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Tag Archives: Oloroso

Spanish Oranges: The Delicious Backbone of the Mimosa

If you’ve lived in Spain for any stretch of time, you’ve most likely become mildly addicted to their vast array oranges, clementines and mandarins available in the cold, wet winter months. Sitting regally in our blue glazed fruit bowl is a small mountain of round orbs, packed with enough juice to satisfy the deepest of hunger pains for less than a euro. Each week from December to March, our local fruit vendor, Antonio, elicits his ever changing citrus goods with little prompts, “Gaby, you must try this”! Grabbing a freshly sliced orange from the counter, leaving a sweet puddle of its recent disembowelment, I slurp and sip my way around the rind. My face beamed in joy, as I felt […]

Part 2: Classical Music and Iberian Wine Pairings for Chamber Music

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series covering classical music and Iberian wine pairings by Burt Frink. To understand its origins, and why Burt felt a series was required on the subject, please read his first piece. I love the silence I share with myself and a glass of wine. Often, but certainly not always, I bring music into the experience. Invariably it is classical music. Why? It fits. One of the most suitable choices is the genre of Chamber Music. These are small ensembles of musicians playing with each other. Think about that for a moment. If you are a working musician (God forbid! Such a life.) you spend nearly all of your time suiting your […]

Palo Cortado, a Different Kind of Sherry

The WSET Diploma fortified wine exam was nailed down earlier this year. The next exam is sparkling wines so I have been sticking to the bubbly stuff since then. Not much else has made it through my front door, so just for a change, I thought I’d have a copa of sherry tonight. Something slightly unusual, a Palo Cortado. You might be wondering what a Palo Cortado is: Sherries are aged in one of two ways, oxidatively or biologically (read Catavino’s Sherry 101 to find out more about the different ageing methods). Some sherries start off ageing biologically and are then deliberately changed, by futher fortification, to oxidative ageing. These wines are generally called Amontillados. Exactly the same thing happens […]

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 – […]

Sherry at the London International Wine Fair (LIWF)

The first place to start a sherry tour at the London International Wine Fair is at the official stand. This year, the Sherry Institute had set up a long bar-style stand. Lined up along this bar were about 50 bottles, possibly more, of all styles and from many producers. I thought this made for a very fine sight! I wish there was a shop somewhere, where a range of sherries similar to this could be had… The Sherry Institute now has Graham Hines back at the helm. Graham used to run the Institute until its work was outsourced to a PR agency for a number of years. This switch back to Graham is fairly recent so he was not in a […]

The Pointy Hat Brigade: Holy Week in Southern Spain

When I first saw the pointy hats, it was slightly unnerving. For most people, the associations are obvious. Thankfully pointy hat wearing in Jerez started way before the Klan was formed, so nothing to do with each other apart from the style of hat. The pointy hat brigade, as my collegue likes to call them, comes out during Holy Week (called Semana Santa in Spanish). The Holy Week procession is a tradition which seems to have developed in southern Spain, Seville, Malaga and Jerez in particular, but has spread to other parts of the Hispanic world. I’m told Holy Week trumps Christmas in the holiness stakes. Not being a Roman Catholic, my understanding of all the meaning and significance is […]

Bodegas Tradicion: Keeping the Best Traditions Alive

Editors Note: Our Correspondent Justin Roberts had the chance to do something both Gabriella and I wish we could have. Living in Jerez, he made a quick trip over to Bodegas Tradicion to give you a bit more background on this intersting winery that we talked about a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy. You don’t usually find an art gallery inside a sherry bodega, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Bodegas Tradicion. In 1998 this small bodega was set up by a Spanish property magnate and in a special gallery alongside the sherry he likes to rotate part of his large collection of paintings. On the day I visited these included the striking oil on copper called “Bandolero Torero” […]

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 […]

My name is Brandy and I come from Jerez

Things have been pretty chilly here in Jerez, with record low temperatures in recent days. There has been snow all over Spain, even in places that don’t often get it. One way I like to fight the cold is with a little nip of something strong. I used to be quite fond of a shot or two of single-malt Scotch Whisky. I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but in the UK Spanish brandy usually equates in peoples’ minds with cheap and probably fairly nasty. Something not to be drunk without a mixer; an barely palatable alcohol-delivery mechanism. I have to admit, that is what I used to think, however, since moving to Jerez nearly 4 years ago […]

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 […]