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Tasting notes around the web

Tasting notes around the web


Ah the weather is getting chilly here in Catalunya. This morning I had to struggle to pull myself out of my deep sleep with the covers wrapped tight around me. I love this time of year because the air is crisp and fresh, the sky seems to be clearer than usual and I get to pull out my favorite sweaters and jackets from the top of the closet.

The Rambla (or ‘central street’) here in Terrassa has Castaña stands lining it, where for 2 euros, you can warm your hands on a bag of freshly roasted chestnuts as you share them with your sweetheart. With this season also comes rain and richer foods. Last night, I made my first dark stock of the year: roasted beef bones, a few vegetable and lots of time simmering. By morning, I had a base that smelled rich, looked dark and is destined for some thick sauces and maybe a mushroom soup or two!

As far as autumn / winter wine, it’s officially port season! Hence, I now need to find a bottle, or ten, to stock for the long fall and winter nights. Although, I have a stocked cellar back in Minnesota, I’ll have to settle for wines which I can find on the shelf here in Catalunya – which won’t bother me at all. I love the feeling of capping a full stomach of hearty fare with a layer of the sweet port nectar of the gods. Or even to start the meal with a glass of dark rich port, as I restrain myself from nibbling too much as prepare the night’s meal. Typically, tawny port helps to quell the hunger pains, while not filling me too much.

Today, however, I unfortunately, don’t have any Port notes. Its’ been a bit of a busy week with another project I’m working on. Consequently, we’ve had simple wines with simple foods. So for a change, I’m going to go to some other bloggers around the web for some fun notes on wines that I wish I had tried this past week!

Jerry Hall over at Wine Waves has a nice write up on a Spanish wine brought to the States by Jorge Ordonez selection: Borsao Viña Borgia Campo De Borja Grenache 2005. He reviewed the 2004 last year and this wine seems like a safe bet for anyone looking to try a new Spanish wine!

Next we have Jancis Robinson who at time posts free content on her “Purple Pages” where she had a nice review on the Portuguese wine:José Maria da Fonseca, Periquita 2004 Terras do Sado.

…But most importantly this wine is a joy to drink. Thanks to those sandy soils, it is gently fruity and easy to enjoy at a wide range of temperatures but it is also full of zap, savour and personality and on past form will not lose its fruit nearly as fast as moist £4.99 bottles…

I have one question for Jancis if she’s listening, or anyone who might know her. From all I’ve read, it appears that Reisling is her favorite grape by far. In fact, it is one of the longest entries in her “Guide to Wine Grapes”, and yet she calls her home page the “Purple Pages“? What gives?

And a final note to point out to you today. Dave over at Tinto y Blanco (embarrassing disclaimer: for awhile, due to email signatures, I thought his blog was called Tin Toy Blanco with some secret back story that I didn’t know) tastes through some Cavas, and his review of the L’Hereu de Raventos i Blanc Brut Reserva 2004 peaked my interest. Having just been at a large cava tasting, I was excited about other people’s notes on this noble beverage.

I bought this bottle back from a tasting and shared it around the office. I am now quite popular as a result.

This is a no brainer and always a great way to get the office on your side. If the boss doesn’t condone it, just make sure to grab an extra Starbucks paper coffee cup in the morning to use for a “tasting” in the afternoon!

Finally, I wanted to point out an article I found in Decanter magazine.

Decanter’s Richard Mayson gave up regular wine writing to pursue his new venture as a winemaker in his beloved Portugal. The full diary of the trials, tribulations and excitements of realising a long-held dream will be published in Decanter magazine’s December issue, out on 1 November.

The first comments in his Portuguese Wine Adventure, is a short wrap up of the past year. I’m not sure how Decanter is going to present this, but I hope they do more than just put in their magazine. As we all know, this is the perfect place for a blog to take over the work of publishing a story!

So I’m off to conjure up a meal with my fresh meat stock. We also have some fun wines to taste in the coming weeks. Oh and my wife is currently leading a tour at the Torres Bodega with a group of 55+ five-year olds! Just wait till you hear about that one!

Till soon,

Ryan Opaz

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