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Tag Archives: Montsant

Red Grape Varieties of the Mediterranean Deserving More Attention

Ever wondered why the same small bunch of grape varieties bobs up so frequently from wine regions around the world? There are many hundreds of different grapes out there, but only a small handful of them have managed to become widely grown and internationally known. Mostly grapes have to settle for limited local fame on their home turf. As far as red wines and black grapes are concerned the core range of grapes grown worldwide is really only Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir. I know some of you will take issue and say that I have ignored Malbec, Zinfandel or Pinotage – or something else that is dear to your heart, but really apart from the four I […]

Respite During the Storm: Catavino’s 2nd National Geographic Expedition

Some of you might remember last year, when we took part in a portion of a Lindblad Expedition from the north coast of Spain around the coast of Galicia to Porto, and finally disembarking in Lisbon. 5 days and nights filled with food, wine, culture and lazing on a boat ship, with fine seas and sunny skys. Obviously, our experience carved out much of our expectations for this year’s trip, but little did we know that the seas can turn for the worst. This year, fall weather brought with it a considerable amount of rain, which create “swells” – a word that has zero relationship to a happy, “swell” of a time. With Gabriella looking a fine shade of pea […]

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 […]

DO Montsant Cuisine and Food Culture – Where to Go and What to Eat

When you ask people what Montsant has to offer beyond wine, you tend to get a very standard group of answers that only vary in the order they are received: almonds, olives, olive oil and hazelnuts. The logic being that the land is so harsh and rugged, with only a few lizards spotting the landscape, nothing other than a few durable and resilient trees can successfully survive in this climate. That said, amazing olive oils, flavorful nuts and diverse and interesting wines blend together in a perfect harmony of flavors within the DO of Montsant. Falset, the capital of the region of Montsant, is only 20 miles from the main seaside city of Tarragona, and therefore, benefits from a culture […]

The Spanish Arbequina Olive from DO Montsant: Storing, Serving and Tasting Olive Oil

A few years back, while staying at the Perxe casa rural in La Molina, we were privy to taste our very first Montsant olive oil made from the  Arbequine olive. Sitting at a large wooden table with a loaf of bread, we dipped into the brilliant light jade colored oil, and as we brought the bread to our lips, the overwhelming scent of freshly cut grass filled our heads. The taste was peppery and sweet with a lovely herbal finish that lingered for ages on our tongues. “What is this?!” we asked enthusiastically of our smiling host. “Olive oil produced in the area and made with the native Arbequina olive”, she replied with a slight sigh, a question we knew […]

Kosher Wine in Spain: The Spirituality of Wine in Montsant

In the past 4+ years living in Spain, I’ve seen my fair share of Spanish and Portuguese wineries. From old, rancid smelling and spiderweb infested bodegas making drop dead gorgeous wines to sleek and modern wineries who couldn’t make a decent bottle of wine if their life depended on it, my experiences have been vast and memorable. But never in my life have I ever experienced a time when I walked into a winery making Kosher wine and was told, in a manner of speaking, “I’m sorry, but you can’t actually see the wine, both because you are impure as a non Sabbath-observant Jew and because you’re a woman.” Gives you a moment of pause doesn’t it? My following thought […]

Does a Perfect Wine Glass Exist for an Iberian Wine, Or at Least a Montsant Wine?

Yesterday, I had the very  rare opportunity to attend my first wine glass tasting hosted by DO Montsant and  George Riedel of the legendary Riedel glass company. And despite the inference that I spent my morning licking a series of wine glasses, the truth, albeit slightly less exotic, was equally as entertaining. As we have discussed with you in our previous article, we have recently learned that Montsant wines are very unique in their style. High in both acidity and tannin, which expresses their beautiful earthy, dark fruit and mineral composition, these wines generally call for a larger wine glass. But like many wine regions, DO Montsant was seeking for the “perfect” glass to fully express their wines. But how […]

Assumptions versus Reality: What is DO Montsant

This past weekend was a whirlwind of activity for Catavino, as we shot about the wine region of Montsant for 3 days of intense wine tasting and sightseeing. It was approximately 4 years ago when we first visited Montsant, and having only made handful of trips back to the region over the years, we were both shocked by how much we learned this time around, not to mention how much wine its possible to taste in such a short period of time! Our goal was simply to immerse ourselves, and with the exception of one wine from the Priorat, we drank Montsant, breathed Montsant and nibbled on many delicious treats from Montsant. One might even go so far as to […]

Last Day of Catavino’s Stay in D.O. Montsant

Sitting under a 100+ year old pine tree at Mas Figueres Hotel, drinking fresh squeezed orange juice, while nibbling on jamon iberico, lomo, fuet, triangular sliced of manchego cheese, fruit plucked from orchards located not 50 meters away, and a small freshly baked apple pastry – life couldn’t be better. Where we’re located in Montsant, in the south end of the small croissant shaped wine region, is surrounded by forests of pine trees, limestone rock faces, and of course, miles upon miles of vines. Today will conclude the last day of our Montsant stay, having spent 3 days visiting approximately 10 wineries, tasted well over 60+ wines, met with over a dozen winemakers, and have enjoyed a beautiful, albeit curvy, […]

Catavino Heads to DO Montsant for Another Regional Report!

What is a regional report? Well, it’s as detailed and comprehensive as your yearly physical, only a hell of a lot more fun! We create a website dedicated to a specific region and pack it full of information. Articles you’ll encounter generally include: typical grape varietals, winemaking trends, interviews with winemakers, tasting notes, culinary history and tradition, places to stay and enough photos to create your own coffee table book. In short, our intention is to answer any and all questions you have on a given region. And as the title of this post has already disclosed, we’re heading to DO Montsant this Thursday where we’ll spend 3 days and 2 nights visiting approximately a dozen+ bodegas, a half dozen […]