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Tag Archives: United States

Port: Vintage 1827, by Raymond R. Rath

What follows is part two in my telling of the story of Villar d’Allen. If you have not read part 1, please do so now. This story was originally published in 1981 by my Grandfather, retelling his experience opening a Quinta do Noval 1827. I have included footnotes to clarify some points, otherwise, this has been left for the most part in its original state. While this is exceptionally long for a post on Catavino, I’ve opted for publishing in its entirety for the sake of clarity rather than publishing it across multiple posts. All photos were taken by my Grandfather on a 35mm Pentax and then digitized recently; hence, the lack of clarity. They’ve been published for historical interest. Special note: This […]

Petiscos: The Portuguese Cousin of Spanish Tapas

In the American restaurant scene, the Spanish small plates, “Tapas,” are no conundrum. But say the word “Pinxtos” (generally bread topped with a fish or meat mixture, especially popular in the Basque region of Spain) and you’ll lose a few people. Say the Portuguese word “Petiscos” and you’ll get a whole lot of blank stares. Are they all the same? Yes, kinda. Are they different? Yes, kinda. To make it more confusing, there are several other names by which these “small plate dishes” in Spain are called. But no synonyms for Petiscos come to mind. There certainly are Tapas bars in Portugal, but they’re an adaptation of the Spanish fare and not interchangeable with Petiscos. In America, I have yet […]

Pairing Portuguese Wines with Roasted Fowl

On cold winter evenings there’s nothing more heartwarming for this writer than a chicken roasting in the oven. The scent of herby seasonings enchant my senses and transport me to my mother’s kitchen in New Jersey where she roasts to perfection just as she learned to do back in the Old Country. In America, roasted turkey is considered one of the coziest meals in this country’s culinary repertoire. To meld the flavors of the Old and New worlds in my own kitchen, I need only to turn to my mother, Maria do Ceu, who along with her seven siblings was raised in the sleepy village of Bemposta do Campo in the interior Beira Baixa region of Portugal where roasting in […]

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 […]

Wines of Portugal International Conference: A Country’s Struggle to Amplify Their Message Internationally

Recently, we experienced Portugal’s first attempt at an international wine conference with “The Wines of Portugal International Conference” in Oporto. Presented by ViniPortugal – the Portuguese wine trade association devoted to promoting Portuguese wines – this three day conference was held in the austere and historical Alfandega do Porto, a former customs building constructed in 1859, by the French architect Jean F. G. Colson. Approximately 450 participants gathered in Oporto, 200 of which traveled from numerous countries including: US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, China and Japan. Along with hearing from internationally renowned wine industry leaders, the program allowed for several wine tastings both at the principle Wine Fair and at several guided tastings outside of […]

Fabulous Holiday Discounts on Spanish and Portuguese Wines!!

We “love” the holidays; the time of the year when your television turns into an avalanche of deals on everything from the “all so necessary” life-sized stuffed Santa to the “must have” 8,000 inch LED-LCD HDTV that will literally suck you into itself. Or what about the 300+ strings of lights you’ve hung from every immovable object on your house that “magically” insights perpetual seizures from passing cars. And let’s not forget, the family…enough said. We sympathize with you and yours, knowing how desperate the holiday season can become, so we’ve decided to make the pain go away, at least for those of you in the USA and UK by teaming up with “The Spanish Table” in the USA and […]

The Diaspora of Spanish Gastronomy: A Delectible Evening at Mercat a La Planxa

Spanish gastronomy goes beyond small bites of food. It is more than foamy shots of alchemy, savory rice dishes – generically called Paella, or egg based custards. Yet despite the perpetual misconception of what actually constitutes a typical meal in a local Spanish bar, innovative Spanish gastronomy is making gigantic waves across the North American landscape. Last Thursday, I was generously invited to a Spanish wine and food pairing by Michael Grisley, co-owner of PR Grisley imports. Michael is a longtime friend of ours, in large part due to his undying passion for Iberian wine, but little did I know that he would be throwing down a gastronomic event of epic proportions at Iron Chef Jose Garces’  Mercat a la […]

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 […]

Sipping History: The Spanish Wine Exclusives Tasting in New York

The East Coast was a little soggy last week as I made my way to Manhattan for a tasting of Spanish wines. It was the sort of rainy, humid, New York City mess of a day that makes one want to stay inside, but I’m glad I overcame my weather-induced sloth. A train and two subway rides later, I managed to arrive early at my destination on the lower east side. My reward was a private audience with Justin Berlin of Spanish Wine Exclusives who gave me a detailed overview of their portfolio of seven limited production wines that are only available in the United States through Tinto Fino, the little Spanish wine shop that Gabriella wrote about last year. […]

Rovellones: “Golden Fungus of the Gods”

I often joke that I live in Spain exclusively for its cured Jamon. It is one of the few things that is truly singular to Spain. Granted, you can now buy it in London, and in limited qualities in the USA, among other countries; but in truth, it is only at its best when fresh and served from the rafters of a smokey bar in the side streets of Spain. Jamon Iberico de Bellota is a priceless experience, but there just might be one more Spanish delicacy you can add to the list: Spanish mushrooms! Now, I know that other countries have their unique mushrooms, and if I lived elsewhere, I would most likely argue their greatness as well. Having […]