Viña Galvana by Delgado Zuleta

This week I was invited to a cata for this year’s edition of Bodegas Delgado Zuleta’s D.O Cádiz white wine Viña Galvana. Delgado Zuleta is of course best known for its sherries (it’s said to be the oldest bodega in the marco de Jerez), especially Manzanilla La Goya, but also produces local white wines.

The 2017 Viña Galvana (85% Palomino Fino and 15% Moscatel) is a fresh, light wine with a bright pale gold colour and a touch of fruitiness, and pairs well with fish and seafood. Really a perfect summer wine. The label pays tribute to one of Sanlucar’s most popular events, the annual horse races on the beach which take place every August. The cata was presented by Jorge Pascual, the Director-General of Delgado Zuleta and enologist José Antonio Sánchez Pazo, with promotion by @ProbandoGastro.

The event was hosted by Cinta Romero and her team at La Cochera del Abuelo, who also provided a light post-cata lunch. Thanks to everyone who helped organise this very pleasant event.

Entrechuelos Wine Tasting at La Revuelta

entrechuelos cata (1)La Revuelta opened earlier this year as a kind of all purpose cultural drop-in centre with books, art and events, especially food and wine events, and that was why I was there recently – for one of their “off the beaten track” wine tastings, this one featuring a small winery, Entrechuelos, run by Miguel Domecq, a member of the renowned Pedro Domecq sherry family. Miguel presented each wine like a proud father and I always find this kind of personal connection helps people relate better to what they’re tasting.

The Entrechuelos winery opened in 2008 on the Cortijo de Torrecera (the central farm of a grape growing estate), an area long used for vineyards, named for an 11th century Moorish watchtower built on the top of a hill overlooking the surrounding land. Although the winery is not far from Jerez, the wines produced there are not sherries, but table wines of the Tierra de Cadiz.

entrechuelos cata (2)We sampled four of these, starting with a young Chardonnay, which proved light and refreshing, slightly sweet with a good, fruity taste. This was followed by two red wines blended from Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, the first called Roble 2012, aged for six months in French oak, the second a Tercer Año 2011, aged for a year. The contrast between the two was surprising. The first failed to impress, but the extra six months of ageing of the second produced a pleasantly full-bodied and quite complex wine with a deep colour that I thoroughly enjoyed. The fourth was the Alhocen Personal Selection 2010, a slightly different blend of the same four grapes, also aged for 12 months to make a nice fruity red wine.

Check the La Revuelta Website for information about upcoming events and activities.

La Revuelta
Siete Revueltas, 33
Tel 954 21 08 06
Open: 10.00 – 14.00 / 17.00 – 20.00
Closed Sunday

Roman Wine Tasting

This is a reblog/guest post by my friend Peter @SVQconcierge about our recent visit to the Antiquarium for a very special wine tasting (words are his, pics are mine). Many thanks to Cotidian Vitae for the invitation!

As all you erudite folks probably already know, Seville was in antiquity a Roman city, probably the most important in Western Europe outside of Italy itself. It’s official name from the time of Julius Caesar was “Julia Romana”, but as often happens it was the city’s older name, Hispalis, which remained in popular use, and is preserved in altered form in the modern name. It was an important trading, manufacturing and administrative centre with extensive commercial links with Rome, exporting wine, oil and fish products back to the Imperial capital.

baetica wines


But what was daily life like in Hispalis during the six centuries of Roman domination? Recently my friend Shawn @azaharSevilla and I were lucky enough to be invited to a rather special wine tasting event at Gastrosol, atop the Metropol Parasol. It was put on by the people responsible for Cotidiana Vitae (Daily Life) at Italica, the well-preserved Roman residential city at Santiponce, just outside Seville. Roman wines were provided by Baetica, who have done excellent work in recreating the styles of wines that would have been drunk in those far off times, drawing on the knowledge of winemakers, historians and archaeologists to make them as authentic as possible.

First though, it was down into the basement for a tour of the Roman ruins discovered when work to redevelop the site of the old market in Plaza Encarnación began back in the nineties. The ruins are now a well restored and preserved archaeology museum with some fascinating things to see. These include a fish salting plant that must have been a smelly neighbour for the residents, a house with an unusual (to me at least) raised platform for dining set into a semi-circular alcove, restored mosaics, and some crude gaming tables, as well as glimpses of the stratification (new bits built over old bits) of the site as it developed.


antequarium tour

Then it was time to go upstairs for the wine tasting. