What is a great week in Barcelona made of? Sun, sand and the sea, and great food accompanied by cava. We really got lucky with the weather, as well as choice of restaurants. If one is allowed to complain about something, it was the beds in our rental apartment. They were rock hard. So we slept poorly. I actually needed the weekend to recover from our vacation. Continue reading “Wineweek 153: Barcelona in Pictures”
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”
A while back, BBC published an interesting article about this Spanish company that has started making blue wine. A really bright blue wine, might I add, not something that looks very natural. The thought of this makes me think publicity stunt. But I don’t want to be stuck with what I think wine should look like (it looks like something out of Star Wars…I can imagine Jabba the Hut drinking it). I want to judge a drink by its aromas and taste, and the experience of drinking it. Until now I have not been able to get my hands on this new invention, but I thought to write about it anyway. Really interesting to hear if any of you have tried it? Continue reading “Blue Wine – Seriously?”
What a week we have behind us. Now sitting home in cold Sweden, I am reminiscing our time in Barcelona. The weather was not great to be honest. Last two days it was around +14 Celsius and rain. But we found these amazingly cozy spots for wine, where one could just forget about the world outside, or even enjoy the moist weather. Continue reading “New Wine Finds in Barcelona”
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”
We have worked all week. Every evening after dinner, we have opened our laptops to work on our new Shopify web shop. It has felt good doing some extra work for the business, as we have admittedly been slacking off lately. Or rather been focusing on tasting wines instead of actively selling them. Today we launched the new website with great pride! Not that it looks as good as many professionally made web shops, however, I consider this quite an achievement as we are complete amateurs in this field. Oh, the possibilities one has today with To honor the launch, we have also added some great new wines to the selection. Continue reading “Wineweek 81:A Fresh New Look”
I don’t really think Sweden is a rose country. Not in the way for example Spain is. However, in the spring there is some kind of wacky rosé-fever. Everyone wants to start drinking it around the time of April. The season will peak by mid-June, and no one will even look at a bottle of rose after August. If you are interested in a short introduction of how rose is made, you can have a peak at this earlier post on the topic Continue reading “The Spring Rose Special”
Last weekend I attended the Nordic Travel Exhibition in Helsinki. I was there to market my home city, Stockholm, however ended up on stage talking about wine. How did that happen? Well that I will save for another post. But long story short, I was on stage interviewing two fun ladies who had been living one in Barcelona and one in Lisbon for a large part of their lives, on wine-travel. We discussed the wine culture in both cities/countries, wine opportunities and most interestingly where and how to do wine-travel. I thought I would share some of the highlights of that discussion with you today on how to organize a successful wine-trip. There are of course organized tours, but the recommendations below focus on if you want to plan your trip yourself (which I always do). Continue reading “Tips for Booking a Wine Trip”
As we are quite fond of Spanish and Portuguese wines, we have crossed ways with Albariño (or Alvarinho in Portuguese) many times. It is a variety of white grape grown in northwest Spain (Galicia) and northwest Portugal (Monção and Melgaço). The wines made from the varietal are fresh with mineral notes and high acidity. Even though the grape comes from areas that have heavy rainfall the local saying is “wine is sunlight, held together by water”. Thus, a perfect wine to enjoy during the winter to remind us of the pleasures of summer.
When I started this blog, it was very much just for me. It still is, but it has also brought me some great opportunities to meet new people. In the beginning of the summer I was contacted by Raidel. He is a fellow cavalover and has been actively marketing cava as a premium bubbly in the UK. We agreed to meet at Cavatast, and Raidel also introduced us to a new cava acquaintance, Torelló. We had tasted one fo the Torelló cavas before, their 225 (lightly oaked) gran reserva at Jason Athertons Esquina all the way in Singapore. If you followed this blog when we were in Asia last winter, you might have noticed that we were very deprived of good bubbly, so a glass of the 225 at that moment felt like a gift from God. So we were very excited to receive an invite to the Torelló family estate on the week following cavatast. This producer had made an impression, and we were very curious to find out more.
We were welcomed to the estate by Rosó, the new Export manager for Torelló cava. Born in Sant Sadurni, Rosó has long experience working with the “Champagne of Spain” (eg at the Institut del Cava). She gave us a quick tour of the facilities and an overview of the Can Martí estate that is not only the winery but also partially the family home. The Torellós have an impressive history dating back to the 13 hundreds. The day continued with a tour at the Torelló cellars. Tony Torelló, who is not only a Director at Torelló cava but also the president of the Confraria del Cava (the brotherhood of cava), explained the production process and the philosophy of the house. The emphasis is clearly on premium cava. A good product will sell its self. Torelló has high emphasis on the care given to the land and vines: grooming and picking by hand. Thus Torelló is one of the few houses that use only their own grapes. I have gone through quite many tours of cava production, but the part that stood out most for me was how the coupage (blend) was made. Perhaps you cannot call it a coupage at all. All the grapes going to the cava are pressed together, kind of like what one would do with a field blend. So all the varietals are in together already from the first fermentation. Torelló has also invested in the technology for soft pressing and uses mainly the free run juice in its production. The emphasis was in using verietals indigenous to Penedes. The use of Chardonnay was low in the selection.
After the tour we were treated to a nice Catalan lunch: traditional Catalan tomato bread, cold cuts, cheese and omelette as well as a warm dish of pork fillet (so good). We also sampled “a few” of the Torello cavas to get a good taste for the selection. We started off with the entry level selection: the light Pal.lìd Rose Brut Reserva and the Torello Brut Reserva. It was a hot day, so the cold cava was more than welcome. There was also some white wine available in the ice bucket, but I was so consumed by the food that I forgot about it (silly me). We also sampled some of the more premium products: the Grand Torelló Brut Nature Gran Reserva, the 225 Brut Nature Gran Reserva (aged in barrel), the Rose Brut Reserva and the Soto Special Edition Brut Gran Reserva (with chardonnay). We also sampled the Raimonda red wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It was lighter than expected, so very refreshing in the hot weather. All in all the wines were excellent, however the 225 remains my favorite even though I am seldom a fan of oak.
The day ended with coffees and an interesting discussion on how cava is perceived in each market (there were representatives from UK, Denmark and Germany) and how cava could be promoted for people to understand its full potential. A very interesting discussion with like-minded cavalovers and experts n their own country.
I must say we were very impressed by the quality of Torelló cavas in general. It is definitely something we could imagine having in our selection some day. Right now it seems like there is a distributor already for Sweden, but lets see, you never know what happens. We will most definitely keep an eye on the house. Even if we cannot distribute the Torelló cavas at the moment, we can most definitely drink them. A great big thank you to Raidel, who introduced us to Torelló. And of course to our new friends Rosó and Tony, who arranged this great day and introduction to the estate. We feel blessed that we were treated to such a lovely visit!
If you wish to visit the estate, Torelló opens their winery for guests once a month. You can check the dates and instructions on www.torello.com.