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Tag Archives: port wine

Taberna da Esquina: A collision of quaint and cozy cuisine

The day was cold and windy as I waddled down the Leça da Palmeira coast deep in conversation with friend over the intense difference in weather between Barcelona and Porto. Seven and half months pregnant, my dress barely draped below my belly as the wind whipped my skirt high in the air bastardizing everything Marilene Monroe stood for. Cold and annoyed that my attire failed to adequately cover me even in the lightest of breezes , I whimpered my desire to find a cozy nook to bury my maladjusted state. “I know a fabulous little spot just near here! You’ll love it! Super cozy and cute, you’ll fall in love!” she bubbled. Tripping over cobblestone for the umpteenth time, incapable of […]

A Tale of Two Portuguese Regions: Douro & Serra da Estrela Are Calling Part II

Editor’s Note: In Part I, Sonia visited some of the Douro’s enchanting wine-producing villages, took in prehistoric art at the Coa Museum with wine glass in hand, savored the rustic flavors of the Beira Interior at O Lagar, and was nearly run over by a pickup truck packed with shouting, shirtless men in the historic village of Castelo Rodrigo. Her Douro e Estrela – In Tourism journey continues … and ends with a Portonic. The itinerary our group had been handed couldn’t have seemed more deceiving at that very moment. In its description of Castelo Rodrigo, it noted the ancient village’s tranquil streets. Perhaps on most days—but certainly not when we visited. The silence was disrupted by a band of shouting, shirtless men packed […]

A Tale of Two Portuguese Regions: Douro and Serra da Estrela Are Calling

Editor’s Note: Invited by the Douro e Estrela – In Tourism  project, our Catavino contributor Sonia Nolasco spent five days in June traveling through the Douro Valley and the Serra da Estrela region’s Beira Interior. Sonia gorged at countless gastronomical feasts, imbibed great quantities of wine, and checked out hunky, shirtless Portuguese men on her trip—all for the sake of bringing you this two-part report. Enjoy! Imagine traveling about an hour through pitch black darkness, going to sleep not quite sure where you are at the moment—only to find yourself a few hours later waking up to the beauty in the picture above. That’s not likely how I would’ve planned it, but in the end that’s part of what made the […]

Schist: A Cultural Staple in the Douro Valley and Beyond

Editor’s Note: Fiona Lynch and her husband Jonathan, two passionate geologists, moved from Scotland to the Lima Valley in the Minho region in Portugal. We’re very appreciative of their willingness to share their experience, and hope this will be one of many we can expect from them in the future. Like most of northern Portugal, the geology of the Minho region is dominated by granite rocks. Rolling hills with massive round boulders cluster around peaks or are strewn about slopes and sandy river banks in the valleys. Every now and again, on my hikes through the forests or along the country lanes, I come across a ragged twist of dark orange schist called xisto. This thinly layered rock, ranging in […]

Value wine: I do not think it means what you think it means.

I was at a tasting a few days ago in Porto where the presenter pointed out at the beginning of their talk that they wanted to focus on “value wines”. However, he then continued by saying that, with regret, while that was the goal, he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He felt that he needed to show some wines at higher price points instead to show what Portuguese wines were really capable of. When I heard this I was a bit shocked. It reminded me of a scene from what is possibly one of the greatest films ever made, The Princess Bride. Throughout a series of challenges, the ‘mastermind’ Vizzini keeps repeating the word “Inconceivable” until eventually, the […]

Final Thoughts on the Douro and Portuguese Wine

From the moment I first visited Porto in the winter of 2003 I have been in love with this city. I’m not entirely sure what grabbed me, but whatever it was, it’s never let go. Sitting in my room at the Yeatman Hotel, overlooking the Douro river and the colorful hillside of Porto’s historic center, I feel incredibly fortunate to be here. The people are friendly and welcoming. The food is diverse and exciting. And the downtown is undergoing a revival, where new shops, restaurants and hotels are popping up like mushrooms after the fall rain, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Rain can be absolutely magical, especially when the river sparkles from little pitter-patters of gentle drops; but […]

Hotel Profile: The Yeatman, Oporto, Portugal

One look at the stunning decanter-shaped swimming pool (named one of the “12 Head-Turning Infinity Pools” by Condé Nast Traveler), is the first clue that the Yeatman hotel in Oporto, Portugal, is quite partial to wine! The Yeatman, a Relais & Chateaux member, is the country’s first luxury Wine & Gastronomy Hotel, featuring the largest collection of Portuguese wines in the world. Nestled on a hillside amongst the Port lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia, each of the 67 guest rooms offers sweeping views of the Douro River and the picturesque city of Oporto. The location is steeped in the history and tradition of the port trade which has thrived there for over 300 years.  The goal of the hotel, […]

Douro Wines and Portuguese Food: The Perfect Pairings

With the plentiful information we’ve provided about Port and Douro wines, and the beautiful area they originate from this November, hopefully you’re itching to put together the perfect wine trip to the Douro Valley. Lists of the wineries you’re dying to visit are being rapidly typed up. Maps are strewed across your kitchen table. And perhaps you’ve even stumbled upon the perfect location for your eno-tourism accommodation. The only element you may be missing is, what to eat on this fabulous whirlwind tour. Many are familiar with the dishes in your neck of the woods that pair well with Port and Douro wines, but probably few are knowledgeable ast to the types of traditional foods that the Portuguese (especially the Douro locals) like to […]

Part II: Interview with Roy Hersh of FTLOP – Douro & Port Wines

Editor’s Note: Following up our previous interview with Roy Hersh, creator of “The Love of Port”, we’ll tackle the American perspective towards Port wine. Go here to read Part I. The question we posited to Roy was: When you’re in the USA, what is today’s average wine consumer’s attitude towards the Douro table wines and Port wines? How has it changed in the past 10 years? Those are two very different questions. Let’s take Port and Douro wines one at a time to simplify this. Port is easier, only because Americans for the most part, really started to become familiar with Port in the mid-1990′s, with the emergence of the 1994 vintage in particular. Of course it’s a sweeping generalization, but please […]

Part 1: Interview with Roy Hersh of FTLOP – Portuguese Culture

Editor’s Note: Fortified guru Roy Hersh has been a dear friend of ours for many years. “For the Love of Port” grown tremendously since day one, attracting loyal readers spanning the globe as result of his passion, expertise and desire to share his newfound treasures.  Hence, whenever a question about Portuguese fortified wine stumbles across our keyboards, we quickly turn to Roy. Today, he will give us his perspective on a few undiscovered culinary and vinous treats, followed in a second article on the current state of Port in North America. Thank you Roy for your time! #1: It’s been awhile since we talked about FTLOP, how has it developed? What are you most proud of? FTLOP continues to evolve […]