Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

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Swedish alcohol supplier said the country’s state-run liquor monopoly sent back 6,000 bottles of a Spanish wine because it tasted better than the samples.

Kare Hallden, chief executive officer of alcohol supplier Spruce Up, said state-run liquor store monopoly Systembolaget chose to stock Spanish albarino wine Fulget after choosing its samples over 50 competitors in March, The Local.se reported Friday.

However, Hallden said the store sent the 6,000 bottles back to the company in May because the wine delivered was “clearly better” than the March samples.

 

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a.k.a Wine and Cola...

a.k.a Wine and Cola…

 

Some might consider the kalimotxo (pronounced cal-ee-MO-cho) a guilty pleasure; I’ve received more than a few skeptical glances when I’ve ordered it at bars in New York.

 

But I don’t feel an iota of contrition when I drink this Basque-country classic. It couldn’t be easier: equal parts red wine (some say the cheaper the better, but that’s up to you) and cola. I like a squeeze of lemon juice for a little brightness, and maybe a slice of lemon or orange to dress it up. But purists might consider even those modest additions a little fussy. The overall effect is surprisingly sangria-esque, minus all that fruit-chopping and waiting, and wonderfully refreshing.

 

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As the wine director at Jaynes Gastropub, I am constantly trying to edge people away from the common toward the lesser-known grape varieties and wines. Like pinot noir? Then try nebbiolo. Like Syrah? Then consider a blend from Provence. When it comes to the diners seeking “big” wines, such as cabernet, merlot or malbec, I have one secret weapon and that is Rioja.

Rioja can be either red, white or rosé. The red is made from what I consider to be Spain’s greatest grape, tempranillo, blended with smaller amounts of garnacha, graciano and mazuelo. Tempranillo is a variety that shares some characteristics with nebbiolo and pinot noir: thin-skinned, light in hue yet very bold with the ability to yield highly complex and utterly delicious wines. Rioja is also somewhat reminiscent of French Bordeaux, with strong oak integration, albeit American white oak instead of French wood. In the end, this wine is utterly Spanish and well worth seeking out. Here are a few recommendations:

A 2008 C.V.N.E. Vina Real Crianza is an excellent entry-level Rioja and very approachable when young. The vanilla characteristics of the American oak blends beautifully with the red cherry and berry fruits. This particular wine comes from the Rioja Alavesa region. The Vina Real Reserva is a very modestly priced wine, generally around $16 retail, from a fifth-generation producer. (Available at Bine and Vine on Adams Avenue.)

My all-time favorite Rioja producer is R. Lopez De Heredia from the city of Haro in La Rioja Alta. It makes some of the most traditional wines in the region with 135-year-old cellars filled with cobwebs, spiders and dust, the antithesis of the spit-shined and pressure-washed modern winery. Lopez, as it is affectionately called by American wine geeks, holds back vintages before release longer than just about any other producer and creates some of the most interesting wines in the world, including a 13-year-old new release rosé. The winery’s current-release Crianza is the 2005 Vina Cubillo Crianza, available by the bottle at one of the best wine restaurants in San Diego — Costa Brava in Pacific Beach. Owner Javier Gonzalez and I share a mutual love for this winery.

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Wine from Rioja.

Wine from Rioja.

 

Rioja is becoming “increasingly polarised” in terms of quality, according to one of the top winemakers in the region.

“Some producers are destroying the image of Rioja by putting Gran Reservas on the market for £8 a bottle, which is stupid,” Jesús Madrazo, chief winemaker for Contino, told the drinks business during a visit to London this week.

“The region is becoming increasingly divided between those at the bottom end producing volume wines, and those who are really serious about quality and terroir,” he added.

Madrazo believes the future for the region lies in the new generation of terroir-focused winemakers coming up through the ranks.
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Who needs the French?

Who needs the French?

 

 

Sales of Prosecco are outperforming Champagne at a number of the UK’s largest wine retailers.

Prosecco sales at Tesco are up 50% year-on-year, with the Italian sparkling wine outperforming both Champagne and Cava at the world’s largest wine retailer.

“What makes the rising demand for Prosecco even more startling is that until about five years ago it was generally only known by connoisseurs,” Tesco’s wine category manager, Alain Guilpain, told The Guardian.
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ilus_pano_cava

 

Noel Reid, wine and spirits buyer at Frederic Robinson has said positioning Champagne at prices not far above that of Prosecco or Cava could “very seriously damage the reputation of the entire segment”.

His comments come on the back of the Harpers’ news story on December 19, when Dr Steve Charters MW, professor of Champagne management at Reims Management School claims on the back of the Eurozone crisis the market will not pick up until 2014/2015.

In response from an on-trade perspective Reid said: “I think it is fair that Champagne sales mirror the success or otherwise of our economy at that time.” He added there will always be individual brands that buck the trend due to great marketing or brand loyalty, in other words success stories which you find within any consumer sector.

However, Reid said the fear for Christmas 2012 and 2013 is that retailers will simply “buy” market share with huge price reductions that have a significant impact on sales and can lead to a real worry of consumers believing that the prices are sustainable with clearly they are not.

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The better side of life!

The better side of life!

 

Campari has unveiled the images for its 2013 calendar featuring Spanish actress Penelope Cruz captured by Paris-based fashion photographer, Kristian Schuller.

 

The calendar is the fourteenth to be produced by the Italian bitters brand, and Cruz follows other famous women who have adorned its pages, such as Salma Hayek, Eva Mendes and Jessica Alba.

2013’s edition has been dubbed Kiss Superstition Goodbye and sees Cruz in 13 shots reflecting a range of superstitions, such as black cats, broken mirrors and walking under ladders.
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