Thanksgiving with a Spanish Twist: Turkey, Lamb, and the Wines of Navarra, Spain.

Navarro Line Up
Nothing like wine from Navarro DO to accompany a holiday feast.

A friend recently asked my advice in planning a Friendsgiving dinner – she lives far from her hometown and has decided to invite other friends to share the day with her. She’s quite accomplished in the kitchen and has decided to prepare all the courses herself, with the exception of dessert. Good for her!

Years ago, I used to host Thanksgiving at my home, inviting a rag-tag group of friends, family members, neighbors, and friends-of-friends unable to go home for the holiday. The mix changed each year, depending on who was where, and it led to some interesting interactions. But that’s a whole other post . . . . Continue reading “Thanksgiving with a Spanish Twist: Turkey, Lamb, and the Wines of Navarra, Spain.”

You Say Grenache, I Say Garnacha: A Toast to #GrenacheDay

“Grenache is for me, the wild, wild woman of wine, the sex on wheels and devil take the hindmost, the don’t say I didn’t warn you.”  –  Oz Clarke I rather like Oz’s description of Grenache, the wine grape of many personalities.  Having spent a bit of time in Spain, I myself have fallen prey to her charms:  sometimes in the magenta-hued guise of a … Continue reading You Say Grenache, I Say Garnacha: A Toast to #GrenacheDay

The Circuito de Navarra and La Rioja: It’s Stage 16 of #Vuelta2017

The peloton has had a much-needed day off after two hellacious stages in the mountains. You might assume that they’d feel feisty and fresh, ready to mount their bicycles and attack the course. But that’s the funny thing about Grand Tour races: rest days don’t always have a positive effect on the riders. Some do, indeed, come back fully recovered and on their game. Others aren’t so lucky. It’s as if their bodies, pushed to the limit over two grueling weeks, engineer a complete biological and mental shut-down. All systems on lock. ¡No más!

Alto Hoya de la Mora Unipublic Photogomez Sport
Alto Hoya de la Mora from Stage 15 (photo: Unipublic/Photogomez Sport)

So, while we have only five days until the finale in Madrid, overall outcomes are anything but assured. Tuesday’s race is an individual time trial, in which each rider races solo against the clock, with no teammates alongside to help. It’s a difficult discipline to master, and it tends to favor the bigger riders and sprinters. Chris Froome, currently in first place, is an excellent time trialist, and we’d expect him to put his rivals on the defensive today. But, like I’ve said many times, you never know. Anything can happen! Continue reading “The Circuito de Navarra and La Rioja: It’s Stage 16 of #Vuelta2017”

Pago de Arínzano – The Enchanted Wines of Spain

  Spain does something to a person. A foot on her soil, and you might as well surrender your defenses: they won’t work anymore. I’m not sure what to call it, but her mystical powers of transformation cannot be denied. Enchantment? Sorcery? Maybe a good dose of each. But what I and many other beguiled visitors have understood is that the sooner you succumb to … Continue reading Pago de Arínzano – The Enchanted Wines of Spain

Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage Eight, Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon

  Welcome to the Pyrénées! You know it’s going to be a tough day when the stage profile map looks like an upturned saw, with a few gigantic teeth.  Today’s stage features one of the most famous climbs ever to grace the Tour de France:  the Col du Tourmalet. It first challenged the peloton back in 1910 and has haunted them 83 times since!  This … Continue reading Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage Eight, Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon