From the Mountains to the Sea: #Vuelta2017 Heads Southeast to Catalonia on Stage Four

After the Pyrénéean punishment inflicted on them during Monday’s stage, the riders will certainly appreciate a relatively flat course, with rolling hills and just one categorized climb. We could even joke that it is a day at the beach, since that’s where the peloton will cross the finish line. Descending from the Andorran slopes to the Mediterranean coast, Tuesday’s route winds up in Spain’s storied … Continue reading From the Mountains to the Sea: #Vuelta2017 Heads Southeast to Catalonia on Stage Four

Andorra: Home to Stage 3 of #Vuelta2017 and Snow Wine

Oh boy. Today brings the first test for the climbers in this year’s Vuelta: two category 1 ascents, followed by an interim sprint, and then one, last battle to the top before a precipitous descent to the finish line. By the end of the race, the peloton will have climbed over 15,550 feet! And it’s only day three – two-and-a-half more weeks of torture to … Continue reading Andorra: Home to Stage 3 of #Vuelta2017 and Snow Wine

Exploring the Languedoc with Domaine Magellan (#Winophiles)

This Saturday I get to indulge in a few of my favorite things: the Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) cycling race begins, which takes me – strangely enough – to Southern France for the first two days; and the Winophiles blogging group meets to discuss affordable French wines. Spain, France, cycling, and wine – who wants to come with me?

If you’re so inclined, please join our chat on August 19th at 11 am EDT. You can find us on Twitter at the appointed time, using the hashtag #Winophiles. We’d love to hear your wine suggestions too, so chime in at any point. Just be sure to append #Winophiles to your tweets so we can welcome you. Our host this month is Jill Barth, who captures the exquisite beauty of France in her blog L’occasion; you can read more about this month’s topic here. Continue reading “Exploring the Languedoc with Domaine Magellan (#Winophiles)”

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

Tempranillo: The “Authentic Protagonist” of Bodegas Cepa 21 Vineyards

Winemaker José Moro has much love for Tempranillo despite the fact that it “doesn’t stand out for anything but has everything.” Moro’s words point to the paradox inherent in the wines made from Spain’s famous black grape: while they don’t tend to tickle the nose with exotic aromas or leave an immediate and indelible impression on the palate, they are some of the loveliest wines … Continue reading Tempranillo: The “Authentic Protagonist” of Bodegas Cepa 21 Vineyards

Spanish White Guerrilla, Part Two: Verdejo

  In a previous post I talked about the revolutionary wine project undertaken by Castillo de Maetierra to boost the image of white wines from Rioja, Spain.  Through the creation of Valles de Sadacia, a separate Protected Geographic Indication with its own locally determined wine-making standards, the founders sought to reimagine white wine’s place in Spain’s first Denominación de Origen.  At the heart of their strategy … Continue reading Spanish White Guerrilla, Part Two: Verdejo

It’s International Grenache Day!

    “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 … Continue reading It’s International Grenache Day!