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Victor de la Serna

Tag Archives: Penedés

NV Rimarts Brut Reserva and DO Cava’s New Image

At the end of March, we threw a little shindig for Ryan on his birthday consisting of wine, mounds of grilled butifarra and dozen friends. And with the appropriate social graces, many of our friends came bearing gifts, all looking distinctly similar to a bottle of wine. Clearly, they had been well versed in the ways of gift giving for an uber-wine geek! The Rimarts Brut Reserva from Sant Sadurni d’Anoia is one of Ryan’s birthday bottles which has been sitting patiently in the refrigerator just waiting for the right moment to be uncorked. And today just happens to be the lucky day as new friends for the States have been invited for a traditional Catavino Cookout on our terrace […]

WBW 45 – Old World Reisling

Today, I have a treat for myself. I need a treat. It’s been one of those weeks that leaves you wondering why you even bother going to bed, since you’ll be up at back at work the minute you wake up again. Recently, my days have started to feel drawn out and full of ups and downs, and to be honest, I really didn’t want to participate in this month’s Wine Blog Wednesday even though the theme, Old World Reisling, is something I truly adore. I just don’t have the energy, but then I decided to change my attitude to become a little more relaxed and calm. The reason I love Old World Reisling is for one simple reason, or […]

Varietally Incorrect

As a wine geek/wine blogger/wino, one of the questions I often get from my non-geek friends is what I mean when I say a wine is “varietally correct”. It often comes up when someone brings over a wine to our house that they wish our opinion on. Often times the wine is perfect for enjoying in one another’s company, yet nothing to make me jump up and down with vinous joy! I often will, out of habit, mention that the wine is varietally correct when it’s a single varietal bottling, such as a Garnacha from the Priorat. If I mention the varietal correctness, I’m referring to the fact that the wine exhibits all the characteristics of a Garnacha made in […]

What’s Under that Tinfoil Anyway? History of the Cava Placa or Chapa

I assume that you’ve never paid attention to the top of your cava bottle before, typically tossing them in the garbage without a second thought, but if you have one lying around, take a peak at it. This may require you to remove the foil neatly decorating the bottle, but it’s worth it. What do you see? If the winery takes that extra step in their cava production, you more than likely will see a little picture or logo on the top of the cap. Called a “placa” in Catalan, these little caps are notorious for magically disappearing at any cava festival throughout the Penedes. As you walk from stand to stand, you notice tiny hands slowly creep around your […]

Who’s Crowned the Cava Guru and What Should I Know about Cava Wine?

For those of you just tuning in, last week, we asked you to participate in a Cava Wine Quiz! 13 questions were posed to those brave enough to press “T” for true and “F” for false. Tough, we know, but we enticed you into participating by offering a Free Catavino T-shirt. Did I mention, FREE? Thick and warm, it’s the perfect t-shirt to to drink cava in, re-gift to a friend, use as a wine glass cleaner…the possibilities are truly endless. Today, Catavino promised to announce the grand winner of our Official Cava Wine Quiz, but strangely enough, we’ve drawn a tie. Of the handful of people who casted their votes, at least two answered 10 of the 13 questions […]

Winter Announces the Traditional Calçot and Cava Festival

Live in Cataluña for any length of time, and inevitably, you’ll experience a Calçotada. What’s a Calçotada? Well, I can tell you that it’s not a Catalan dance, a side-splitting headache, or a type of monster that hides under the bed and eats small children. Nope. It’s an enormous sweet onion festival! Each year when the boughs of the almond trees are thick with delicate pink blossoms, the calçot season, lasting only six weeks, gets into full swing. Calçots (pronounced kalsot), a cross between leeks and spring onions, are considered as integral of an ingredient within the Catalan culture as is butifarra (Catalan sausage) and tomatoes spread over toasted baguette drizzled with olive oil and garlic. In appearance, they are […]

Quiz! 13 Facts about Cava Wine

Yesterday, we traveled two hours due west by train to Villafranca del Penedes, where met with the regulating council of Cava in order to provide you the nitty gritty on what does and does not constitute a Cava wine. However, in light of our meeting, we quickly realized that Cava is not as simple of a definition as you might imagine, nor are the responsibilities of the regulating body as obvious as you might think. Therefore, rather than provide you with a long diatribe about Cava wine, we thought you might enjoy a little test to see how much you truly understand about Cava wine. The game is called (insert deep echoey voice followed by a sinister laugh), Fact or […]

Sameness in Wine – Quit Whining and Start Exploring

This month, we’re focusing on Cava with the intent of exploring a style of sparkling wine that often takes a backseat to Champagne during the holiday season. To me this fact is understandable, and for me personally, this isn’t indicative of something negative for Spain wine mainly because I’ve always loved the underdog. As a kid, I often found that when my local sports team was doing well I drifted off and paid less attention. Maybe, I’m just a fan of drama, or merely a masochist. But for me, the upward struggle from nothing, or the fight against an established norm, has always been appealing. Ask my parents. They’ll attest to my non-conformity, and probably, will go on to tell […]

The Mainstay of Cava Wine: Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel.lo

Well, we could begin with the obvious, bubbles! Bubbles are fun. They’re playful. And they make every occasion just a touch more festive and cheerful. Each time you’re poured a glass of Cava, you can’t help but find yourself entranced by their journey from the bottom to the top of your flute, eager to escape and share their rather addictive aromas of toast, cream, almonds, green apple, peach, etc. etc. etc. Sigh, it’s nine-thirty in the morning and just by reminiscing on how wonderful this drink is, I’m tempted to pop a bottle and drink while writing. Fortunately, in the crowd that tends to read our blog, I would eagerly supported in my decision. Come to think of it, I […]

The End of Port and the Beginning of Cava

Hah! How about these photos to wake you out of your lazy Monday slumber! Makes you think twice before making a big toothy grin at someone after drinking a few glasses of port, doesn’t it? Ahhh, but it’s worth it. If you should find yourself with a purple tongue from firm tannins completely saturated in inky, dark colors, we encourage you to smile; because hopefully, you’ve just drank the nectar of the Gods. Over the month of November, we’ve had an incredible experience learning about the history, the culture, the winemaking practices and the various different styles of port such as ruby, tawny, vintage, LVB and Colheita. We also had an opportunity to discover two very different Port houses: Sandman […]