The Opinion by Iñaki Lz. De Viñaspre

The Opinion by Iñaki Lz. De Viñaspre

The Txuletón in Basque Cuisine. The story of an old, fat cow The origins We don’t know exactly since when Txuletones have been eaten in the Basque Country, we do however know that since the XVIII century it has been a whole gastronomic and festive event in certain rural areas of Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa. Bovine animals, both female and male, had a very clear role in the economy of the homestead: females would dedicate their lives to give birth and most of them to produce milk. This would be done in micro-exploitations, meaning…Read more
Spanish Wines in the United States

Spanish Wines in the United States

A conversation with Eric Solomon, founder or European Cellars -What is the current state of Spanish wines in the United States? Curious but cautious. -Curious? How? More and more Americans are traveling to Spain and there is an increasing interest in Spanish cuisine and regional wines. When I meet people who have returned from Spain, they tell me that they had no idea that it was such a large country – it’s more like four countries when you travel from Galicia to Barcelona with different languages, foods, traditions and wines. It seems that…Read more
Jerez: pleasure & frustration

Jerez: pleasure & frustration

By Jens Riis I admit to having a major weak spot for sherries (and other fortified Spanish wines). Over the years I’ve had many chances to enjoy these great wines; but, the low level of interest I perceive in Spain makes for serious concern & frustration. The saying “nobody is a prophet in their own land” defines it to perfection; from what I can see, sherries continue to out of sync with consumer preferences in this country. I seldom see people ordering a fino in a bar or restaurant; that said there have…Read more
Jacques Thienpont on Pomerol – An interview for Vila Viniteca

Jacques Thienpont on Pomerol – An interview for Vila Viniteca

How would you describe the Pomerol landscape? You can divide Pomerol into three distinct zones. There is the highest point of Pomerol, the plateau, which includes all of the top estates –Pétrus, Vieux Chateau Certan, L’Evangile, La Conseillante, Le Pin, Trotanoy and Eglise Clinet; then you have the slopes that go from the plateau down to the plain where you find excellent chateaux such as La Croix de Gay, Gazin, Feytit Clinet, Nenin and finally there are the chateaux which are on the sandier soils such as Clos de Réné, Chateau de Sales,…Read more
Robert Parker, the most significant phenomenon in the fine wine trade for the past 50 years

Robert Parker, the most significant phenomenon in the fine wine trade for the past 50 years

By Christopher Cannan My relationship with Robert Parker dates back to 1981 when I received a phone call requesting we organize a visit to Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape for Mr. Parker, a lawyer and author of a little known local wine newsletter near Baltimore in the U.S.A. Little more was heard about Bob Parker until early 1983 when he claimed the 1982 vintage in Bordeaux was the vintage of the century and must not be missed by any serious collector and lover of Bordeaux wines. Robert  Finigan, the most influential wine…Read more
The fascination and frustration of Bordeaux

The fascination and frustration of Bordeaux

By Andrew Black Back in the late 1970s, looking for my first job, I sent a letter to several prominent London wine merchants, saying that I had a passion for wine. Could they help? One of them, Laurence Hayward, responded with a short but encouraging message. “Anyone with a passion for wine”, he said, “deserves an interview”.  And so my career in wine began, but not quite in the way I imagined after receiving that letter. My interview was short and Mr Hayward was to the point. “If you want to understand wine…Read more
Have we fallen out of love with Bordeaux?

Have we fallen out of love with Bordeaux?

By Fiona Morrison M.W. As I sit down to write this, Bordeaux is in the middle of “en primeur “ week at the end of March/beginning of April.  This is the moment, when Bordeaux presents its new vintage, worthy of viewing or not, to the wine world.  The quality of the vintage, indeed the question of whether a vintage should be purchased “en primeur” has become rather irrelevant. So important is it to see and be seen in Bordeaux that if you wanted to keep a foothold in the business, you join the masses…Read more
Bar Spoons: A Stirring History

Bar Spoons: A Stirring History

By Jared Brown & Anistatia Miller Do you know the traditional names of the three common styles of bar spoon? Bar spoon, mazagran, and sucket? All were born before the advent of the modern bar. This is not surprising since the spoon is the oldest of humankind's dedicated eating utensils.  The spoon is an ancient invention, used since Paleolithic times. It's likely that early man used shells or bits of wood then began improving on nature’s designs hand crafting and perfecting his implements. In fact, the ancient Greek and Latin words for spoon…Read more
The importance of learning from each other

The importance of learning from each other

By Dirk Niepoort I love true vignerons - they are rare but they still exist - mostly in France, though there are a few in Germany and other places in the world. True vignerons believe in terroir, they have usually learnt from the previous generation, they probably have not travelled much and they are not specialists in anything because they do everything:        they tend the vineyards during the year,       they make the wines at harvest time,       they oversee the ageing of the wines,      …Read more
The fall and rise of Garnacha in Aragon?

The fall and rise of Garnacha in Aragon?

By Norrel Robertson  As I write the 2014 harvest in Aragon is drawing to a close for what has been an up and down vintage where we have seen possibly the largest quantity of Garnacha in Spain since the 2004 vintage. Quality is likely to be determined by those who were brave enough to drop crops before veraison and to avoid the risk of disease, especially botrytis, which attacks over cropped, tight and compact bunches that Garnacha produces when intervention is eschewed in favour of kilos. For many producers, growers and wineries this has…Read more