Tag Archives: Spain

Local Produce

Wherever you are there you will be. So if you be there then you should eat whatever is local.
When in the Costa del Sol in Spain nothing is more local than seafood paella with a chilled Rioja. If you’re not chilling your red wine in the summer then you need to start.
These be some photos of the paella I made Saturday night with tiny clams, Galatia mussels, calamari, and shrimp.

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Cultural Appreciation

Some observations for my first week in Spain
1. My outdoor cocina is an upgrade from my own in Guelph. At least the view is
2. Large dogs still bark all night. The small ones bark all day – prompting me to learn a new Spanish phrase, “ese pequeño perro es un charlatán incansable” [that small dog is a tireless barker] which I think demonstrates considerable cultural acceptance from my last visit when I learned “cállate estúpido perro” [shut up stupid dog].
3. Coffee is milky and good and you get little heat blisters on your fingers because they serve it in un vaso
4. Wine is inexpensive and really good – good enough that I dared myself to drink the lunch sized tetra pack last night
5. The food colours are vibrant

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World Cup Predictions

Manatees, monkeys, and an octopus are all used as predictor of winners of major sporting events. Groundhogs too if you count Spring as a sporting event.

So this year I decided to open a Rioja and if it sees its shadow then Spain is going to win FIFA’s World Cup again. The proof is right before you.  Start singing “Campeones, campeones, ole, ole, ole!

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Thanks Bodegas LAN – you were delicious.20140608-164032-60032357.jpg


Picking Spain

I get distracted easily.  Recently I’ve been writing about beer, cognac, chocolate, and the election.  Already the title of this post, Picking Spain, has me thinking about the World Cup and not wine. Time to get back to wine – at least until something else distracts me.

As the summer draws closer my thoughts turn to my 2nd home – Spain. Okay, so it’s my brother’s home but whatever. I will be there in a month buying what the Spaniards call “el cheap wine“. The locals like it when you learn their language.

I think I should start preparing for my trip.  My wife starts packing for her trip about now – deciding on her colour story [that's a real thing apparently]. I’ll start with my best selections from the LCBO  Spanish wines [click for LCBO link]. My colour story is 2 reds, a white, and a rosado.

  1. Beronia Reserva $20- classic Rioja [Tempranillo grape] at an affordable price. Reminds me of a hot, dry Spanish summer
  2. Hecula $12- lighter than a Rioja made in the south from Monastrell grapes
  3. Marquis de Riscal $13- a crisp white for those hot days in the garden
  4. Muga Rosado  $13- get it while you can – best pink in the store

And while I think of it … I did pick Spain to win the World Cup again.  Iker!!!!!

BERONIA RESERVA – Smooth tannins. Reservas are aged for a minimum of 1 yr in oak and 2 yrs in the bottle. They cost a little more but believe me, they are worth it.
VINTAGES Essential 50203 |Price $ 19.95

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El Niño – a hot, dry summer

I am currently looking for summer. I read a funny comic last week that said “The first person to complain about how hot is is this summer gets a punch in the throat”. People get a little emotional waiting this long for summer.

I started looking for summer in the Spanish aisle of the LCBO.

My brother-in-Spain says that a good Spanish Rioja tastes like a hot, dry summer. When we opened this one I got a little emotional.  Maybe I miss my brother? Maybe it’s the absurdly cruel long winter that really got me? Maybe I got a piece of cork in my contact? Whatever it was, I did get a little teary at how much this wine reminded me of a hot, dry Spanish summer.

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CAMPO VIEJO RIOJA TEMPRANILLO
LCBO 342006 |Price $ 14.40 

Dark plum and cherry fruits with a dryness that persisted on my palate [evoking the emotional response I referred to earlier]

 


You’ve got mail

I would like to do my own rant about the mail service in Canada.  Specifically the volume of email that gets sent to me .  Today I came home to find 38 unread emails. 38!  Those are just the ones that made it past my Spam and Bulk filters – that my wife hadn’t read already. I’ve had enough. So here goes …

icon_emailDear J. Crew,  stop sending me three emails at 5 a.m. and then again at 7:30 a.m. That is not the one ankle boot I need this year.

Dear Apple Store,  stop making your email come up a different colour than all the rest.  It freaks me out that only you can do that.

Dear eBay, I’ve NEVER purchased anything from you ever. How did you even get my email?

Dear FaceBook, stop changing your settings every 3 hours – I’m again getting notifications from people I unfriended a year ago [sorry Mom]

And hey Starbucks … if one more 50% off my favourite latte coupon gets sent my way today and I’m sending 50% of my next latte across your cafe floor.

Thank you for listening.

PS – my apologies to those who expected something about wine in this edition of my wine blog

PSS – brother in Spain, you’re welcome for not saying anything about wine in this edition of my wine blog

PSS – my wife wouldn’t let me say anything bad to the people at Pinterest


Too much time on my hands

Lyrics from the 80’s.  My 16 yr old nephew [nephew-in-Spain] was recently exposed to “Come Sail Away” by Styx for the first time.  I have a photo of the priceless, puzzled look on his face. “What in the heck in the what?”, is his expression. He’s right. Still, I wish I had a dollar for every time “I thought that they were Angels, but to my surprise, we loaded up the starship and headed for the skies” [2:48 and again at 3:32 in the video if you clicked on the link].

Watch out for the segue, here it comes – I think the guys at Wellington Brewery [right here in Guelph] have too much time on their hands [see what I did there?]. They have been releasing Welly one-offs at an alarming rate.  Alarming because I haven’t made it to their brewery every weekend to buy the newest brew.

Looks like my Saturdays are booked for the month.

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You can’t believe how hard I tried to make a River Styx comment – like “Wellington Brewery, where the beer flows like the river Styx” – none of them worked.


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