Txakolina! And Other Confusing Words

Spring has sprung- at least in the baseball universe. Ken Korach’s lulling voice is vibrating through my radio, the A’s have beaten the Giants twice already and I can almost smell the scent of kettle corn that wafts optimistically through the left field bleachers. The sounds and smells of summer are slowly approaching, and with that comes the super light, slightly effervescent little patio pounder, Txakolina. (more…)

¡Cava!

As a sommelier and wine geek there are wines I frequently find myself defending, and to be sure, Cava is one of them. People are scared of it, and rightfully so, I suppose. Diners have been burned by the substandard, cloyingly sweet sparklers restaurants have been willing to put on their list as a cheap alternative to Champagne. And to be real, the Cava DO hasn’t exactly been known to favor quality. Many Cava producers are looking to make a dollar on volume, rather than focusing on the terruño or the wine’s potential for depth and character. But, in the words Steph Curry, “let’s make that old”. (more…)

Garnatxa Blanca and Terra Alta

Grenache Blanc has never been a favorite of mine. I’ve always found it a little flabby, slightly oily and lacking in the acid department. There is a special place in this universe however, called Terra Alta, Catalunya, where Garnatxa Blanca changes shape (is more fun to spell), and becomes a mineral, salty, slightly voluptuous little vixen that makes you understand why wine is a thing of place, and why we can thank our lucky stars somebody put it there. (more…)

Envínate and the Canary Islands

Located 70 miles off the west coast of Morocco, on landscapes that rival an episode of Star Trek, lie the Spanish-owned Canary Islands. It is the most tropical wine region in all of Europe, and boasts having never been affected by phylloxera- that pesky little aphid that destroyed most of the vineyards in 19th century Europe. Seven Islands make up the Canaries, each with its own soil composition and microclimate. It’s likely we’ll talk about every island at some point, but right now I want to talk about the island of Tenerife, and the very tasty bottle of 2014 Envínate “Táganan Parcela Amogoje” I just drank. (more…)

Luis Rodriguez

I’ve got a thing for indigenous varietals. Varietals that have neared extinction, but some romantic, talented winemaker has decided to come in and replant them for the love of the region, the land, the terruño! That’s the kind of shit that gets me excited about wine. This is happening slowly but surely in Galicia, where a number of cool winemakers are ripping out vines like Palamino Fino, Tempranillo and even Mencía (yep) for varietals that reach full potential in the soils and steep slopes of the region. And if we are going to touch on this subject, which we are- A LOT- we’ve got to start with the main man of Ribeiro- Luis Rodriguez. (more…)

It rains in Spain…

Look friends, it rains in Spain. In fact in Ribeira Sacra, Galicia it’s going to rain this Thursday. I state this only because I think when people consider Spanish wine they envision this dry, hot climate where red grapes roast in the sun and where acidity goes to die. And sure, there are some big ass wines that reek of oak and come in bottles that I can barely bench press. But in places like Ribeira Sacra, where it’s going to rain this Thursday, there are wines being made with the panache of Pinot Noir, and the elegance of a Steph Curry layup. And maybe it’s because Galicia is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, or because in Terra Alta, Catalunya they are producing the best Garnatxa Blanca I’ve ever tasted; maybe it’s just because I want to talk about Steph Curry, but I’m writing this blog and making it my job to drop all the science I possibly can about Spanish wine on anyone who will listen. I’ll tell you what it is, how it was made, where to get it and why it’s so gosh darn delicious. All you have to do is read about it…and drink it up. Vale!!?

 

Blogged at: Mom and Dad’s. Oakland, CA

Soundtrack: Mac Dre, It’s Raining Game