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Tag Archives: Wine Education

Sherry House: Emilio Hidalgo, And Ways to Change Future Generations into Sherry Lovers

In recent weeks, I have visited the Emilio Hidalgo bodega twice, and since their wines are so good, a post has become just about unavoidable. This is a small, truly independent, family-owned bodega. It was started by the Hidalgo family in the mid 1800s and is run by decedents of the founders brothers Fernando and Emilio Hidalgo and their cousin Juan-Manuel Hidalgo. The business remains at their original site, in the old centre of Jerez and the bodega is made up of a series of traditional, thick walled bodegas separated by “patios”. This is an age-old system. When a breeze moves over the buildings, cooler air sinks down into the patios and then through the open doors around them into […]

Exciting Announcement – The DeLong Iberian Wine Map – with help from Catavino

Since day one, I’ve wanted a map of the wine regions of Spain and Portugal. Seems like a simple request, and if I couldn’t have one of Iberia, at least you would think that there would be one of Spain and another of Portugal. You would think. You would also be wrong, sort of. Announcement Interestingly, there are no good maps of the peninsula we call Iberia, or at least as it relates to wine. Wines of Spain, the bureaucratic agency in charge of promoting Spanish wine, does have an outdated map, but you can’t get a copy of it. I had a prominent tour guide friend of mine once ask to buy a few copies to give to her […]

Exquisite Harmonies: Matching Iberian Wines with China’s Great Cuisines

Not a great deal has been written on what is admittedly the relatively new area of pairing international wines with Chinese cuisine. Or should that be Chinese cuisines? This vast country, now in the grips of the Olympics at last, boasts an incredible array of provincial and regional dishes, embracing just about every cooking technique under the sun – many of which, of course, were either “invented’ or developed in China itself. So, if you want to explore Chinese cooking and try your hand at matching your favorite wines with different dishes, how can you get started? And what dishes might partner well with Iberian wines, an equally diverse world of flavors and textures? China’s rich culinary heritage is hugely […]

For All You Port Lovers, A Delicious Alternative: Ginja with Chocolate

Editor’s note: When Ryan and I visited Obidos in 2003, we had found a quaint little bed and breakfast run by a woman named Melana. Weary and hungry from traveling with our large backpacks filled with wine, we sat down in her living room decorated more like a cozy ski lodge than a traditional Portuguese home, and were each served a glass of Ginja. Brilliant red in color with a rich and pungent cherry aromas, we fell in love with this drink. Beyond its sweet and delicious flavor, we learned that it is customary to serve it to guests upon entry into your home. We bought a bottle that day, and savored it for over a year with friends as […]

Cork Forests, Travel Recommendations, and some other Tidbits from Catavino

It’s been a busy the past few months, because Spain is finally waking up to blogging; and we’re excited to be a small part of it. I’ve been buried in two new websites, while trying to maintain a few others. All good news for our small growing enterprise. Today, we head off to Oporto, to consult with a small port house on launching the first ever, blog about port wine. To be honest, we’re really excited about this, and we’re hoping this might lead to some purple feet if we need to visit in the near future. But for now I want to fill you in on a few experiences I’ve had over the past week. First up, Cork! Catalan […]

A Belem Lunch with a Portuguese White Wine

Editor’s Note: Andrea Smith is one of our newest additions to the Catavino crew. A 25 year old budding wine enthusiast, chef and linguist, Andrea is no stranger to seeking out great food and wine combinations. Having grown up in Northern Virginia, 10 minutes outside of the capital Washington, DC and in a highly diverse international setting, she was taught the basics of food and wine appreciation from her Italian background, where she inherited a deep love for culinary exploration. Now, living in Campo de Ourique, Lisbon, she will draw upon her CIA and sommelier studies, as well as her intimate knowledge of the Portuguese culture to bring us her favorite Portuguese food and wine combinations. We’d like to warmly […]

Another Iberian Winery Sent to the Sidebar – Cortes de Cima

Today we are proud to announce another winery who will no longer be covered here at Catavino. Back in March, Carrie Jorgensen, one of the owners of Cortes de Cima, approached Catavino to assist them in creating a blog. Naturally, we were interested, as we like to help all wineries enter into this social arena; but beyond that, we were excited to be able to work with a client who in Portugal is known for its rebellious nature and tendency to stir things up a bit. Not to mention, that they are probably one of the top rated wineries in Portugal as a whole. Clearly, we were both honored and humbled to be of service. Ryan first tasted their wines […]

Can Spanish and Portuguese Wines Succeed in the Chinese Market?

Everyone wants a piece of China. These days, statistics about the country are tossed out from pretty much all corners of the globe. In fact, I’m starting to think that 99.9% of statistics relating to China – including this one? – should be taken with at least a pinch of salt. Reliable data about the wine markets here are, unsurprisingly, hard to come by. We hear of the “rise of China”, but shouldn’t it be the “resurgence”? The 50-odd years since the founding of the People’s Republic is a minuscule time period when placed in the context of hundreds of years of developing Han Chinese culture. However, although China has produced alcohols in various forms for centuries, grape growing with […]

Gabriella Joins the Circle of Wine Writers

Last January, the UK based wine writer and Committee Member of the Circle of Wine Writers, Christine Austin, suggested that we apply to the organization housed in England. Having had several people offer a similar suggestion for over a year, it seemed ridiculous for us not to get off our hides and do something about it. So, we figured we’d experiment a bit, where I would apply and test the waters, followed by Ryan’s application soon thereafter. As taken directly from their website: The Circle of Wine Writers is an association of authors, broadcasters, journalists, photographers and lecturers who are professionally engaged in communicating about wines and spirits. It was founded in 1960 by the late Cyril Ray and now […]

Rioja Grapes: The 7 Treasures that Make Rioja Wine Sing!

When we published our Rioja report on Monday, we failed to include one key element – grapes! You know those small, round, juicy little fruits that you loved to pop in your mouth as a kid, one by one, or could even be used as killer ammunition against your annoying siblings? Uh-huh, don’t sit there and pretend that you never put a grape in your mouth and spat it at your brother or sister sitting “innocently” across the room. We’re on to you! Well, considering that the main Rioja varieties are key players in the region’s international fame, we thought it was high time to give you a brief synopsis as to which varieties are most common, and what unique […]