There are a lot of wine websites on the interwebs. There is no better regional wine website when it comes to depth and breadth of content and expertise.
Lenn Thompson

Tag Archives: Google

How it all Began, a Quick Look Back at the Early Years

When we first moved to Spain, we arrived with almost nothing. Our Spanish consisted of  ”hola”, “gracias” and after a couple of days hanging out with other Spaniards, “Vale”, the ubiquitous “ok”. Our friends were back in Minnesota, but we were in Madrid and lucky enough to have a place to live. A fellow TEFL student offered up a room in her shared apartment which was about the size of a small closet. It had two thin twin mattresses on the floor, a small wooden wardrobe, and a tiny alcove where I placed a board on a stack of boxes to create a makeshift desk. Our money was limited to a few thousand dollars in savings which we promised we […]

Cabernet Day is Here: Where to find Great Cabernets in Spain

Cabernet Sauvignon is an imported grape to the Spanish wine making world. Considered a “foreign” by many, some regions have been planting it for so long that it’s now perceived as an autochthonous grape. In fact, in Evan Goldsteins book, Perfect Pairings (page 134), it is suggested that it might have originated in Rioja. Imagine that?! Cabernet with a Spanish accent! However, my sense is that this theory is purely speculative. Instead, I believe that Cabernet turned up in Rioja when the Bordelais appeared in the late 19th century, in an effort to escape the phyloxera epidemic that was plaguing France. And as a result of its planting, it spread like wildfire to the rest of Spain. Mind you, no […]

Bar Zim: A Wine Bar Boasting of Rustic Authenticity

Finding a quality “wine bar” in Barcelona is like finding a tapas restaurant without cured Spanish ham, challenging! For me, a quality wine bar isn’t about pomp and flash, nor is it about who can have the most wines from Rioja. A quality wine bar doesn’t need an attractive metrosexual god donned in a pressed black apron with his hair perfectly gelled to one side serving wine enveloped in a Riedel goblet, nor does it need trendy chillout music in the background to set the mood. What the ideal wine bar does need is quality and affordable wine by the glass served by a knowledgeable and passionate host who’s created a low key and friendly environment for all walks of […]

La Xarcu – Unexpected Culinary Treat Hidden Where You Would Least Expect It in Barcelona

Crazy, seriously crazy. I never, in a million years, would have expected to find what we found last Tuesday afternoon when meeting a winery rep for lunch while we evangelized Social Media and tasted some new wines. Our contact from the winery sent us an address, and I remember opening it in Google maps and swearing that couldn’t be the place he meant to say. I had to confirm twice, since it happened to be a small deli where we used to have coffee with friends, located just around the corner from their old apartment in Gracia. Nice enough place, but for lunch?! Anyways, we arrived early, and as we are often prone to do, we both ordered a nice […]

Catavino Gets An Extreme Makeover!

Notice anything different about the site? I’ll give you a hint: it’s a little more than a fire engine red manicure or a pair of new patten leather shoes. It’s more like dropping 7 dress sizes and then having Penelope Cruz give you full on fashion makeover! How’s THAT for change?! Since the inception of Catavino, we’ve been collecting material at record pace without ever having annual spring cleaning. Pages were created, abandoned, and never deleted, while categories were added on impulse, rather than logic . Although not quite as impressive as my mom’s basement, our collection of useless content could easily be a contender. Additionally, our content was circulating within a very small wine bubble, unable to expand to […]

Great Wine Capitals – Spain has Rioja, Portugal has Oporto – A few questions answered by Thomas Perry

In August, during the 2008 European Wine Blogger’s Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Perry – someone I can now call a good friend. Tom is an American expat who has worked and lived in Spain for over 30 years and is incredibly well- versed on the Spanish wine economy, not to mention an incredibly interesting guy who will capture your attention for hours on end. Not surprisingly, Tom is also heavily involved with the Great Wine Capitals project. From their website: The Global Network of Great Wine Capitals,which embraces Melbourne, Bordeaux, San Francisco – Napa Valley, Porto, Cape Town, Bilbao-Rioja, Florence and Mendoza, works to encourage international winery tourism, as well as economic, academic and cultural exchanges […]

All Gabriella Wants for her Birthday is the Assurance that you VOTED!

Today, Gabriella is officially a year older [he meant to say wiser] and looking better than ever [I swear that I didn't bribe him with a bottle of scotch to say that]! 33 years of figuring out where she wants to live in the world and what she dares to do with her life, things are truly coming together for her. She has a nice house, two great cats, a bald stunningly handsome husband [how can I argue with that?!], and lot’s of wine! Additionally, to her great fortune, she gets to celebrate her birthday on the most important day of the year, election day [it's an honor]! And because we live in Spain, where the average voter turn out […]

QR Code and Wine – Another Zany Idea from Catavino

Gabriella here, hoping to provide you a dash of clarity as to what happened in yesterday’s post. The image you saw was not an elaborate crossword puzzle, nor was our aim to hypnotize you, unless that translated to you sending us cases of great wine. Our intention was to introduce you to one of our many eccentric ideas in regards to wine marketing. The image you encountered is called a QR-Code, a two dimensional matrix code created in 1994 by the Japanese company, Denso-Wave. “QR” stands for Quick Response, which permits the user to obtain the data at high speed with a scanner. While old school bar codes are capable of storing a max of around 20 digits, QR Code […]

Catavino, Ad-Free Since last Friday – A 3 Year Anniversary Surprise!

Ever since Catavino first became a full fledged member of the wine blogging community 3 years ago, we’ve always run ads on our site. Google adsense is the most obvious, and for most bloggers, the easiest solution to “monetize” your site, and thus, has been with us since the beginning. And since our inception, Google adsense has earned us a whopping grand total of $300. We’ve also worked with a few text link ads, and have been fortunate enough to have part of our travels in Rioja sponsored. All in all, this has added up to around $500, a car rental and a hotel room. Not bad, but not really worth our time, nor worth the clutter. So today, we […]

Comments Vs. Conversations

I love talking to people who are off the “grid”, or at least off my grid. Sadly, and happily, I’m plugged into the internet more than most. Consequently, I have a drastically different view on Internet norms. For me, Twitter is an extension of my vocal chords, Gmail is an extra storage place for my brain, and Catavino is a soapbox for which I shout out from. And as a result of this online culture, a new language has been born. There are new verbs such as: To Google: To search for something on the internet To Blog: To write about something and publish is on the web To surf: To wander about the web, often with the help of […]