Wine, Books, Conferences, and the 2008 Vintage | Catavino
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Wine, Books, Conferences, and the 2008 Vintage

QuevedoPics-9487It’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 be models for what wine bloggers can do to change the wine world.

So today, we want to point out a few things that we have been wanting to talk about but just haven’t found time to put fingers to keys yet!

Vinus TV Records the first EWBC for Posterity

For all of you who can’t make it to Rioja for the Conference, and for all you readers out there who are just curious as to what a bunch of wine bloggers might do if put in one room together, well don’t worry, VinusTV is here to help. During the entire conference, they will be recording and interviewing participants for you to see live. They have promised to try to even have the 3 roundtables on the web by the end of the day on the 30th. So though you won’t be there, you can participate. We’ll also have many people twittering away and I want to put up a live chat room on the website. If you have a favorite embeddable chat client, let us know, and we’ll get it up. We’ve even heard rumors that we might have some people live blogging the whole event. I hope all the participants from the American Wine Bloggers Conference can join in and make this a truly global event.

Harvest 2008 is underway – If your a wine maker tell us about it!

In true Web 2.0 style, we have set up a flickr Wine Harvest 2008 group for wine makers and wine enthusiasts to share their Vintage 2008 photos. There’s even a twitter account, which you can follow it learn about the latest updates. So post your flickr photos to the group, and we’ll twitter the news to the world. We also have a discussion room set up so that you can all tell us how it’s going. Make sure to include links back to you sites/blogs!

Book Recommendation – The Big Oyster

Normally, I wait till I’m done reading to pass judgement on a book, The Big Oyster is n

ot one I need to finish to start recommending. I’m about a 1/3 of the way in, and I’m hooked. Granted, I love oysters, raw, stewed, or otherwise I love these little moist ocean flavored bundles of joy, and I love history. Mark Kurlansky happens to also be one of my favorite authors, a person who has taken on such mono-thematic subjects as Salt, Cod, The Basques, and 1968. I wasn’t around for 1968, nor was I ever really into the history of that time, so that is the only one that didn’t grab me right away, but all of the others are right up my alley. Any of them is at the top of my cocktail party book recommendation conversation arsenal. Now as to the wine I most prefer with oysters? Well, other than a nice Chablis, I would have to say anything from the Vinho Verde region in Portugal, though lately I think a nice brut reserva Cava might also do the trick. The austere nature of the Cava’s bright acidity would definately be nice to see paired against that minerally ocean ladden mollusks ethereal nature.

A Wine Recommendation –Finca Luzón Luzón Petit Verdot

Ever since I sold their Altos de Luzon wine in the USA, I’ve been a fan of this winery from Jumilla. Big bold Monastrell is what they are known for that is why I love them. But the other day when we recieved some samples, I was excited to see a Petit Verdot thrown in for us to try. Petit Verdot as of late is becoming the “vogue” grape to grow in Spain, this outsider from Bordeaux seems to

be slipping into fun blends all over Spain, though more often than not it’s being slapped into it’s own bottle, given a fancy label and overpriced. I have to say, it is a finicky grape and one that needs some extra TLC to coax greatness from, but when you get a good one, you can’t help but fall in love. This sucker which appears to be only available in Spain and the UK, is worth seeking out. Not a bank breaker, you can find it around 10-15euros, and what you get for

that price is nice body, and fine thick tannins. Think violets and black pepper, then let it sit for an hour and notice how the wine is has morphed into something else. The heart of this is dark fruits, and they begin to show as this wine develops. If you can find it, buy it. If you can’t find it, write the winery and tell them they should find an importer in your country. Seriously, tell them we told you to! 🙂 Oh and while your at it tell them they may want to assess the website . (sorry for linking to it, as it’s really VERY annoying and should be avoided)

So that’s it for today. Just a few things to share. Hopefully we’ll have some other wines to review on Friday, as we weed through our samples pile, thinning it out before the conference takes off.


Ryan Opaz


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