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Tag Archives: Tempranillo

Vibrant Rioja Tempranillo LIVE TASTING in New York on May 5, 2011

Are you a Rioja wine fanatic? Do you stay up late at night itching for that next bottle of vinous pleasure? If so, we have the event for you no matter where you are in the world! This Thursday, May 5th Tempranillo will be featured at the Vibrant Rioja 3rd Annual Grand Tasting in New York! More than 350 Rioja wines will be highlighted at the event from over 70 importers. According to Pablo Olay, the Vibrant Rioja Campaign Director, “Our 2011 Grand Tasting’s focus is on Tempranillo, a varietal that is increasingly popular in the U.S. because of its consummate versatility, high quality and pairing ability with a wide range of foods.” Though we at Catavino would never limit […]

Pairing Wines with Portugal’s Faithful Friend: Bacalhau

Editor’s note: In 2009, Catavino contributor Andrea Smith dove into the origins, popularity and over-fishing of cod fish or “Bacalhau” in my native Portuguese. Today, I pick up where Andrea left off with a greater focus on how to prepare the dry, salted version of this flavorful fish, featuring four dishes and a few wines to pair it with. Often referred to as “Rei dos Mares” (King of the Seas), dry, salted cod is quite popular in Mediterranean countries, like Italy and Spain, and especially in Portugal where they boast 1,000 cod fish recipes. Bacalhau or “Fiel Amigo” as the Portuguese nicknamed it meaning faithful friend, picked up in Portugal during the Age of Discovery when navigators took the unrefrigerated […]

Rioja Reserva, Pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator?

It is a fashion, of late, to praise ‘modern’ winemaking and its techniques. Up until very recently – if it isn’t still going on – the argument held that because US wine guru Robert Parker liked a certain style of wine, most wines were made to this standard (Parker wielded great power on behalf of the consumer, so winemakers made wines to please his palate and therefore sold more). Parkerisation, modernisation, globalisation and standardisation of wines became synonyms. Parker liked new oak and lots of fruit. So wines were made with new oak and lots of fruit. And it was the fashion for people in the wine world to rail against this. But now, while in many areas ideas about […]

Sierra de Gredos: A Treasure Trove for Old Vine Garnacha

I have a guilty secret. I just do not get the excitement about Grenache and Shiraz. Blended together, or on their own, these grapes often seem too much of a blunt instrument to me. That is not to say that I cannot appreciate that these are good wine grapes that have their place – of course I can. I even sometimes enjoy the wines made from them, but I hardly ever get excited at the idea of them, or seek them out. This can sometimes be a problem in Spain. I love a good rosado and it is more normal for them to be made from Garnacha than any other grape – which is why I often look for Ribera […]

4th Annual NY Wine Expo: Taking a Trip through Portugal’s Wine Regions

Letting loose wine lovers in a tasting of the size of the New York Wine Expo is like putting a child in the middle of a candy store. It can get ugly. With exactly 760 wines from nearly 200 wineries from around the world, the three-day 4th Annual New York Wine Expo at the Javits Center was packed with folks hungry (thirsty really) for new wine discoveries. My modus operandi for the day was to get through as many Portuguese wines on the floor as possible. There were about 40 tables in the Wines of Portugal section alone, so I had to pace myself. I also decided to skip over some of the wines I’m quite familiar with—and in many […]

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 […]

Wine Blog Wednesday #70 Wrap-Up: Reaching Out of Your Comfort Zone with Spanish Wines

Por fin! With a considerable amount of hours logged, searching for those few eluding posts, we have finally completed the wrap-up post for Wine Blog Wednesday #70 – a truly successful event! We gave you the daunting task of stepping out of your comfort zone to find a Spanish grape, wine style or region that you weren’t familiar with. Instead of reaching for that traditional Friday night bottle of Rias Biaxes, we prodded you to give DO Terra Alta a whirl. If you’re a Garnacha fanatic, we urged you to pick up a wine made from Mazuelo instead. Or if you have absolutely detested Sherry in the past, having tried it only once in your life with poor results, we […]

#WBW70: Catavino Goes Mythbusters on Spanish Wine

One of the many reasons why we love Spanish wine is as a result of its diversity, personality and quality. Spain is chock full of dynamic, innovative producers who continually try to push the envelope, living alongside old-school winemakers who have made exceptional wine in the exact same way over centuries. Equally true, Spain is a hotbed of variation, from its extreme microclimate to its auctonomous grape population, there is no shortage of types, styles or blends of wines. The only true challenge facing any wine lover is simply, where to begin. So today, in celebration of Wine Blog Wednesday #70, we’re going to mythbust what we see as 3 unfortunate and  pervasive mistruths about Spanish wine, and in the interm, hopefully […]

Vino Joven: Contrasting Cultural Views on Young Quality Wine

Every year in late November, Vila Viniteca sponsors a festival of vino joven (new wine) in the streets of Barcelona. This is always a great chance to taste this year’s wines, harvested just a few months prior and ready to drink. A couple friends and I arrived to Santa Maria del Mar a little after 5 o’clock, paid four Euros for a wine glass and a paper cone full of pasta, and were ready to hit the narrow streets of the Barrio de la Ribera for a little vino and whatever food the local merchants were dishing out. We knew enough to get there early; by 7:00 the hordes of noisy revelers would make any leisurely talks with the winemakers […]

Spain is Not a Wine Loving Country, It’s a Wine Consuming Country

When I first came to Spain, I was excited to be living in a country where wine flowed like blood through a vast cultural landscape. I also assumed that Spaniards, with wine embedded in their DNA, would be vinous explorers seeking out their next prized bottle. Boy, was I wrong. Wine producing countries like “Spain” consider wine a beverage. Now there are some wine geeks in Spain who have escaped the rote memorization that Rioja=Good and Not Rioja=Bad, permitting themselves to explore outside the box. But even in the ranks of wine “afficianados” there is often a malaise that infects their palates and leads to a lack of discovery and curiosity. Let’s see if I can better lay out the […]