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: Madrid

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 […]

Harvest 2011: A Look Around Spain and Portugal

What is the harvest looking like in Spain and Portugal? Having put in a few calls from across the peninsula, the answers varied tremendously. So rather than interpret it from our standpoint, we felt it would be more appropriate to post information directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. However, if you’re a winery that wasn’t included, please send us an email, or leave a comment below, with your take on the 2011 Vintage! Thanks to everyone who submitted, and we hope this year turned out to be a great one for you! Cheers! Linaje Garsea – Ribera del Duero, Spain In general, we have noticed older grapes reaching sugar levels 10-15 days earlier than normal, predicting an early […]

A Gluttons Guide to Spanish Culture

I love Spain, but I love the view of the country that I have in my head from childhood and – democracy and human rights apart – that is how I still want it to be. Whenever I am there I seek out the traditional and the old fashioned, because I like it. Not for me the trendy tapas of foaming asparagus concoctions in test tubes. In fact if I am honest, I do not want Spanish food to be creative in anyway – I want the old dishes of my youth; Huevos a la Flamenca, Riñones al Jerez or Chicken Chilindron. As a consequence the trendy new restaurants of Spain leave me cold. I do not want gleaming mirrored […]

Vuelta de España: Through the Lens of Food and Wine

With helmets secured and gears oiled, 198 bicycle riders will push off from Sevilla on Saturday, August 28th, on a 3,352.6km journey that will last 21 days, ending in Madrid. This race, by our calculations, will take them through approximately 15 wine appellations in Spain, while passing by another 5-10 along the way. For the past 3 years, we’ve wanted to follow them on their journey, documenting their unintended gastronomic route; and this year, we’ve decided it’s now or never! That’s right, over the next 21 days, we’ll take you on a journey alongside the hardworking bicyclists, as to the foods and wines they should be enjoying in route. In 8 posts, we’ll cover: the terrain, gastronomy, wines, and of […]

Petit Comité: A Fair Dedicated to Artisanal Wines in Madrid

On Monday night I had the pleasure of attending Petit Comité, a tasting event for artisanal wines organized by Samuel Cano/Vinos Patio, La Cave du Petit Bar degustación and the Observatorio de Vino. Not only was it an incredibly interesting opportunity to try the natural wines made by 6 different winemakers, but it was also heartening to have the chance to talk one-on-one with such enthusiastic individuals, who are obviously very dedicated to preserving the artisanal quality of their wines. Representing four different areas of Spain (Madrid, La Mancha, Cataluña and Ribera del Duero), the maximum number of bottles (of natural wine) produced by any of these wineries was 25,000.  While I am a huge supporter of organic wines, I […]

3rd Annual Wine Tasting in Pairs: Vila Viniteca’s Famed & Festive Event!

On Sunday, Barcelona was the site of Vila Viniteca´s third annual “Concurso de cata por parejas” (Tasting competition for teams of two). This unique event is open to everyone from sommeliers to rank aficionados of all ages and nationalities and one hundred and twenty teams signed up this time. (Come to think of it, isn´t this a little in the democratic spirit of the social media?) The “cata” works like this. In the first round each team must identify the country, the zone, the DO, the grape varieties, and the wine maker of two whites, three reds, and two special wines (sparklers, sherries, ports, “noble rot” wines) from anywhere in the world. The teams of two can talk, argue, and […]

3 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Culinary Vacation

It seems that the holidays are all but a distant memory now. For those of us who spend our 40+ hours a week in a mundane, unfulfilling job the only glimmer of hope is the occasional day off due to a random holiday popping up on the calendar and, of course, vacation! This is where our story begins… As I sat at the mahogany-colored desk situated squarely within the four walls of my dreary, beige-colored office adorned with posters of travel destinations – any of which I would rather be visiting than where I was at that time – I dreamed of a vacation that was different from any that I had ever experienced previously. I could return to Spain […]

Rick Fisher: New American Based Writer for Catavino

The passions of Spain’s past, present, and future run through my veins as sure as great juice flows daily from wine casks around the country. My grandfather was born in Sarrià, a small barrio in the northwestern part of Barcelona, in December 1909 during a time when street violence and church burnings strengthened the influence of the anarchists who would rule for decades. Generation upon generation of my ancestors traversed the roads and byways of the Spanish countryside – from Barcelona to Malaga; from Aragon to the Canary Islands. The news of my heritage had a profound effect on me from as early as I can remember; and although I resided in the heavily Spanish-influenced state of Florida during my […]

The Menu of the Day: Spain’s Best Culinary Value for Your Euro

Last week, we visited the small town of Poboleda in the heart of DOC Priorat, located just south of Barcelona. After a death defying jeep ride along the beautiful terraced vineyards of Mas Doix – Dramamine anyone? – we huddled together in a family owned restaurant to enjoy an absolutely spectacular Menu del Dia. Savoring flavorful habas beans with chunks of butifarra negra, sumptuous roast duck and homemade flan, it occurred to us that to date, we have failed to share with you one of the best culinary values for your dollar. Mind you, although we had heard about the menu of the day upon our arrival to Spain, we continued to order off the normal menu until it dawned […]

Planeta Vino: A Unique Multilingual Spanish Wine School in Madrid

Way back in the day, when Ryan and I were living in Madrid, we had befriended Mary O’Conners, director and co-owner of Planeta Vino. Tall, sassy and determined, she’s an ex American Air Force officer that imbues a  presence not to be recognized with, especially when it comes to Spanish wine. Mary is WSET certified and is a member of both the Union Española de Catadores (Spanish Wine-tasting Association) and the American Society of Wine Educators. She and her husband, Miguel, became fast friends, people for whom we could share not only our passion for wine and food, but also as Americans with businesses dedicated to Spanish wine. And trust me, there aren’t many of us in Spain. Today, Planeta […]