It’s that time of the year again – cava overdose time. Normally we have timed our visit to the first week of October, the week of the cava festival Cavatast. This year, however, we decided to come early and stay in Barcelona instead. Sant Sadurni is a train-ride away and it always takes more time to visit the winemakers than we anticipate (we always end up drinking cava with them for hours). Now we are just drinking cava in Barcelona by ourselves (smirk). If you are interested in Cavatast, you can find a survival guide here. In this post I have collected a few old favorites from Barcelona – where should you go for a good glass of wine. I am of course also going to post about some new finds (but more about those on Sunday). Continue reading “From Barcelona with Love”
Here comes the report and photo gallery from last weekends Cavatast 2016. It was a perfect day to be hanging around with the camera: the sun was out and people were smiling. In addition to the festival we visited the Simon Coll chocolate factory. Continue reading “Pictures from Cavatast 2016”
Wow! A hundred weeks of writing. I cant believe I have made it this far. I am a bit the type that I like the beginnings of things, so there is always a danger that I grow bored and quit after a while. But this blog has always given me new energy. I must confess, I had a great title in mind: what started with Cava will end with Cava. I have been a bit stressed with time this fall, so giving up the blog would have freed up a few hours. But I don’t really want to stop, so I will save this title for the day that writing is not fun anymore.
And its not only the writing that makes me happy. Along the way I have learned a lot about wine. I am a complete amateur after all, but these days can easily present myself around wine-knowledgeable people. If not for the blog, I would have not taken so many hours to myself to study. Additionally, I am becoming more and more of a confident photographer. I still struggle with pictures of people and other moving objects, but my food photos are beginning to look quite delicious. At least to my own eye.
Along with all the skills I have developed, the wine business has given us a lot of happiness. I was just reflecting on it when standing at the Torelló counter at Cavatast. We were surrounded by people we have met in the recent years. Today we call them friends. Our glasses were full (of Torelló Brut Nature Gran Reserva) and we were picking on pieces of meat that was being passed around. Music was playing and people were laughing. I felt very blessed. Or perhaps deserving. We have worked a lot. We have made a huge effort to connect with people and bond. I will remember these moments better than I will remember any paycheck.
So what started with Cava will continue with Cava; and other wines and food as well. Who knows, maybe I will be publishing a Wineweek 200 in two years time. And as always, I will continue to write whatever pops into my head at that time. Not that I can say I have been very successfull with a huge number of readers. However, that is how I enjoy writing the most.
Estimated time of arrival at Cavatast in Sant Sadurni: 2.5 days. Time until we board the plane: 1.5 days. Hours until I open the first cava of the week -best guess 20 (less than 24 at least). A welcome overdose of Cava is close and I can feel it, so I am preparing by reading up on what is new this year on the official tourist-site of Sant Sadurni. Continue reading “Whats New at Cavatast 2016”
It is September! How on earth is it already September? Where did the summer go? Or rather, where did the whole year go? I still remember how the year seemed to go on forever when I was young. Perhaps I should just think that time flies when you are having fun. And this week, we have been having a lot of fun: walking in sunny Stockholm, drinking some great wine and visiting the newly opened Punk Royale Cafe. Continue reading “Wineweek 95: The Beginning of September”
As summer is closing to it’s end, at least here in Sweden, I like turning my attention to what will be happening in the fall. The highlight is of course Cavatast, the festival to celebrate all that is to do with the spanish premium bubbly. Cavatast is a festival for everyone: locals, professionals as well as tourists. In recent years it has taken a bit of a gastronomical direction as well with an increasing number of food vendors participating in the festivities. As every year, there is no information regarding this festival in English, so I have used my nonexisting skills in spanish to make educated guesses on what is in store for us. The only thing I can be quite sure about is the dates: 7th to the 9th of October. Continue reading “Cavatast is Coming Again”
The reason I am posting today as opposed to my usual time on Wednesday is very simple. I was just too busy. Too busy introducing the newest member of the Winecurious family, Torelló, to some of our best clients. This deal has been cooking for a while. We have been in discussions with Torello for almost half a year, and finally all of our efforts have been rewarded. Our first shipment of Torelló wines will leave Spain next week. Continue reading “Say Welcome to Torelló!”
A year has passed. Where did all that time go? I must have done something during these 52 weeks.. Looking at the statistics, we have posted 266 times, had around 7000 views (that’s of course quite small, many bogs have more in an hour) and 1000 visitors. So we must have done a lot. For my 52nd Wineweek, I thought I would mention the most popular posts of the year, as well as my personal favorites.
When asked which cava was the best I tasted all week, I don’t know what to answer. Ramon, the owner of Jaume Giró i Giró cavas phrased it in a good way: can you really say which one of your children you love the most? I only have one, but I can see his point. During the week in Spain, we tasted perhaps around 50 different cavas, so instead of announcing a winner I thought I would mention a few new acquaintances that stood out.
