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Tag Archives: Recreation

Part 2: Cutting up the Iberian Pig

WARNING: This post is extremely graphic; however, it does depict the very real act of processing an Iberian pig after the Matanza(Killing). If you are someone who is an animal lover, or gets squeemish at the site of bodily fluids, we might suggest you skip this article and await happier articles of drinking wine by the sea. Please read part 1 here: La Matanza if you want better context to this story.   Part 2: Cutting up a pig Now that the dead pig has been cleaned and prepared, the fun begins. Before the massive corpse is transported a few hundred metres to a shed to be butchered, Luis and I hold a rear leg each while Alvaro takes a knife and slices down […]

Senseless Crime: A Priorat Winery is Hit with Vandalism

Not an hour ago, Catalan blogger, Joan Gomez Pallares of Devinis requested that we hit the internets with an important Press Release. Normally, we’re not ones to republish PR’s verbatim, but in this case, we feel you should hear it directly from the winery itself. We tried to call the winery, Terroir al Limit, for a statement but no one answered, understandably so. Also keep in mind that although petty crime is common in Spain, we rarely hear of vandalism of this nature – or of violent crime at all – and are truly saddened for the winery, extending our deepest sympathies. If you would like to contact the winery directly for more information, just head over to the the […]

Wines of Andalucia: On the Rise and Worthy of Far Greater Attention

I wish I was a winemaker, it seems such a wonderfully exciting, creative and honest thing to be. The skill and dedication required to make great wine beggars belief – the life consists of seriously hard work, but to the observer it seems attractive – idyllic even. Whenever I hear about mavericks who create little wine estates in particularly beautiful and romantic places, I am drawn into daydreaming about having my own vineyard – who knows, one day I just might, but I would need a good dollop of more technical knowledge first. Recently whole areas of Spain that I had previously written off as unlikely and unheard of wine regions have been opening up before me and they have […]

Dominio de Sexmil: A Rising Star in Tierra del Vino de Zamora

Tierra del Vino (do not confuse this with Vino de la Tierra) is yet another small region pretty well overlooked by the wine world. Its full and correct name is Tierra del Vino de Zamora but everyone who lives within its borders calls it Tierra del Vino (land of wine). There are regular discussions over large dinners, frequently brought up by those who have a handle on the notion of marketing, as to why the appellation was not called, simply, Zamora. These are often-repeated, never settled debates, that almost always end with an authoritarian voice saying ‘this has always been Tierra del Vino’. That settles it. (Flickr photo by migturrado) The land of this appellation – or more correctly, Denominacion […]

Resolutions and Rewards: How to Preserve that Gorgeous Iberian Wine for Yet Another Evening?

January typically sees hordes of grown-ups and semi-grown-ups persuading themselves to ‘give something up’. Normally, in the case of grown-ups and wine lovers, this means going on the wagon for the month in a vain attempt to persuade themselves that they are not beholden to the bottle and that they are ‘being healthy’. Come February (in the Northern hemisphere), the winter has shown no sign of abating – despite the empty promise of longer days – and everyone is back off the wagon, on foot, drinking ‘winter warmers’ like a naughty Shiraz or a cockle-warming Côte-Rôtie. By March, we’re back into the swing of things and the rest of the year follows the year before that, like some endless Bacchanalian […]

Gone Gluttoning: Savoring International Cuisine in Minnesota

Watching the snowflakes fall slowly to the ground from a warm and cozy kitchen in Minnesota, we couldn’t be happier to finally be among friends and family. A year away from home is a little torturous, in part, because our hot dish consumption goes down radically. Plus, we tend to go a little stir crazy without our annual dose of spicy chicken wings with gobs of blue cheese and a cold beer. Sure, it may not beat an evening of tapas paired with a bone dry Fino, but as Midwesterners, we need to restock on our ancestral cuisine. That said, we want to wish you all a very Happy Holiday season, filled with amazing wines, comfort food and the warm […]

Charity Should go Well Beyond the Wallet: Summary of the World Wine Tour 2010 in Iberia

Many months ago, Wink Lorch of the Wine Travel Guides, contacted us with a request: could we help two passionate wine lovers collect Iberian wines to be auctioned in Hong Kong, in order for the proceeds to go to a charity working to help underprivileged children in Laos? Normally, I would scream “yes” without blinking an eye; but admittedly, I was extraordinarily hesitant. Though Spain and Portugal are renowned for having several amazing characteristics, charity for those outside their physical borders is not one of them. Hence, the idea of organizing a 10+ day charity trip throughout Iberia with the full support of local wineries and governments was not only overwhelming, but completely out my realm of my experience. But […]

Mas Candi: Reinvigorating the Native Grapes of the Penedès

As we’ve boasted on many an occasion, the Penedes is an unlimited geyser of native grapes. From our beloved Xarel.lo, a white chameleon grape capable of displaying intense tropical fruit and mineral aromas, to Samso, a vivacious and precocious  red grape, the Penedes is a multifaceted palette of flavors. Yet, despite our undying support for this treasure trove of gorgeous fruit, it’s uncommon to find a winery equally dedicated to preserving its native resources. Over the years, wineries have eagerly ripped up their perfectly disorganized vineyards, chock full of native grapes, to plant internationally renowned grapes. Though varieties such as Chardonnay, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Gewurztraminer have crafted some impressive wines of both personality and quality in Spain, it […]

September 24th: We’ll Say Garnacha, You May Say Grenache, While Others Will Say…..

…Abundante, Aleante, Aleantedi Rivalto, Aleante Poggiarelli, Alicant Blau, Alicante, Alicante Grenache, Aragones, Bois Jaune, Cannonaddu, Cannonadu Nieddu, Cannonau, Cannonau Selvaggio, Canonazo, Carignane Rosso, Elegante, Francese, Gamay del Trasimeno, Garnaccho Negro, Garnacha Comun, Garnacha Negra, Garnacha Roja, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Pais, Gironet, Granaccia, Granaxa, Grenache Noir, Grenache Rouge, Kek Grenache, Lladoner, Mencida, Navaro, Navarra, Navarre de la Dordogne, Navarro, Negru Calvese, Ranconnat, Red Grenache, Redondal, Retagliadu Nieddu, Rivesaltes, Roussillon Tinto, Roussillon, Rouvaillard, Sans Pareil, Santa Maria de Alcantara, Tentillo, Tintella, Tintilla, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcarnero, Tocai Rosso, Toledana and Uva di Spagna. (Source Wikipedia) (photo credit: rayparnova) Here in Spain, this dark, inky grape is called, Garnacha or Garnatxa; and without much in the way of argument, we can […]

Virginia: A Corner of a Foreign Field that is Forever Spain

Last week I enjoyed a spectacular trip around the wineries and wine regions of Virginia. The state, or more correctly Commonwealth, is a beautiful place and the wine areas are largely dominated by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachians. Indeed Virginia is hot and humid – in the summer anyway, so quality grapes can really only thrive at the higher altitudes of the Blue Ridge, or near the ragged, Rias Baixas-like coastline of Chesapeake Bay. Most of the American wines that we are offered on this side of the Atlantic are made from a narrow range of Grape varieties; Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel with a few others thrown in to spice up the mix. Well Virginia […]