The holiday season is upon us, and once again this year we’ve asked our wine buyers at both shops to recommend the wines they’re most excited about gifting this year. These are not every day wines, but rather special bottles that you will want to gift or sip with loved ones. If any of these wines strike your fancy let us know so we can set a bottle (or more) aside for you, as some of them are rare and available in very limited quantities.
Posts Tagged ‘Spain’
Posted in Christmas, Hanukkah, Holiday, New Year's, Wine, tagged 1979 Kopke Colheita Port, 2005 CUNE “Contino” Rioja Reserva, 2012 Domaine Comte Abbatucci "Cuvee Faustine" Rouge, 2012 Domaine Tempier "Cuvée Classique" Rouge, Bandol, Corsica, food, food gifts, France, gift ideas, gift wines, La Cigarrera Amontillado VOR, La Rioja, Mourvèdre, Portugal, Provence, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Sherry, Spain, Tawny Port, Tempranillo, Wine on December 18, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Olive Oil & Specialty Oils, tagged extra virgin olive oil, Greece, Italy, La Bandiera, My Olive Tree, olive oil, Olive Oil & Specialty Oils, Spain, Xertoli, Xertoli Coupage on August 20, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Last month Tim tackled the biggest question on many olive oil consumers’ minds – guaranteeing authenticity in the face of fraud. While some may be tempted to solve this problem by swearing off certain countries of production, Tim argued that the key to finding great olive oil is finding a source you can trust. As we have experienced in our search for the best products for our shops, there are excellent, fair, and yes, fraudulent olive oils in all olive growing regions. It is only by knowing the producer and building trust with them that we can guaranteeing an excellent oil every time.
With that in mind, and as somewhat of an olive oil novice myself, I took it upon myself to taste through a few of our favorite olive oils, settling on three producers from three different countries representing some of the best oils Europe has to offer.
Posted in Chocolate, Producer Profile, Spain, tagged Agramunt, Aynouse, cacao, Chocolate, cocoa beans, food, Pere Planagumà, Spain, xocolates, Xocolates Aynouse l'Artesà on April 7, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
In February 2013, while Ihsan and I were visiting our friend Pere Planagumà (head chef at the restaurant Les Cols in Olot, Catalonia), we stopped in the ancient historic city of Girona for a food show and discovered chocolate maker Francisco Javier “Xavi” Rodriquez Perez. Actually, Xavi recognized us — he used to be the chocolatier for another Catalan chocolate company. It was a nice reunion seeing Xavi and to learn that he decided to open his own company Xocolates Aynouse l’Artesà in the town of Agramunt. (more…)
Posted in Cheese, Meats & Charcuterie, Spain, Travelogues, tagged acorns, Berrocales, Cabra Berrocales, Cheese, Chiviri, Chorizo de Iberico, eau de vie, El Chamizo, food, Iberico, Iberico pig, jamón, Jamón Iberico, Jamón Iberico de Bellota, José Antonio, Lomo de Iberico, Mil Ovejas, pata negra, Queseria Berrocales Trujillanos, Spain, travel, Trujillo on October 12, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
I recently had the opportunity to attend a small festival of food producers in the Extremadura region of Spain with fellow food buyers representing small shops as well as large distributors from around the world. I had never been to Spain before and was thrilled to be able to visit a country with such a rich and diverse culinary history – and to be able to discover new and delicious products for our stores. (more…)
Posted in Beverages, Food History, Food Science, Pairings, Spain, Wine, tagged amontillado, El Maestro Sierra, fino, flor, Jose Antonio Sierra, oloroso, Pilar Pla Pechovierto, Sherry, Spain, Wine on April 22, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Sherry (“Xerez” in Spanish) is made in the region of the same name on the southern tip of Spain near Gibraltar. There, Palomino grapes are grown on chalky soils called albariza. The grapes are fermented into dry wines, then fortified and placed into large, 500L oak barrels. Some of these barrels develop a thick layer of yeast called flor (literally “flower”).
Flor is naturally occurring, unpredictable, and can’t be induced or controlled once it occurs! When it does form, the wine ages underneath without oxidizing, resulting in what is known as a fino Sherry. If the flor forms, but then dies off or doesn’t develop, the wine, if deemed rich and robust enough, is fortified a bit more and then allowed to slowly oxidize and become an amontillado. If a flor does not form at all, the wine will be fortified further and will be aged in wooden barrels to become a richer and darker oloroso Sherry. In the case of amontillado and oloroso styles of Sherry, exposure to oxygen turns the wine a coppery color, and encourages the development of toasty, nutty aromas. Yum. (more…)
When Valerie, Ihsan and I visited the Ameztoi Winery in October of last year, rosé season was months away. Now a cool but sunny April has arrived and with it has come our first shipment of Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado*.
Ameztoi is one among a cluster of wineries perched high in the hills of the Getaria province of Spain, overlooking the Atlantic ocean. On a clear day, you can see the city of San Sebastián from Ameztoi’s vineyards.
Ignacio Ameztoi is a 7th generation winemaker. He and his enormous German Shepherd gave us a personal tour of the family winery – a pretty building completely surrounded by grapevines with a stunning view of the Atlantic. Ameztoi’s vines are quite old, many 150 years or older. (more…)