I really love Catavino – it’s such an informative and innovative source of information on Spanish & Portuguese wines. The food of the region is key, but it’s just as vital to know about the great wines available too. This is the place to find out!
Jose Pizzaro http://www.josepizarro.com

Wines From Spain – News from the past TODAY!

WFS Newsletter

This is a thumbnail that you may click on to see at full size the stunningly BORING and non newsworthy newsletter that I receive about once a month from the Spanish government put in charge of “promoting” Spanish wine. If you go over to Wines from Spain and request it you too can receive it. Sometimes worthy of my interest the latest newsletter, STUNNED me, however, with its lack of news.

Allow me digress briefly, to offer some personal background on our relationship with Wines From Spain. Awhile ago, I asked to have Catavino included on their links page, but was rejected when they told me that “blogs were not important enough to be included”. Needless to say, they seem to have their heads in the sand. Now I know I may sound harsh and maybe even a bit rude, but let me lay out a few points and then tell me if this pretty newsletter does anything more than we do here at Catavino.net everyday of the week, or maybe less!

First: US PRESS ENTHUSES OVER WINES FROM PRIORATO – Papers such as the Los Angeles Times or the Miami Herald publish articles describing and recommending wines under the Catalonian appellation
Where do I start with this? First off, the US press has been enthusing about Priorat wines for awhile now. Also this is the English version of the newsletter for people who are most likely English speaking, many of which are US residents. Why would an American subscribe to a Spanish Newsletter to hear that their US newspapers are talking about Spanish wine? Wouldn’t they rather like to know what Spanish newspapers are talking about?

Second:LEADING UTAH DAILY EXPLAINS THE KEYS TO APPRECIATING SPANISH WINE Great! Someone in Utah has a tip for enjoying Spanish wine. As a lover of Spanish wine, I really don’t want to turn to Utah to learn more about Spanish wine. If your in Utah, this might be important. But if you live anywhere else, you might want to turn to SPAIN to learn more about Spanish wine. Enough said.

Third:INTERNATIONAL WINE CONTEST TO PROMOTE WINES FROM ANDALUSIA – Ok this one looked interesting. That is until I clicked through to the article. “‘Andalucía 2007′ is the name chosen for the competition, which is officially endorsed by the Agriculture Ministry”. GREAT – They chose a name! Always a hard step in any process but really not something that you need to announce to the world. Not to mention the lack of creativity, it makes for the announcement of “choosing a name” equivalent to me announcing that our new cat will be officially named Cat! Woo Hoooo. In fairness, the article goes on to tell me what the event will hopefully do, promote the wines of Andalucia. Gee, really?!

Fourth: This is not news! Newsletter are supposed to have news. Here’s the title. Click it to read the “news” within if you dare: CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION – DO CATALUNYA’S HALLMARKS. Love the TM sign within the title…Does this mean I need to use TM every time I mention a Spanish DO? Isn’t this really just a statement?

Fifth: I’m going to try to keep this short, but I could go on for awhile. Basically, all I want to do is include the final headlines found in the newsletter with short commentary on each in parenthesis:

  • Wine Spectator e-bulletin recommends a Campo de Borja(along with a billion other wines)
  • A rioja featured in Wine Review Online(does that mean that the hundreds of other Riojas were not featured? Bad averages!)
  • Chinese journalists from “Food and Wine” visits Jerez(in other news: French man cross Pyrenees, Curious Brit checks out Spain’s beaches)
  • Wine Review Online impressed by Rias Baixas(this Wine Review seems to be new to the world of wine, I was selling wine in 2000 and found that Rias Baixas was impressive)
  • Txakoli takes off in the United States(yeah, a flood of Txacoli invading the US, all 5 producers worth! Takes off must be in the bottle rocket sense of the word)
  • Spanish wines best for summer BBQs says St.Louis Post-Dispatch(What else do they eat down there, a better headline would be: St.Louis Post-Dispatch recommends BBQ wines for summer)
  • DO Vinos de Madrid finely tunes Wine Tourism Plan(they had something to tune to start with? What tourism plan?)

Maybe I’m a bit harsh, but it drives me nuts that what is an informative website for researching regions and grape varietals is so behind in implementing simple technologies like RSS or Customer focus. Couple that with deft reporting on the obvious and you have news that really does not advance knowledge. So for now, we here at Catavino will do our best to keep you up to date. In fact, in the near future, we’ll be adding more current events on Iberian wine and including some new writers to cover more current issues. Thanks to Wine’s from Spain for making my job easier!

Cheers,

Ryan Opaz

  • Troy

    hmmm…. I was about to mention a NY Times article that mentions great value wines, including one each from Portugal and Spain, but now I'm worried that Ryan might tear into me! Ah well, here goes, for anyone who is interested: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/…“><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/…” target=”_blank”>http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/…Not a particularly earth-shattering review, but any attention is welcome. I agree, by the way, that the Spanish newsletter and the behavior of the organization are laughable, but oh so familiar to anyone who has dealt with a traditional bureaucrat. There is nothing so important that a government won't screw it up (says this civil servant).

