Wine Musings

Taste the volcanoes in Canary wines: undiscovered Spanish wines

September 13, 2013
Spanish wines:  Taste the volcanic soils in Canary Island wines

Even in Spain, Canary Island wines are off the radar, except for a few Malvasía wines. Thanks to the marketing clout of Jose Pastor, who imports an impressive portfolio of Canary wines, I’ve seen more press here in the US than I’ve ever seen in Spain. Due to very limited quantities, finding these unique Spanish wines is challenging, but well worth the search. I recently went to a great tasting of the portfolio and I was surprised by the personality and character of the wines. They were also fresh and inviting to drink. It seems a bit cliche, but you really feel like you are tasting volcanic soils! I was very impressed and refreshed, and I’ll be seeking out more Canary wines on my next trip back to Spain.

more →

Misunderstood Spanish wines: rosados and rosés

September 2, 2013
Spanish wines:  delicious and great value rosados perfect for daily life

Many people don’t drink rosados at all, others only drink them in the summer months. It’s a shame, because rosados are some of the most versatile and fun Spanish wines out there. I’m a equal opportunity rosé wine drinker and I think they are largely misunderstood and under-rated, but the ones from Spain are seriously great value. They are from lots of grape varieties and come in many styles and colors, but the best have a very satisfying freshness and dry fruitiness. They are one of the best wines to match with the foods of everyday life as they live at the intersection of white and red wines, sharing a few characteristics of each. Read on for my current top 5 Spanish rosados…ok one is Portuguese!

more →

Undiscovered Spanish wines: Vinos de Madrid

April 21, 2013
Undiscovered Spanish wine:  Vinos de Madrid

After finding Zestos, a great everyday value wine from the Madrid region of Spain, in Costco, I’m inspired to talk a little more about the Madrid wine region, Vinos de Madrid. It’s not well known, even in Spain, though it’s gaining in reputation among wine professionals and aficionados alike. Formerly known for plonk that was served in Madrid bars, the area has fought hard to change that reputation. One of the drawbacks is that production of top wines is small and prices are not always low, though the wines are still good value. One sub-area in particular, San Martín de Valdeiglesias has been making an impressive reputation for itself with totally original old-vine Grenache and unique white Albillos. If you want something with personality and totally different than most Spanish wine, check out these wines….

more →

Sherry: the Spanish wine only a mother could love

March 11, 2013
Fernando de Castilla Antique PX: Spanish wine from the Sherry area

Talking with wine geek friends, so many of our top Spanish wine experiences, those exquisite wine moments, are from old and rare sherries. I’ve religiously dragged out my favorite bottles to every social event, served it at every one of my meals, trying to to convert my “normal” wine drinking friends and family. To no avail…I end up savoring and admiring it by myself…secretly a little happy because there’s more for me! Really though, it makes me sad…if I could just help them appreciate these wonderful wines. All these thoughts are running through my head tonight as I sip a real beauty, the Fernando de Castilla Antique Pedro Ximenez.

more →

The Peñin Top Spanish Wine Tasting

December 8, 2012
Peñin Spanish wine guide

The annual Peñin top Spanish wine tasting is a great chance to taste to taste all the new vintages from Spain’s top wineries. José Peñin, a prominent Spanish wine critic, takes the opportunity every fall to release the latest version of his wine guide, as well as showcase all wines rated 94 points or higher. All the usual suspects were there, as well as some pleasant new promotees. Total saturation and way too many big reds, but lots of fun and some nice surprises especially with cavas, whites and some far flung reds…..

more →

Recession Spain: a fantastic food and wine destination

November 30, 2012
Great Spanish food and wine

Such a lovely trip to Spain! So much great food and wine! That bustling, loud, yet warm and inviting atmosphere still prevails in Madrid bars and restaurants, despite the persistently grim economic news. It’s been sad to see some old favorites succumb to hard times, but new, exciting projects are everywhere and the amount of food options at all price points remains abundant and inspiring. Overall value for money is fantastic and Spain remains a great destination and wonderful source of inspiration in difficult times.

more →

Antonio Banderas invests in Ribera del Duero

March 31, 2009

Investing in wineries has become trendy among the well-heeled and famous in Spain.  In general it’s a trend that is positive….it shows that wine is becoming more high profile.  The most high profile area for celebrity investment has been Ribera del Duero, one of Spain’s trendiest areas.  Ribera del Duero is the cool wine to […]

more →

Spanish Wine Exports Performing Well in Crisis Market

March 3, 2009

A couple of really interesting articles at Market Watch and at Decanter in the last week really gave some insights into how Spanish wine is performing in the current crisis market.  According to Market Watch, Spanish imports are performing better than average in the US wine market, and particularly when you compare their numbers to […]

more →

Wine may increase cancer risk in women…let’s not panic

March 2, 2009

 Various media sources came out this week citing a new study that shows that event the moderate consumption of alcohol in woman increases their risk of cancer.    In recent years drinking wine in moderation has been cited as being heart healthy.   This new study, which tracked 1 million women, concluded that just one drink a […]

more →

Counterfeit Chacolí in Spanish Basque Country

February 13, 2009

Chacolí or Txakolí is the wine produced in three wine appellations in Spanish Basque Country.  It is a slightly sparkling light wine made in all three colors that is commonly served in Basque bars with tapas and pintxos.  It is very similar in style to Portugal’s Vinho Verde.  White Chacolí is the norm and it […]

more →