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Catavino Housekeeping Post! We love Fall Weather.

The air is getting crisp, dinner time grilling is getting darker and the days are so much shorter – strange that inversely our lives have become busier. For us, autumn is the best time of year. It’s the season of crisp, cool air and warm, home cooked meals. Back in the US, this would have meant raking leaves, apple orchard visits and bonfires with friends. But now that we live on the 5th floor of an apartment building, we’ve substituted raking and large bonfires for hikes in the mountains and moon watching on our roof, all bundled and warm. The switch has also been experienced in what we reach for to fill our glasses and our stomachs. Rather than a […]

Iberian News from Around the Web

As much as we gripe that Wine Spectator isn’t the be all and end of wine reviews, you have to admit that we’d place ourselves a little too far on the fringe not to include you in on the news. Wine Spectator’s fortnightly bulletin, “Insider’, reviews wines which the magazine staff feel are worthy of mentioning from past tastings. In the September 19th issue, Thomas Mattews, their Spanish wine guru and executive editor, covered the wines from Ribera del Duero and Priorato which they found remarkable. Two “hot” wines were the “PS 2004′ from Bodegas Aalto and the “Gran Reserva 1996″ by Bodegas Balbas. The article goes to include 15 additional wines worthy of your attention, including 8 from DO […]

Iberian News from Around the Web

First on our plate is for those of you who will be in London on Tuesday, October 2nd. WSET, or the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust, will be hosting a course on Spanish Food and Wine Matching. This particular workshop is one of many in which WSET explains the principles behind food and wine combination. Therefore, you may not only try a Tempranillo with grilled Chorizo, but also with Paella to compare how the food’s acidity, spice and sweetness reacts with the wine. Personally, I think this sounds like fun, and if I didn’t have the convenience of Spanish wine and Tapas bars out my back door, I think I’d give it a go! Adrian Murcia, a passionate Riojan food […]

Spain’s Harvest might end up Un-Harvested!

Last year, Tom Wark wrote an interesting piece on immigration and the serious shortage of day laborers in the Sonoma Valley. The projected implication of the shortage being that both food and wine prices would significantly rise. Now, the great fear of immigration and the continual mind-boggling ineptitude of Spanish bureaucracy has crossed over the big blue pond into the great wine producing country of Spain, as reported by The Times Online. Every year, thousands of Romanians and Bulgarians make their way towards Spain to work in sectors such as agriculture and construction. These sectors are the bread and butter of Spain, providing the means for politicians to enjoy their million dollar condos and bottles of Vega Sicilia. Without these […]

Iberian Wine News Around the Web

Normally, for this post, we sift through the news during the week, intently looking for interesting tidbits to share with you, but this week panned out a bit differently than I anticipated. Rather than find juicy information on importing laws or market trends, I instead, found several suggestions from other sites on what Spanish wines are worth checking out. Consequently, I’ve compiled a list of Iberian wines tasted this week across web along with a short excerpt of their thoughts: 2002 Bodegas Baigorri Reserva and 2002 Marqués de Riscal Reserva (Blame it on Rioja): Originally posted in Decanter UK, John Radford gave big points to both the Bodegas Baigorri and Marques de Riscal Reservas at a recent blind tasting of […]

September, 2007 Portuguese Wine Harvest

Jancis Robinson recently posted a report on how the 2007 Portuguese Harvest is shaping up. Her overall impression was that the unusually cool and rainy temperatures have, fortunately, affected the quantity of the yield more than the quality of the wine. She then followed up her report with direct quotes from the winemakers. Considering our recent hop over the Spanish border into Portugal, we thought it appropriate to add to her list with a few additional quotes we received this morning from the winemakers. Although we would have liked a more balanced representation of all the Portuguese wine regions, it seems that the winemakers in the Alentejo are just really enthusiastic about sharing their experiences with us! Obviously, we are […]

Iberian News from Around the Web

Here’s a quickie of what being talked about around the web on Spanish and Portuguese wine: Edward Deitch at MSNBC has jumped ship, conceding that even the cheapy’s from big wineries such as Marqués de Riscal can be both unique and tasty. I admit that I’ve fallen into that boat myself before moving to Spain. Often I cringed when offered a cheap wine from large producer, typically putt off by the lack of body or flavor, but as many of you well know, this is not the case in Iberia. Granted, there are always exceptions, but rarely, have we stopped ourselves from getting “cheap” Spanish wine as a result of it being from a large producer like Torres, Freixenet or […]

Allergic to Wasps and Bees? Might want to skip the Mosto!

We’re on the edge of our favorite time of year. Harvest time in Spain brings fresh Moscato grapes to our tables, Mosto in our glasses, and some unexpected guests who tag along for the ride. Wine tainted with venom triggers allergic reactions Wasp venom in wine and grape juice appears to have caused several cases of severe allergic reactions in people, according to a group of Spanish doctors…Alicia Armentia at the Rio Hortega Hospital in Valladolid, Spain, and her colleagues treated five people who had developed severe allergic reactions after drinking either wine or grape juice. Three of the patients had facial flushing and swollen lips, while another experienced asthma-like symptoms. The fifth patient developed anaphylaxis, a whole-body allergic reaction […]

Iberian Wine News for the First Week of August 2007

So we’re right in the middle of Portuguese wine month here at Catavino, but I couldn’t go the whole month without pointing out some of the fun things that we’ve seen around the web for both Spanish and Portuguese wines. First off, we’re still trying to figure out this Domaine547 site which is part store, part community and most definitely interesting. Last week, they tasted a series of Spanish wines available in the USA and included both a nice write-up and some interesting tasting notes. While you’re there, take a moment to vote in the poll as to whether Gary stole the thunda from Lenndevour’s Wine Blog Wednesday. Speaking of Wine Blog Wednesday, we had fun participating in the 3rd […]

Iberian Wine News from Around the Web

The Meaning of Wine Blogs Tom Wark from Fermentations recently posted the results of a survey he conducted last week asking readers what wine blogs meant to them. He received 172 responses on his blogs survey and here is a taste of what he found out: To FERMENTATION Readers Wine Blogs are a very trustworthy source of wine commentary and information that is apparently craved on nearly a daily basis that also rival wine magazines as the source they’d turn to for reliable wine reviews. Wine blogs are most appreciated for their regular updating, the independence of the voices behind them and the interaction they, leading the readers to turn to a good number of other wine blogs. What can […]