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: Minnesota

Portuguese Wine Invasion – Midwest Tour

For years, we’ve spoken of our adoration of Portugal; but since our move, we’ve been shocked by the number of people who are unaware of its existence. This becomes even more profound when we head back to the States and realize that very few of my wine geek friends are familiar with Portuguese wine beyond Port. Hear this enough and your heart gets heavy. Understandably, you want people to know about Portugal. You want people to have the same joy and elation you have. We quickly realized that although we couldn’t buy every one of our close friends a ticket to Portugal, we could potentially, bring Portugal to them. With this in mind, we noticed that there were a few […]

Ancient Cellars – Selfless Thoughts for Future Generations

About six years ago I was very active over at eRobertParker. Back then, I had a very low subscriber number and enjoyed learning from people before the vitriol began to pour, eventually leading to the closing of the board. However, during my active days on the forum, I noticed something disturbing: people regularly talked about “drinking down” their cellars and stopping their purchasing of age-able wines when they reached a certain age. This, in turn, led me to write a post which conjured a little steam behind it, but never quite took off. That said, I think it’s a good post, and I’m eager to share it. I hope you will comment, letting us know if you feel whether this is truly a […]

Gone Gluttoning: Savoring International Cuisine in Minnesota

Watching the snowflakes fall slowly to the ground from a warm and cozy kitchen in Minnesota, we couldn’t be happier to finally be among friends and family. A year away from home is a little torturous, in part, because our hot dish consumption goes down radically. Plus, we tend to go a little stir crazy without our annual dose of spicy chicken wings with gobs of blue cheese and a cold beer. Sure, it may not beat an evening of tapas paired with a bone dry Fino, but as Midwesterners, we need to restock on our ancestral cuisine. That said, we want to wish you all a very Happy Holiday season, filled with amazing wines, comfort food and the warm […]

Lusco Albariño 2006 – Aging Whites is a Matter of Choice

One of the most common questions I received when working retail in Minnesota was, “Can this wine age?”. For whatever reason, Americans have an obsession with aging their wines. Maybe it’s the youthfulness of the nation? Maybe it’s our fascination with ancient European history? Or maybe, it’s just the dream that one day we’ll wake up to a forgotten 10 year old bottle that has tripled in value leading to an easy retirement. Either way it’s an obsession. I can’t say that I have completely shed this cultural baggage myself. I do appreciate the beauty and subtly of an aged wine. With the opportunity to taste older bottles on a more regular basis, I find I enjoy a bit of […]

A Minor Dream Fulfilled – Dinner with the Quadys

Some people know that I have a minor obsession with Vermouth. It started in Minnesota when I was on a quest to find the ideal Manhattan. I knew that for this drink to make sense, I had to find the ideal blend of high quality ingredients with proportions that balanced flavor, texture, and temperature. This personal quest is what eventually led to a California produced Vermouth called, Vya. I fought with my distributor for 2-3 months to bring it into Minnesota, as it was discontinued, and they were iffy on its quality. But after pounding my head against the wall for what seemed like an eternity, I succeeded, and the perfect Manhattan was born – or so my lush friends […]

Catavino Wishes You a Very Merry Iberian/Minne(snowtan) Christmas!

“Aunt Gabby”, whispered my eight year old niece into my ear while decorating the Christmas tree, “are we Christian?” “Well, it depends how you define Christian”, I responded. “We tend to be more spiritual than Christian.” “But we’re definitely not Jewish, right?” she questioned quizzically, her right eyebrow slowly rising in curiosity. “Again, I would say that our family is more spiritual, rather than Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist, since we tend to focus on one another, rather than on a particular set of religious rules or norms,” I responded. “But only Christians celebrate Christmas. So we must be Christians.” Taking a moment to consider how to respond, I took a deep breath and said, “Ironically, many people of all […]

A Very Non Iberian Wine: S.Anderson 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon

Last month, while at the London International Wine Fair, we had brought a few bottles from Spain to share with our hosts. We always like to bring wines from our cellar, wherever we travel, knowing that we’ll magically find the need to open them among friends. This trip we opted for a California treat, S.Anderson’s 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that I had bought many years ago on the advice of a nice Parker review. Having never tried it, we could only hope that a 10 year old Cali Cab would be a fun warm up to whatever wines were in store for us at the LIWF. During dinner of our first night in London, we popped open the bottle, […]

A Series of Wine Thoughts From My Time in Minnesota

Ok, jetlag is done, culture shock is mitigated, and my life is starting to get back to its crazy usual self. I’ve inoculated my system with some fresh Iberian wines and assorted tapas. So what happened in Minnesota you may ask? Well a lot. One wedding, one 60th birthday party and at least 4 wine filled dinners. So rather than give you a play by play, I’ll bullet point some of the highlights and ask you a few questions, or rather, state some observations from the visit. Jason Kallsen, the man behind the World Class Wines Blog, invited me to talk about blogging and Iberian wine on the second night I was in town! Thankfully, it was a great success. […]

Welcome Star Tribune Readers to Catavino, Our Humble Iberian Home!

Gabriella and Ryan would like to welcome all of you who read the recently published article in the Star Tribune, our hometown paper from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bill Ward, the Star Tribune’s wine and food writer, was kind enough to meet with Ryan, while sending some additional questions to Gabriella, in order to profile our entertaining and unexpected journey. Having just read the article, we feel that Bill did a great job overall, and despite some left out content and a few errors (such as the word el enchufe being misspelled as el enfouche), we’re ecstatic to have all of you join us from the Twin Cities. That said, we’d like to personally introduce ourselves and direct you to some of […]

Summer Setup at Catavino

On the Train to Valencia! As I write, we are heading down south to the warm, sunny beaches of Valencia. We’ll be visiting with a few key people from the wine tourism industry along with a new client, who is just starting out in the world of exports. Interestingly, they own one of the largest nursery’s for vines in Spain; hence, it will be fun to see how they are grown and prepared for the vineyards. Beyond all of this, we have a tasting with an old friend whose book we reviewed here a few months ago. We’re both excited to be able to come down here after many months away to taste new wines, as Valencia really is one […]