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Tag Archives: Wine News

La Cabalgata de Reyes Magos: The Extravegant Spanish Celebration of the 3 Kings

There is something deeply satisfying about parades. The anticipation among crowds of people standing hip to hip with children delicately propped on broad shoulders, all eager to hear the very first beat of the drum resonating inside their chests. I love seeing eyes grow wide as saucers as brightly colored faces beam smiles of excitement as each member of the parade takes on a persona they can only embody once throughout the year. Parades bring out a raw energy, an intensity that pulses throughout the crowd, because no matter how many times you see a parade, there is always an element of the unknown. Last night, Ryan and I ventured out to our quiet streets of Terrassa to take in […]

Iberian Reflections on 2008: We’ve Come a Long Way!

It was 4 yrs ago today that Gabriella was packing the last of her clothes, running from store to store trying to get last minute items, and preparing herself for what by some accounts would be her biggest adventure to date. I was working at a small wine/beer/liquor store, and trying my best to conceal the fact that I too would be leaving shortly on my leg of this journey. I had to wait so that I could save some extra cash, and make sure to secure my year end bonus. At this point, I believe only one of my employees knew of my plans, and I still hadn’t bought a ticket. Life was about to turn upside down for […]

Catavino’s Favorite Trips of 2008 – It’s been a great Iberian Wine Year

At the end of the year, I can’t help but look back and ask myself, “Have I done enough in my life? Have I truly accomplished the goals I’ve set out for, or have I let them slip to the wayside getting snug and comfortable in my safe daily routine”? If I’ve fallen in the latter, I give myself a quick kick the keister and start taking more risks. This precious gift called “life” isn’t something to be messed with, and for me, one of the best ways to celebrate it, is by getting uncomfortable through travel. By stripping away normalcy and accepting the odd and unpredictable, I change, grow, evolve and see both life and myself differently. And as […]

Part 1: Confessions of a Chinese Wine Consultant

Editor’s Note: As many of you know, we diverge from Iberian wine every now and again to give you new perspectives and experiences on wine from abroad. This week, our Chinese correspondent, Edward Ragg, of Dragon Phoenix Fine Wine Consulting gives his the first installment of his series on how he became a Chinese wine consultant in Beijing. First off, a few qualifiers: I am not Chinese nor am I a consultant to Chinese wineries; although, for better or worse, I have tasted my way through multiple Chinese wines, if only a handful overall from a country that boasts several hundred wineries in Shandong province alone. Sadly, I’m not a master of Chinese either; and currently grasp only enough of […]

Blame it on Rioja, Or Maybe Not: How Not to Master Social Media

Andrian Murcia, the author for Blame it on Rioja is a virtual friend to Catavino.net. That is to say, we have never met in person, but we have shared a lot of conversations online. His blog sponsored by the Vibrant Rioja campaign is full of good information and interesting takes on a region that only in the past year, Gabriella and I have truly come to love. Vibrant Rioja, on the other hand, has helped to sponsor one of our trips to the region, and from what we can tell, is trying to get Rioja into the American dialogue through the sponsorship of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Personally, I think they could spend their money in more effective ways, but that’s […]

Wine of the Week: Sybarus Tardana 2007

If you’ve stayed with Catavino for long enough, it’s inevitable that you’ve heard us debate over the exact number of indigenous grapes in Iberia, and the fact that none of us are certain how many there are.  By some accounts there are approximately 400, and by other accounts, the number soars to over 1,000. This rather large numerical gap was one of the main reasons why we began our Iberian Grape Wiki (currently in a state of renovation), and the same reason why we’ve done very little with it. To keep track, fill in, and monitor such a bear of a database is rather daunting. So it sits, patiently waiting for some loving grape enthusiast to come by and fill […]

How is the 2008 Iberian Harvest Shaping Up?

Feel the chill in the air, the earthy aromas of dried leaves and wet soil, the vibrant orange and red colors on the tip of the leaves like small dabs of paint radiating from the deep dark green background? Sigh, this is my favorite time of the year. I love to fill a thermos with hot tea, chocolate, or better yet, mulled wine; layer myself in flannel and fleece; and enjoy a day in the mountains basking in the warm heavy glow of the September sun. The brisk winds rustling the dry, cracking leaves is like music to my ears. The magic of autumn brings a sense of warmth in my belly, as it calls for heavier and richer foods […]

Wine, Books, Conferences, and the 2008 Vintage

It’s crunch time here at the Spanish office of the European Wine Bloggers Conference. Every day a new issue, a new question, and the realization that we forgot to do something! That combined with a now ever expanding desire from non-delegates to join the already full ranks, is leading to us working long hours and wondering how we keep Catavino alive. All that said, we are having fun and learning a lot. The best part though is that this conference looks to be shaping up nicely and will lead to some new conversations that need starting. I’m sure the US based conference 2 months later will also lead to great new opportunities too, and we hope that both prove to […]

What Happens when you put a Rubber Chicken, a handful of Iberian Grapes and some Crazy Californians Together? TAPAS, of course!

If you weren’t already in the know, TAPAS are more than delicious little treats you savor with a glass of Iberian wine.  TAPAS is also the name of the Tempranillo, Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society, co-founded in 2006 by no one other than Jeff Stai, owner of Twisted Oak Winery, author of El Bloggo Torcido, and now acting Vice President of TAPAS. How did we find out about TAPAS? A few years back, Ryan conducted a podcast interview with Jeff not only about Twisted Oak winery, but also about his, at the time, brand new venture. Being enormous fans of the preservation of native Iberian grapes, we love the idea of TAPAS, and even more so, the joining of like-minded […]