Tag Archive | "Spain"

Touring Penedes and Priorat

I loathe flying.  I really do. I don’t like standing in airport lines, battling with airport security and putting up with surly service. This is why I became a licensed pilot—no lines, no hassles. More importantly, I like the freedom of getting in a small plane and flying wherever I want to go. But my license doesn’t do me much good when I’m traveling abroad.  So here I am, having to rely on commercial travel once again. At least my final landing spot takes me to a place most would enjoy.

I am meeting up with a great group of wine writers to learn about the Penedès region. We’ll hit some caves then take a side trip to the breathtaking region of Priorat, the source of Spain’s most powerful, complex red wines.  If you love Spanish wine, or simply want to learn a bit more about the region, stay tuned as I take you on this exciting journey. Let’s hope my internet connection cooperates!

For now, I am taking a siesta, as I’m too darn tired to write after the grueling flight. Stay tuned for more…I think dinner is at eight.

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Spain: A Diverse Landscape of Innovation & Pleasure

It was bound to happen. We fell in love with Spain. Traveling across its vast and spirited landscape, we experienced its diversity of all things wine and food—from the traditional and rustic to the conventional and avant-garde—encountering the creations of Spain´s most innovative winemakers and chefs.

WE HEADED EAST on N-122 towards medieval Peñafiel, a small town known for its spectacular 15th century cliffside castle, which overlooked the village of red-roofed houses, labyrinth narrow streets and restaurants. Read the full story

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NV Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, Penedes, Spain

This cava has been in my arsenal of, “oh so we just drank two bottles of still wine and now you want bubbly” wines to pull out of my collection for many years now.  I can honestly say it has also been a selection for many celebrations at my house and often the aperitif of the evening.  For more than a decade it has been my go to sparkler when the cuisine called for a method champeniose wine and the choices were limited for a bevy of various reasons.  Depth of pocket, choices on the shelves at that time, how many is a bevy anyway? Nevertheless this wine is a cuvee of 50% Macabeo,  35% Parellada and 15% Xarel-lo grapes grown in the renowned Alt Penedès region of Spain. Read the full story

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NV Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad, Penedes, Spain

I was curious when I first saw this bottle a few years ago and was not surprised it represented the Reserve Cava from this producer.  A treat each and every time you open a bottle of this wonderfully refreshing and exciting Cava. I like to make fresh fried gaufrette  potatoes by smearing a little mascarpone on them then adding either vodka cured gravlax or cold smoked salmon,  and some fish roe. Let your pocket book be your guide. I prefer Caspian Sea Caviar, but that’s just me and I’m just saying.  Kennebec potatoes are preferred over Yukon or russets as they crisp up better. Read the full story

Posted in 90+ up to $60, Sparkling Wine, Wine ReviewsComments (5)

Madrid to Ribera del Duero

For a Friday morning we got out of bed pretty early and got down to the bar for a couple of double espressos made like they should always be made – strong  but not bitter and hot enough to stay that way for more than a minute.  Northwest baristas should spend some time in Spain so they can learn to serve a proper pull. I’m not disparaging all baristas, but you slackers know who you are.  Now we are ready to jump into the shuttle and off to the airport to get our Avis rental car.

When we arrived back at the airport to pick up our rental car, I was impressed with Pamela’s decision to go with electronic navigation. It later proved to be a lifesaver.  It was more like, “I’m not getting in that car with you without one”. Pamela hates maps. I can find anything. However, the Tom–Tom was a coveted accessory by the time we made it to Ribera Del Duero.  The lack of clearly marked road signs and the use of rotaries at every intersection made navigating while driving a stick shift (the first time in over 17 years) slow, awkward and near impossible.  If I do not say it enough I am lucky to have married such an intelligent woman. Spending three weeks driving around Spain made that last statement even more relevant as the trip progressed on. Read the full story

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2002 Vino El Vinculo Gran Reserva ‘Paraje La Golosa’

A big winner right out of the gate. Like a race horse this wine takes off and shows concentration and balance while still remaining exciting. From what I saw at the winery there was enough of this wine in their cellar for it to be around for a while. Things going the way they are in Spain right now it will probably be released soon to excited buyers looking to scoop up on vintage wine being sold at less than the usual price.

Spending 24 months in barrel aging and another 12 months in bottle, this selection from the La Mancha district was quite a revelation from this Ribera Del Duero producer known for concentrated, well-crafted reds that do not disappoint and this one was a fine example of all the aforementioned traits. Read the full story

Posted in 90+ up to $60, Red Wine, Spain, Tempranillo, Wine ReviewsComments (1)

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