This is an indispensable tool for those who want to follow, in English, what really goes on in the world of Spanish and Portuguese wines – lively, informative and, most important, first-hand, on-the-scene knowledge!
Victor de la Serna http://elmundovino.elmundo.es

Tag Archives: manzanilla

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 […]

The Manzanilla of the North

OK, if you’re wondering about the title, then that’s what they call Old Pulteney, and if you’re still wondering, keep reading. On a trip to Scotland last week to meet my new nephew I could not pass up on a visit to a whisky distillery. Scotch and Sherry have strong connections on two levels going back many years – centuries even – so this post is not exactly off-piste for an Iberian wine blog. You can still see names painted on the sides of Sherry bodegas, which have a decidedly Scottish air. In El Puerto de Santa Maria it’s possible to sip a glass of Fino at the Grant bodega most Saturdays just after midday and until recently opposite the […]

Part 2: The Best Wine and Tapas Bars in Madrid

Editor’s Note: Although you might imagine that two food lovers would have very similar jaunts where they savor mouthwatering bite-sized tapas, but with over 20,000 bars in Madrid, variety is easy to encounter. Adrienne Smith, author of A Gastronomican in Madrid,  is a self proclaimed: “former restaurant owner, sommelier, dubber, translator, writer, convincing at accents, prolific exaggerator, despicable speller, and former appallingly poor English teacher”, and joins us today to give us her take on fantastic spots to frequent in Madrid. (All locations are listed on the Catavino Map of Spain) As far as must-have tapa places are concerned in Madrid, the best I can do would be to give you a list of some of my favorites in terms […]

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 Racks, Judging Blogs and an Anti-Oak Rant??

This weekend, we built a wine rack. When we first moved to Terrassa almost 3 years ago, we were regularly lacking in wine as a result of less income, less samples and less travel. Consequently, we never had a formal wine rack. But when you change any one of these factors, you end up with a lot more wine. Now imagine if you changed all three like we have?! We not only needed to figure out where to store it all, but also how to inventory it. I still have most of my cellar in Cellartracker, though I quit putting in my tasting notes. I like Snooth and Adegga as well, but they both need better cellar management for me […]

Perfect Summer Combination: Manzanilla and Gazpacho!

Officially, we are melting into the Catalunyan soil. Temperatures have risen up to 94 degrees F, which may not be that hot many of you suffering in 100+ degree temperatures, but after 2 months of rain and chilly temperatures, this seems like a sauna to us poor folk. Yet, despite the toasty weather, its exciting to finally ring in the season with our first bottle of Manzanilla. La Bota De Manzanilla #8 Las Cañas, by Equipo Navaras, is from the oldest Manzanilla in the house of M. Sanchez Ayala, situated in the Barrio de la Balsa in Sanlucar de Barrameda. This much I know to be accurate, but if you look at the bottle, listing the number “8″ and Las […]

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, […]