1. Torelló Rose Brut Reserva. This cava is a blend of Garnacha and Pinot Noir. It is a Catalan style Rose: deep in color and rich with taste. Taste is full with red berries. The Cava is not sweet at all. One of the best rose Cavas I have tasted.
2. Juve y Camps 100% Xarello Essential. I am sure that it has become clear that I am a fan of the Xarello grape. It gives a full bodied and aromatic cava with citrus fruits and mineral freshness. A perfect companion on a hot day.
3. Jaume Giró i Giró Montaner Gran Reserva. The Montaner is a blend of the cava trio: Xarello, Macabeo and Parellada, and Chardonnay. The nose has nice aromas of peach and honey melon. The taste has light acidity with hints of brioche and a nice creamy mouthfeel. Truly a stunning cava!
4. Mestres Visol 2007 Brut Nature. The house of Mestres has a distinct style. They are charismatic with an oxidized flavor and a touch of oak. The Visol has aromas of dried fruits, brioche and roasted nuts.
5. Martinez Rose (by Rimats Cava). Last year when we visited Rimarts, they had already sold out of their special edition Rose, Martinez. This year, we were well on time to taste the new harvest. The Martinez is also a blend of Garnacha and Pinot Noir. The color is absolutely stunning, light ruby pink. It is a young cava with extreme freshness and clean taste. It is very seldom that a Rose is made as a Brut Nature (no dosage). I am not sure if I would pick it as a rose if I were blind tasting (in dark glasses).
Bonus: Pere Mata Brut Nature Gran Reserva. When tasting this cava, both myself and M were amazed. The taste was fresh with white fruits, burned butter and brioche, and the mouthfeel was creamy. We had tasted quite many cavas during the week with nice aromas enticed by long aging, but this one stood out as very clean. The real surprise came when we heard that this cava was made with no Chardonnay. It is seldom that the cava trio produces such deep toasty notes.
There! Some cavas to put on the shopping list. The more I learn about cava, the more I am convinced that it has a bright future as a premium choice for bubbly.
Greetings from Barcelona! It is the day after Cavatast; the sun is shining and people are out and about. We have just come back from a lovely cava-brunch at the Mandarin Oriental (as if there was not enough cava yesterday). Now a few hours of rest and we will head out for dinner. Eating, drinking and walking around; that is what our (working) holidays are made of. Especially in Barcelona, it is just great to walk around and pop into whatever café or bar that looks nice. There is an abundance of new places to visit.
But enough with the chit chat. I am sure you are most interested in reading more about Cavatast. In general I have to say the day was good. We visited the stands of many new and exciting producers as well as mingled with a cava-loving crowd. Everyone was in a festive mood clinking glasses and sipping ice cold cava. A group of swedes even bursted into song in the middle of the street giving a good show the surrounding crowd. In the small town of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, cava brings both locals and tourists close together. You don’t even need to speak the same language, a small nod and a raise of your glass is enough.
Having experienced the festival last year, we knew roughly how many producers and cavas we could seriously try out before getting too tired (and drunk). To be honest, it is not that many. The tongue also gets numb after too much bubbly. We made it up to ten producers and around twenty cavas; after which we felt that it was time to start heading back to Barcelona. We visited: Berta, Mestres “vins de cava”, Jaume Giro I Giro, Fonpinet, Llopart, Juve y Camps, Oliver Viticultros, Muscandia, Eudald Massana Noya and Alsina Sarda. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all was Juve y Camps, that we have labelled as one of these major houses (with mass production and a lot of sugar added to the cava). We had a chance to meet some people from the company as well as have a taste of their range. Their new product, a 100% Xarello cava was perhaps the best of the whole day. You might recall, I have been writing about my interest in Xarello before (post here); I am definitely a fan of the local grape variety. Other positive experiences were at Mestres (their Visol 2007), Muscandia (the Rose and Gran Reserva) and Oliver Viticultros (Barrica). We are also hoping to be able to go and visit Jaume Giro i Giro next week as they had some very impressive Gran Reservas in their range.
We also visited the Cavatast boutique. Amazing selection and prices. We were able to contain ourselves and bought only seven bottles. Some cavas were so cheap, that we just bought a bottle based on the description. Fonpinets Gran Reserva (aged 48months) was less than 5€ a pop. I can invest a fiver into trying something new, and even better if it is good. At least based on our taster of their ecological Brut Nature, they know what they are doing.
Food this year was also better: meat cones, cakes and pastries as well as some better quality tapas. A local chocolatier also had a stand celebrating the towns trademark bubbly with some chocolate bottles and other small snacks. I am actually hoping for the festival to take a more gastronomical direction.
That was it for this weeks recap. The coming week we will be going back to Sant Sadurni for a few days. We will be visiting Torello, Rimarts as well as Peret Fuster. Hopefully also some other new acquaintances if we are able to set up meeting at this short of a notice. I think in Spain they are pretty relaxed and flexible and have no problem doing stuff at a moments notice (if they feel like it). Now to get ready for dinner and some more wine. Have a great week you all!