  • Troy

    hmmm…. I was about to mention a NY Times article that mentions great value wines, including one each from Portugal and Spain, but now I'm worried that Ryan might tear into me! Ah well, here goes, for anyone who is interested: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/…“><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/…” target=”_blank”>http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/…Not a particularly earth-shattering review, but any attention is welcome. I agree, by the way, that the Spanish newsletter and the behavior of the organization are laughable, but oh so familiar to anyone who has dealt with a traditional bureaucrat. There is nothing so important that a government won't screw it up (says this civil servant).

  • Troy

    hmmm…. I was about to mention a NY Times article that mentions great value wines, including one each from Portugal and Spain, but now I'm worried that Ryan might tear into me! Ah well, here goes, for anyone who is interested: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/…“><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/…” target=”_blank”>http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/…Not a particularly earth-shattering review, but any attention is welcome. I agree, by the way, that the Spanish newsletter and the behavior of the organization are laughable, but oh so familiar to anyone who has dealt with a traditional bureaucrat. There is nothing so important that a government won't screw it up (says this civil servant).

  • Lena

    That Wines from Spain newsletter is truly sad and pathetic. But Ryan, you're right. Their ineptitude and cluelessness just creates more of an opening for Catavino to flourish!

  • Troy

    hmmm…. I was about to mention a NY Times article that mentions great value wines, including one each from Portugal and Spain, but now I’m worried that Ryan might tear into me! Ah well, here goes, for anyone who is interested: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/dining/reviews/19wine.html?em&ex=1190779200&en=95480a948d15981a&ei=5087

    Not a particularly earth-shattering review, but any attention is welcome. I agree, by the way, that the Spanish newsletter and the behavior of the organization are laughable, but oh so familiar to anyone who has dealt with a traditional bureaucrat. There is nothing so important that a government won’t screw it up (says this civil servant).

  • Lena

    That Wines from Spain newsletter is truly sad and pathetic. But Ryan, you’re right. Their ineptitude and cluelessness just creates more of an opening for Catavino to flourish!

  • Mark Marino

    Hey Ryan, Do not let those guys bother you they might have been better served to read what you had to say before classifing you as not important! I get the same thing with clients that assume that if I do Limo wine tours I must be stupid. It is usually a reflection of their own insecurityrather than anything else. If I get some one who wants to tell me they are rich then they are not. If they assume they are better off than I they are usually shallow as they generally do not know me. I say just keep writing and some will notice I was asked to be linked as the Blog for the Napa Wine Company and their preffered Chauffer and tour guide by their director of brand marketing and international sales. These guys custom crush for over 25 wineries and have lauched Ruston, Pahlmeyer, Fife, Lewis, Staglin, Larkmead, Revana, Bryant Family and many more. I love the Wine country here and have been drinking and touring for longer than most experts have been alive around here. I just write what I hear from the 200 tours a year I do and I know many many wineries and wine makers, so I just write the news I hear and entertain my friends family and clients. I think we must do what we love and if people like great! But, it must make you happy and give you pleasure or why do it. Do not let the little people bother you it is just illustrative of why their news is not too riveting they are not either! <a href="http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times/2007/09/…“><a href="http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times…” target=”_blank”>http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times/2007/09/

  • Mark Marino

    Hey Ryan, Do not let those guys bother you they might have been better served to read what you had to say before classifing you as not important! I get the same thing with clients that assume that if I do Limo wine tours I must be stupid. It is usually a reflection of their own insecurityrather than anything else. If I get some one who wants to tell me they are rich then they are not. If they assume they are better off than I they are usually shallow as they generally do not know me. I say just keep writing and some will notice I was asked to be linked as the Blog for the Napa Wine Company and their preffered Chauffer and tour guide by their director of brand marketing and international sales. These guys custom crush for over 25 wineries and have lauched Ruston, Pahlmeyer, Fife, Lewis, Staglin, Larkmead, Revana, Bryant Family and many more. I love the Wine country here and have been drinking and touring for longer than most experts have been alive around here. I just write what I hear from the 200 tours a year I do and I know many many wineries and wine makers, so I just write the news I hear and entertain my friends family and clients. I think we must do what we love and if people like great! But, it must make you happy and give you pleasure or why do it. Do not let the little people bother you it is just illustrative of why their news is not too riveting they are not either! <a href="http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times/2007/09/…“><a href="http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times…” target=”_blank”>http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times/2007/09/

