This is an indispensable tool for those who want to follow, in English, what really goes on in the world of Spanish and Portuguese wines – lively, informative and, most important, first-hand, on-the-scene knowledge!
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Tag Archives: portuguese wine

Three Dynamic Female Portuguese Winemakers

Portugal might be on its knees economically, but the wine industry is going from strength to strength. Exports are growing quietly (between 5-10% per year over the last decade), and the country is beginning to escape the shackles of being seen only as a value producer. I’m not talking about Port, which has its own long-established market and following, but rather about “still” or non-fortified wines. Portugal was known for knocking out large quantities of “rustic” fare in decades gone by, but this started to change in 1986. Accession to the EU was a watershed which split apart the old cooperatives and saw the emergence of smaller, more quality-lead wineries. Not surprisingly for a country which is relatively new to […]

The Lush Green Parks and Gardens of Porto, Portugal

There are few cities in the world that are internationally known for their parks. Off the top of my head, I can think of Central Park in New York City, Parc Guell in Barcelona, Stanley Park in Vancouver, Griffith Park in Los Angeles, Lincoln Park in Chicago and Monsanto Park in Lisbon, but never once has anyone boasted of the rich, green paradises of Porto. Never has anyone sat down with me and said, “Hey Gabriella, make sure you squirrel away some time to see some of the most delicious gardens, incredible vistas or panoply of birds that grace our city parks!” As a lover of all things leafy, I’m amazed that this nugget of information is kept secret, and […]

The History of the Egg In Portugal: Why Portugese Cuisine Can’t Live Without It

If you ask the Portuguese, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I would place my bet on the egg. Ovos are found throughout Portuguese cuisine. They’re poached in soups and açordas; fried on top of steaks, alheiras and francesinhas; boiled with fish and mixed into many of their beloved bacalhau dishes; and beaten with sugar and cinnamon in numerous desserts and sweets. Even the Portuguese chicken soup- canja, traditionally includes the boiled yolks of the un-laid eggs still left inside the chicken after its killed! So why does the egg seem to symbolize as much “à portuguesa” as their national anthem in their culture? Where did this love for eggs originate?    This was the question I set out […]

Friday Feature Photo: Herdade do Esporão, Portugal

Photographer: Ricardo Bernardo Capture Date: May 26, 2012 Location: Herdade do Esporão, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Portugal About: Table set in Herdade do Esporão’s recently renovated restaurant in the Alentejo.  Between the lagoon, and the table, young vines from this charismatic Alentejo wine producer can be seen. Desktop Wallpaper: To download this image, simply right-click on the image and select “save link as” or “save target as”, then select the preferred location on your computer to save the photo. Purchase: Please contact us directly if you’re keen to purchase any of Catavino Friday Photo images. Note that the images are not to be reposted on any web site or blog without the express permission of the photographer.

Simplesmente Vinho: Celebrating natural wine in Portugal

Last year, Catavino attended the premiere of Simplesmente Vinho and had a fantastic time. We were surprised by the off-the-cuff tasting that resulted in a group of “wine geeks” joining together in a cave, literally, on the Cais de Ribeira for a small producer tasting. Thankfully, it was a huge success and has returned for round two! As for us, we’ve decided to bring in a natural wine aficionado, Simon Woolf of The MorningClaret, Tim Atkin and Decanter, who has passionately taken on the challenge to dive into the lesser known side of Portuguese wines. In preparation, we’ve put together a short interview with cofounder, João Roseira. Enjoy and if you are near Porto please come on down! It promises […]

Taberna do Largo: A Personal Tribute to Courageous Women

Taberna do Largo is an unassuming little wine bar nestled in the historic district of Porto; which approximately a year ago, I ducked in when taking refuge from the freezing rain. Music gently played over the speakers, the candles flickered on the tables in the back and a sweet young woman with a soft Portuguese accent whispered across the bar, “If you need help choosing something to drink or eat, just ask.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had just met Teresa, one of the three lovely muses that owned Taberna do Largo. Blowing a thick lock of hair out of her face, she smiled and pointed to a table in the back. “Feel free to sit […]

Lisbon is for Lovers: The Perfect Romantic Getaway!

There are several European cities known for their Old-World romance, sprinkled in fairy dust and history. Take a leisurely walk past ancient architecture, beautiful promenades and cozy little cafés humming with live music and you’ll feel transported back in time. And there is no better place to experience this romance than Lisbon! Lisbon is unique for star-crossed lovers because it’s just a short train-ride away from the stunningly beautiful, hilltop city of Sintra. This UNESCO World Heritage site paints the perfect fairytale romance filled with castles, palaces, decadent manor houses with flowery landscaped gardens, and winding cobblestone streets and alleyways that make this city charming. Both Sintra and Lisbon have their fill of beautiful views, delicious sweets and pretty gardens so either […]

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 […]

Friday Featured Photo: The Waters of Setúbal, Portugal

Photographer: Gabriella Opaz Capture Date: May 2, 2013 Location: Setubal, Portugal About: With the summer’s light slowly waning into a peaceful calm, I sat along the water and drank in the colors. A slight breeze brushed across my shins as I wrapped my ever so tight jacket across my then heaving pregnant belly. Butterflies occasionally fluttered past my shoulder, a wee fish raised a silent splash just below my feet, the flowers behind me waved a sweet hello as they danced back and forth in the wind. Setúbal…a stunning region in Portugal, famous for its vibrant fishing industry, dolphin colony, golden white beaches and lush natural parks, and of course, its fortified Moscatel wine. A worthy visit if you’ve never […]

An incredible Porto dining experience at DOP by Rui Paula

If you are visiting Porto, make sure to plan an evening of dining pleasure at Rui Paula’s DOP restaurant for stunning food and wine and the modern face of Portuguese gastronomic culture. Rui Paula is a name that any visitor to the Douro should be familiar with. Self-taught Chef Rui Paula is the name behind DOC, the very successful gastronomic destination housed on a pier (unfortunately for the pun, not a dock) sitting on the Douro River itself on the main road between Régua and Pinhao. DOC is a must-visit destination offering fantastic views, food, service and wines. DOC established Rui Paula’s reputation not only for quality, but also as an inventive chef whose creations are beautiful without being outlandish, […]