Vuelta a Espana 2016 – Part 2: Galícia’s Got More Than Albariño!

  While the opening week of the 2015 Vuelta saw the peloton roaming through the hot, arid climate of Andalucía in southern Spain, the first week of this year’s race looks completely different.  If you’ve been watching the coverage of the 2016 Vuelta, you’ve no doubt been impressed with the magnificent scenery of Galícia, in far northwestern Spain:  slow-flowing rivers cutting through cordons of granite; … Continue reading Vuelta a Espana 2016 – Part 2: Galícia’s Got More Than Albariño!

It’s August 25th – Celebrate with Saints Louis and Genesius!

Whenever I want to dash off a blog post but am unsure what to write about, I pull out my copy of Drinking with the Saints:  The Sinners’ Guide to a Holy Happy Hour.  Whether the date calls for observance of a Pagan festival like Lammas Day or the celebration of a patron saint, it’s always good fun.  Today I wanted to write, but wasn’t in … Continue reading It’s August 25th – Celebrate with Saints Louis and Genesius!

Vuelta a España 2016: Part One – Galícia: A Trip through Green Spain

Well, the Rio Olympics have come and gone and I, for one, am sad.  Brazil’s happy, lilting national anthem is running through my head on a loop, making me want to samba.  Or learn how to.  Instead of driving me crazy like NBC’s ubiquitous Olympic theme music, this tune makes me joyous, full of the Carioca spirit.  Listen for yourself if you don’t believe me … Continue reading Vuelta a España 2016: Part One – Galícia: A Trip through Green Spain

Familiar Grapes in Weird Places – Spanish White Guerrilla Project

  Before you start wondering exactly what I mean by “weird places,” let me assure you I’m talking geography here.  For those whose proclivities have already taken them to another track all together, I’ll see what I can do to craft a follow-up post.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you . . . . Lately it seems that I’ve been drinking a lot of strange … Continue reading Familiar Grapes in Weird Places – Spanish White Guerrilla Project

Part 3: The Road to Rio – The Future of Brazilian Wine

In Part 1 we looked back on the history of wine in Brazil, dating back to the 1500s and the first Portuguese immigrants, followed by waves of Italians and Germans who dreamed of planting vineyards that reminded them of home.  Then in Part 2 we explored the challenges facing Brazilian winemakers:  a rainy, humid climate; the unfortunate mismatching of grapes to vineyard sites; and a … Continue reading Part 3: The Road to Rio – The Future of Brazilian Wine

Part Two: The Road to Rio – Regions, Climates, and Grapes

  In Part One I took you on a trip back to the 1500s, when newcomers from Portugal, Germany, and Italy first attempted to grow vitis vinifera grapes in Brazil.  Those early efforts produced less than stellar results, thanks to the overwhelming humidity and rainfall endemic to large swaths of Brazil.  But there are pockets scattered around this massive country, where grapes can be grown successfully.  … Continue reading Part Two: The Road to Rio – Regions, Climates, and Grapes

The Road to Rio – and Brazilian Wine!

Tonight marks the beginning of the Rio Olympics and I’m so excited!  I have had a thing for Brazil ever since I was a little kid and my dad would point out countries on our old Rand – McNally atlas.  Not that I understood anything at all about Brazil at that age, or even knew where it was in relation to my home town.  But … Continue reading The Road to Rio – and Brazilian Wine!