  • Mark Marino

    Hey Ryan, Do not let those guys bother you they might have been better served to read what you had to say before classifing you as not important! I get the same thing with clients that assume that if I do Limo wine tours I must be stupid. It is usually a reflection of their own insecurityrather than anything else. If I get some one who wants to tell me they are rich then they are not. If they assume they are better off than I they are usually shallow as they generally do not know me. I say just keep writing and some will notice I was asked to be linked as the Blog for the Napa Wine Company and their preffered Chauffer and tour guide by their director of brand marketing and international sales. These guys custom crush for over 25 wineries and have lauched Ruston, Pahlmeyer, Fife, Lewis, Staglin, Larkmead, Revana, Bryant Family and many more. I love the Wine country here and have been drinking and touring for longer than most experts have been alive around here. I just write what I hear from the 200 tours a year I do and I know many many wineries and wine makers, so I just write the news I hear and entertain my friends family and clients. I think we must do what we love and if people like great! But, it must make you happy and give you pleasure or why do it. Do not let the little people bother you it is just illustrative of why their news is not too riveting they are not either! <a href="http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times/2007/09/…“><a href="http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times…” target=”_blank”>http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times/2007/09/

  • http://winelimo.typepad.com/ Mark Marino

    Hey Ryan,

    Do not let those guys bother you they might have been better served to read what you had to say before classifing you as not important! I get the same thing with clients that assume that if I do Limo wine tours I must be stupid. It is usually a reflection of their own insecurityrather than anything else. If I get some one who wants to tell me they are rich then they are not. If they assume they are better off than I they are usually shallow as they generally do not know me.

    I say just keep writing and some will notice I was asked to be linked as the Blog for the Napa Wine Company and their preffered Chauffer and tour guide by their director of brand marketing and international sales. These guys custom crush for over 25 wineries and have lauched Ruston, Pahlmeyer, Fife, Lewis, Staglin, Larkmead, Revana, Bryant Family and many more.

    I love the Wine country here and have been drinking and touring for longer than most experts have been alive around here. I just write what I hear from the 200 tours a year I do and I know many many wineries and wine makers, so I just write the news I hear and entertain my friends family and clients.

    I think we must do what we love and if people like great! But, it must make you happy and give you pleasure or why do it. Do not let the little people bother you it is just illustrative of why their news is not too riveting they are not either! http://winelimo.typepad.com/winery_times/2007/09/ghost-block-mor.html

  • Pamela

    Oh, I just howled and howled with laughter at "… makes for the announcement of “choosing a name” equivalent to me announcing that our new cat will be officially named Cat!" So much so that I woke my cats up and scared the dog. It's exactly the same down here in the Canary Islands. I probably have to read 100 such "news" stories about the naming of the association of something pathetically obvious or the proposed idea for maybe doing something, before I find one article that actually says something. Sigh …

  • http://www.secret-tenerife.com Pamela

    Oh, I just howled and howled with laughter at “… makes for the announcement of “choosing a name” equivalent to me announcing that our new cat will be officially named Cat!”

    So much so that I woke my cats up and scared the dog.

    It’s exactly the same down here in the Canary Islands. I probably have to read 100 such “news” stories about the naming of the association of something pathetically obvious or the proposed idea for maybe doing something, before I find one article that actually says something. Sigh …

  • boyce

    Ryan, The government might not be doing such a good job on the wine PR side, but at least Cesar Saldana, president of Jerez-Xeres-Sherry DO, is making an effort. I recently had dinner in Beijing with him and local wine writers, academics and distributors as he educated us about Sherry. He appeared very approachable and open-minded and in turn we tried to give him insights into how to promote Sherry in China. I still haven't written this up for my wine blog, but can tell you the Sherry we tasted: Lustau Puevto Soleva Reserva Gonzalez Bayss Tio Pepe Fiue Muy Seco Bodegas Arguzso San Leon Manzanilla Clasica Garvey Oloroso Ochavico Jevez Seco Ream Capatas Andres Solera Reserva Pedro Ximenez Romate Good times! Cheers, Boyce

  • http://www.grapewallofchina.com boyce

    Ryan,

    The government might not be doing such a good job on the wine PR side, but at least Cesar Saldana, president of Jerez-Xeres-Sherry DO, is making an effort. I recently had dinner in Beijing with him and local wine writers, academics and distributors as he educated us about Sherry. He appeared very approachable and open-minded and in turn we tried to give him insights into how to promote Sherry in China.

    I still haven’t written this up for my wine blog, but can tell you the Sherry we tasted:

    Lustau Puevto Soleva Reserva

    Gonzalez Bayss Tio Pepe Fiue Muy Seco

    Bodegas Arguzso San Leon Manzanilla Clasica

    Garvey Oloroso Ochavico Jevez Seco

    Ream Capatas Andres Solera Reserva

    Pedro Ximenez Romate

    Good times!

    Cheers, Boyce

  • Ryan

    Boyce you are correct Cesar is doing a great job and we're proud to have had the chance to take his Sherry Seminar and spend some time with him. Thanks to people like him, Spanish wine is growing in importance. Looks like you had a fun tasting! Cheers,

  • http://www.obiscoito.com Ryan

    Boyce you are correct Cesar is doing a great job and we’re proud to have had the chance to take his Sherry Seminar and spend some time with him. Thanks to people like him, Spanish wine is growing in importance.

    Looks like you had a fun tasting! Cheers,