Catavino keeps you current not only with the remarkable wine developments in Spain and Portugal, two of the most dynamic wine producers on the planet, but you'll learn about food trends, new dishes and restaurants and the ancient and modern cultures on the Iberian Peninsula. And you may not notice it, but Catavino also happens to be one of smoothest designed websites you'll have the pleasure of visiting.
Doug Frost MS/MW http://dougfrost.com

Tag Archives: Vinho Verde

Portugal’s Unknown Treasures: Peneda Geres National Park

I adore nature. Call me a tree-hugger, but I’m the girl saving spiders, running barefoot through the mud or picking up random leaves to inspect whether they have a particular aroma. I guarantee evolution would have killed me a century ago, if left to own devices. Nature is my place of rest and relaxation. And if there’s ever an opportunity to don my backpack and hit the trails, I’m there! Especially if my trail partners happen to be tree-huggers of equal intensity. Fortunately, Ryan’s parents just happen to fall into this unique category. Not long after our wee Opaz was born, we took a much needed  trip to the Peneda Geres National Park (Parque Nacional Peneda-Gerês) located along the northern […]

Schist: A Cultural Staple in the Douro Valley and Beyond

Editor’s Note: Fiona Lynch and her husband Jonathan, two passionate geologists, moved from Scotland to the Lima Valley in the Minho region in Portugal. We’re very appreciative of their willingness to share their experience, and hope this will be one of many we can expect from them in the future. Like most of northern Portugal, the geology of the Minho region is dominated by granite rocks. Rolling hills with massive round boulders cluster around peaks or are strewn about slopes and sandy river banks in the valleys. Every now and again, on my hikes through the forests or along the country lanes, I come across a ragged twist of dark orange schist called xisto. This thinly layered rock, ranging in […]

Value wine: I do not think it means what you think it means.

I was at a tasting a few days ago in Porto where the presenter pointed out at the beginning of their talk that they wanted to focus on “value wines”. However, he then continued by saying that, with regret, while that was the goal, he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He felt that he needed to show some wines at higher price points instead to show what Portuguese wines were really capable of. When I heard this I was a bit shocked. It reminded me of a scene from what is possibly one of the greatest films ever made, The Princess Bride. Throughout a series of challenges, the ‘mastermind’ Vizzini keeps repeating the word “Inconceivable” until eventually, the […]

Spanish and Portuguese Wines for Spring: Light and Aromatic Whites!

I saw something yesterday, quite unexpectedly, that gave me such a good feeling – it was a big round, rather blinding ball in the sky, I knew I recognized it…then it came to me – ah yes, it was the sun!  It didn’t stick around long however, and today it’s once again hidden behind soggy, grey rain clouds. Nevertheless, this surprising sighting has given me a taste of how fabulous spring will feel when it does finally arrive, so if you’re like me and can’t wait for that day, I suggest we all start drinking spring wines in anticipation and to cheer ourselves up! In Wines for Spring Part 1, we looked at some red suggestions and now we’re lightening […]

Wines for Spring Part 1: The Reds

The northeast US has just had yet another blizzard with up to or over a foot of snow in some places; here in London the temperature hovers around 0°C and the rest of Europe, except perhaps Greece, seems also to be caught in the relentless clutches of winter. However, it is March. Therefore spring is, although perhaps not quite ‘in the air’, it is at least ‘around the corner’ so with the eternal optimism of any devout wine lover, I am hopeful that one day soon the cold will alleviate and spring will in fact, arrive. And when it does, I plan to have my ‘wines for spring’ at the ready! During the winter months we cozy up to the […]

A Tour of Portugal in 5 Wines

Vast tapestries adorning the walls of grand buildings around London are not a rare sight. However, the one that greeted us as we arrived for a wine dinner with the Wines of Portugal was quite exceptional. Protruding from the top of the hanging carpet, in the same pattern of thick wool, was a massive moose head – unusual to say the least! This prepared us for the equally odd venue for the dinner – instead of an intimate private area adjacent to the main dining room at Nuno Mendes’ casual restaurant The Corner Room, we were led into what can best be described as a mini-parliament! It was in fact a council chamber, complete with dark wood panelling and tiered […]

Final Thoughts on the Douro and Portuguese Wine

From the moment I first visited Porto in the winter of 2003 I have been in love with this city. I’m not entirely sure what grabbed me, but whatever it was, it’s never let go. Sitting in my room at the Yeatman Hotel, overlooking the Douro river and the colorful hillside of Porto’s historic center, I feel incredibly fortunate to be here. The people are friendly and welcoming. The food is diverse and exciting. And the downtown is undergoing a revival, where new shops, restaurants and hotels are popping up like mushrooms after the fall rain, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Rain can be absolutely magical, especially when the river sparkles from little pitter-patters of gentle drops; but […]

Julia Harding

Top 50 Portuguese Wines – According to Julia Harding of JancisRobinson.com

Since 2009, the Top 50 Portuguese Wines has been a favorite on Catavino, and we’re always excited to announce when the new list arrives. Annually, Wines of Portugal chooses a UK journalist such as Jamie Goode, Sarah Ahmed and Tom Cannavan to select a series of wines that have enticed and tantalized their palates. However, as Portuguese wine varies dramatically in style, grape and terroir, it’s never an easy task to choose 50 out of hundreds upon hundreds that are equally deserving of recognition, as you’ll quickly understand from Julia Harding’s interview below. Julia Harding is a Master of Wine, the guru editor behind the Jancis Robinson website and a regular editor and contributor of several books including, The Oxford Companion to Wine. Thank you Julia […]

Harvest 2011: A Look Around Spain and Portugal

What is the harvest looking like in Spain and Portugal? Having put in a few calls from across the peninsula, the answers varied tremendously. So rather than interpret it from our standpoint, we felt it would be more appropriate to post information directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. However, if you’re a winery that wasn’t included, please send us an email, or leave a comment below, with your take on the 2011 Vintage! Thanks to everyone who submitted, and we hope this year turned out to be a great one for you! Cheers! Linaje Garsea – Ribera del Duero, Spain In general, we have noticed older grapes reaching sugar levels 10-15 days earlier than normal, predicting an early […]

Grilling Season: How Portuguese Expats Fire it Up and What They Pour to Cool Down

Portuguese expats in the U.S. like to joke that if there’s a waft of sizzling sardines in the air then a fellow immigrant can’t be too far. They’re usually right. Growing up in New Jersey, expats’ grills were hardly ever graced by the usual American fare of hot dogs, hamburgers, porter house steaks, ribs, lobster tails or corn on the cob. Our grills brimmed with sardines, carapau (small mackerel), pork cutlets, cod fish, pork belly, chourico (Portuguese sausage) and whole or select chicken pieces. The side dishes generally consisted of boiled young potatoes, skin on of course, garnished with olive oil. Or, a salad packed with lettuce, tomatoes, and olives and charred red and green bell peppers. To top the […]