinese Wine Consultant

First, a quick word of apology. Back in December I really thought I would be able to continue this series promptly and present some juicy stories on the fate of Iberian wines in China only a few weeks after my second post: what turned out to be a lengthy out-pouring of vinous adventure in two extended pieces (Confessions of a Chinese Wine Consultant Part 2 and Part 2 Continued). But reality caught up in preparing to leave the PRC for a whole’s month hectic travel. By mid-January Fongyee and I were on our way to the UK which, although downbeat in the face of the economic situation, at least offered some lovely bottles at the Richards Walford trade tasting (Richards […]

Os Goliardos: An Eclectic Wine Bar in Lisbon Focused on Education and Entertainment

As promised, I’ve hit another wine bar here in Lisbon. In all honesty, I hadn’t been planning on it, but some fellow Twitterers (@catarino, @armandoalves, @jnogueira, @andrerib, @batixa, @Under and @Olifante) of mine were getting together last Friday night for a wine tasting and asked me to join them. Os Goliardos is a tiny little place located just up the street from Praça Alegria, in a quiet neighborhood conveniently situated for a stroll into downtown if so desired. Noteworthy, the wine bar is so small from the outside that we drove past it a couple times while looking for it! Once inside, however, the front area is cozy and quaint with only three tables and a line of high stools […]

Vinho & Coisas: A Unique and Innovative Wine Shop near Porto, Portugal

Founded in 2004, Vinho & Coisas is a small and intimate wine shop situated along the Portuguese coast in Matosinhos, nestled just north of Porto near Parque de Cidade. Managed by Ivone Ribeiro, an individual whose passion is visceral and expressive the minute she walks in the door, with toddler in hand, Vinho & Coisas speaks of a delicate mix of both professionalism and education. “Our goal is to get people excited about wine. For example, we have free tastings where everyone brings a bottle priced between 5 to 10 euros. And regardless as to where bought the bottle, after we all taste one another’s contribution, everyone can take home a bottle from our shop valued at the same price […]

Terroirs Wine Bar: An Unusual French Styled Bistro in Central London

Coming from Spain, there is something romantic about having a busty waitress greet you with a sultry smile and rustic french accent. Having traveling through Paris at lightening speed on a half dozen occasions – going straight from airport to bus to train – I imagined Terroirs, despite its location across from Charing Cross, as the Paris cafe I have yet to visit. Sans thick clouds of smoke, the two tiered cafe was scattered with small wooden tabletops more appropriate for a romantic interlude between two than a business meeting of four. Thick aromas of stew and game wafted through the air, while gulped laughter from half drunk bottles of ecological wine echoed off the walls. The ambiance was bustling […]