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!
Victor de la Serna

Tag Archives: sparkling wine

A Bubbling Relationship: Cava & Millennials

Editor’s Note: Lindsay Holas, a student at the Groupe ESC Dijon Bourgogne school, recently pitched a rather intriguing marketing observation among the Spanish Cava industry. We liked her take on it and offered the Catavino stage to show how Millennials genuinely interacted with the Spain’s sparkling wine, and where the industry might be able to take away some useful tips! Champagne. For centuries the name has evoked images of glamour, prestige, and celebration. For most, this bubbly concoction is reserved for special occasions, but in Spain the consumption of sparkling wines are not so limited. Last November a friend and I were in the small Catalan city of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, the heart of cava sparkling wine production.  We found our […]

Elves, Fireworks and Festivities: How Bubbles found their Way into a Cava Bottle

The following effervescent legend is sponsored by our friends at CellarVie Wines which, with 400 wines from 16 countries, is a great place to buy Champagne and Cava online. Sitting just below the Christmas tree, my nephew and I cuddle tightly in a ball, as I sip upon a glass of Cava. Snuggling deep into the thick cushions, his blond hair cascading across my lips, he smiles up at me and asks a a rather unsuspecting question, “Aunt Gabby, how did the bubbles get into the wine?” “Well, that’s a brilliant question! How do you think the bubbles found their way into my glass?” I inquire, kissing his ridiculously soft forehead. Furrowing his eyebrows, clearly deep in thought, he smiles […]

Portuguese Wine Pack to Entertain Family without Breaking the Bank

Despite Portugal being one of the smallest countries in southern-western Europe—about the size of the state of Indiana—it is blessed with contrasting terroirs and region-specific wine varietals that result in an abundance of wine and spirits offerings. Home to the Douro Valley, the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, Portugal’s long-standing tradition in wine-making coupled with modern efforts, has contributed to a lengthy list of quality drinking choices from the North to the South of the country and practically everywhere in between. You can expect everything from “Espumantes” and fortified wines, including the famous Port wines, to brandies and aged aguardentes (fiery water, if you will), and even Portuguese-only wines like the young fizzy “Vinho Verde” and “Vinho Verde […]

Spanish Cocktail: Lemon Cava Sorbet

Typically, early morning hours in Spain are gorgeous, with a gentle breeze that delicately caresses your skin, awakening your senses and offering the perfect compliment to your first cup of coffee. Paired with pan con tomate, or a simple yoghurt and fresh fruit mix, it’s my favorite time of the day! Recently, however, I’ve been dreaming of becoming a contortionist so that my body can bend, twist and fold perfectly into my freezer, next to the frozen shrimp and random peas scattered across the top drawer. Just the thought of it right now sends delicious chills down my spine. In short, it’s HOT!! And when it’s this unbearable, anything that is even remotely cold in temperature sounds exquisite – that includes […]

The Assemblage: The Art and Science Behind Blending a Cava Wine

Before we dive into this article, I’d like to invite you to play with me for a moment. Imagine that I’ve placed three buckets of red paint infront of you named: Burnt Orange, Fire Engine Red and Sunburst Yellow. Each of these vary slightly in vivacity, purity and tone, and your job is to mix all three of these colors to make the color, Cranberry. Sounds relatively easy, doesn’t it?! For some color savvy individuals, it might be a breeze, but now let’s imagine that I’ve taken out Fire Engine Red and Sunburst and replaced it with Eggplant and Tawny. Suddenly creating that exact same Cranberry color might not be so easy. Come morning, when the breaking light peeks out […]

Looking for Love in Cava: The vast difference between quality and value-priced Cava

Editor’s Note: Today’s post was kindly submitted to us by Sharla Blanz. Sharla writes for the “On the Vine” wine blog for New Jersey Monthly Magazine, conducts private wine tastings, and works at Amanti Vino, a wine store in her hometown of Montclair, New Jersey. If you have any additional questions for Sharla, please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments below. Whenever I fall in love with a region while on vacation, as I did with Catalonia, I want to re-create that experience once I return home. Drinking the wines and savoring the cuisine can accomplish that. However, despite having tried many Cava wines in U. S., I often find myself gravitating towards sparkling wines from other countries. Don’t […]

An Ode To Xarel.lo: The Spicy White Mistress of Spanish Grapes

A few years ago, Ryan and I visited the Eudald Massana Noya winery located 50 kilometers just south of Barcelona in the Alt Penedès. Arriving by taxi as the sun dappled small patches of yellow light upon patches of rust colored grass, I distinctly remember the quaint, warm feeling I received the minute I stepped out of the car. Simple, unassuming and familiar, it was the type of place you would envision in a 19th century novel, complete with traditional winemaking instruments composed of wood and iron. As poignantly stated on their website: “These are cavas and wines produced with fruits grown organically and bio-dynamically  and that transmit to me a myriad of feelings which I’d like to share with […]

Icewine in the Penedes: The First Electrically Defined Wine

<rant>Twitter this past two days has been flooded with news that the Penedes region of Spain has approved a new DO for the category of Icewine. Reporting in Decanter Magazine, David Furer states: In Penedes grapes are frozen in a cold room, refrigerator, or with dry ice. Freezing on the vines is allowed, but in practice seldom takes place. Sugar additions are forbidden. The harvested grapes – Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Malvasia de Sitges, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Moscatel de Alejandría, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and/or Merlot – must have a minimum of 240 grams per litre of sugar. The final wine must contain 70-150g/l residual sugar and an alcohol content of 9.5-13.5%. Currently there are no rules stipulating altitude or soil type. […]

Alimentaria: A Food and Wine Adventure in Barcelona

If you’ve been following our massive influx of videos, tweets, flickr photos or articles, you’re savvy to our past weeks adventure where we brought a handful of bloggers to Barcelona from around the the world to experience Spain’s largest food and wine conferences called, Alimentaria. With the support of INCAVI, DO Emporda and DO Catalunya, bloggers from all walks of life including: journalism, winemaking, videoblogging, marketing and gastronomy, spent 4 days immersed in Catalan food and culture. We began our adventure on Monday, when Ryan O’Connell, Oliver Styles, Michael Oudyn, Mark Tafoya (aka Chef Mark) and Andre Ribeirinho joined us on a full tour of the winery, Freixenet (Click here to read our bodega profile). What does the “full tour” consist […]

Raventos i Blanc: A Flashback to the Founding Fathers of Cava

Editor’s Note: In December of 2008, Ryan and I visited Raventos i Blanc in DO Cava for our newsletter dedicated to Spanish Cava, in addition to conducting an interview by phone with patriarch, Manuel Raventos. Consequently, we’ve decided to post the article with occasional highlights inserted in gray from my second visit last week. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to include them in the comments below. Since the late 15th century, this 90 hectare vineyard has been passed down from generation to generation surviving war, famine, the inquisition and feud. Can you imagine owning something for 500 years? Even our largest purchase, a house, will typically last as long as our children are with us before […]