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Tag Archives: Spanish wines

La Vuelta a España Stages 5-9: Bullas, Jumilla, Yecla, Valencia & Alicante

Before we begin, we need to state that this is a VERY large region and what follows, in the name of brevity, is a fleeting glimpse at the regions treasures and high points. Therefore, we highly suggest you check out the links below for more detailed information. Now back to the story… On part 2 of our series, La Vuelta a España. We’ve now arrived at the southeastern stretch of the peninsula, renowned for its cornucopia of fruits and vegetables. More than any area in Spain, it is here that I might fear that I, as a cyclist, would casually veer off the road to consume twice my body weight in fresh dates, figs and almonds. I might even go […]

Petit Comité: A Fair Dedicated to Artisanal Wines in Madrid

On Monday night I had the pleasure of attending Petit Comité, a tasting event for artisanal wines organized by Samuel Cano/Vinos Patio, La Cave du Petit Bar degustación and the Observatorio de Vino. Not only was it an incredibly interesting opportunity to try the natural wines made by 6 different winemakers, but it was also heartening to have the chance to talk one-on-one with such enthusiastic individuals, who are obviously very dedicated to preserving the artisanal quality of their wines. Representing four different areas of Spain (Madrid, La Mancha, Cataluña and Ribera del Duero), the maximum number of bottles (of natural wine) produced by any of these wineries was 25,000.  While I am a huge supporter of organic wines, I […]

Fontantars dels Alforins: The Forefront of Quality Wine in the D.O. Valencia

One of the peculiarities of the Valencia Denominación de Origen is its further division into four subzones: Alto Turia, Valentino, Moscatel de Valencia and Clariano. Perhaps the most distinctive in terms of both landscape and wines is the most southerly, Clariano, just the Valencia side of Alicante. At the heart of this subzone is the Vall d’Albaida, a fertile high valley that runs from the arid central plane of La Mancha towards the Mediterranean, benefiting from both the dry westerly winds (“poniente”) and the more humid easterly ones (“levante”). At some 650 metres above sea level, this has always been a fertile high valley. Despite the low rainfall, the soil is rich. The “Alforins” in Fontantars dels Alforins derives from […]

DO Montsant Cuisine and Food Culture – Where to Go and What to Eat

When you ask people what Montsant has to offer beyond wine, you tend to get a very standard group of answers that only vary in the order they are received: almonds, olives, olive oil and hazelnuts. The logic being that the land is so harsh and rugged, with only a few lizards spotting the landscape, nothing other than a few durable and resilient trees can successfully survive in this climate. That said, amazing olive oils, flavorful nuts and diverse and interesting wines blend together in a perfect harmony of flavors within the DO of Montsant. Falset, the capital of the region of Montsant, is only 20 miles from the main seaside city of Tarragona, and therefore, benefits from a culture […]

Wines of Alicante: The Eye-Catching Treasures of Spain

As a wine hobbyist among professionals and experts, I often feel that I have the advantage of being able to sit back and enjoy what comes to hand rather than having to analyze endlessly. Another privilege of the enthusiast, be it golf, sailing, ornithology or anything else, is the feeling that you can drop your subject into conversation to universal approval. We all know that this is not always the case, but while attending the Seville Book Fair in a professional capacity this week, I was out having tapas with some competitors (or as we like to say “people who share the same market space”) and from what started off as rather a stiff conversation, when I mentioned that I […]

Part 1 – Dalian Delights: Seafood and the Wine Scene off China’s North-East Coast Continued

Continued from Part 1 on Darian Delights But what did this family drink? On offer was the internationally exported Tsingtao beer from another famed coastal city, Qingdao. The spelling “Tsingtao‘ is from the Wades-Giles system of representing the sounds of Chinese characters (now defunct); but some Chinese brands/institutions like to state their age by using the early 20th Century romanized spelling replaced by pinyin after 1949 and the foundation of the PRC (the pinyin is “Qingdao‘, pronounced “ching-dow’ for English speakers). There was also Chinese peach juice and the inescapable bai jiu, literally “white alcohol’, a category of spirits distilled from sorghum or millet which can range in flavour from delicate aniseed to rotting garbage (I don’t know how they […]

Visiting Barcelona? Check Out A Brand Spanking New Wine Shop!

A few weeks ago, a friend of ours gave us the skinny on a new wine shop in Barcelona called, Neyras Vins. Located on Calle Laietana, a short jaunt from the famous Barcelona Cathedral, it is a cozy and comfortable space that welcomes both tourists and residents alike. It’s owner, Antonio Gomez Neyra, is also the owner of Restaurante Neyras, founded back in 1989. Albeit not an ancient restaurant by European standards, it has gained a solid reputation as a high-end seafood and wine establishment. Consequently, the creation of a wine shop two doors down from his restaurant seemed like an easy investment when your customers continually inquire about your fine Spanish wines. Unfortunately, as of yet, one cannot meander […]

UK is number one market for Spanish Wines

According to this article UK is number one market for Spanish Wines – Talking Retail, there is good news for Spanish wine in the UK. Sounds great. Sounds important, but I would say that this is only half the story. Spain is the third largest producer of wine in world, but we also have the largest land area under vine. Granted, a large chunk of this land consists of low density plantings in areas such as La Mancha, with less then stellar wine varieties like Airen. That said, we do have the capacity to grow and produce more, and after talking to many producers at Alimentaria, I realized that there a lot of room to expand sales. The UK may […]

February and March @ Catavino – Rioja, Rioja, Rioja

That’s right! It’s time for our next theme for our newsletter, and this time, it’s all about Rioja! In the coming months, we hope to not only chat about the wines of <a href="Rioja: Entrenched in Tradition, Harvesting the Future“>Rioja, but also the foods, tourism and culture. Why two months? We’ve realized that until someone pays us to do this, we aim to put out the best content possible, and with a topic as big as Rioja, we’ll need more than a month to really dig up the juicy content in order to present it to you. So first off, allow us to give you an intro into our experience with Rioja, its wines, and some thoughts on what we […]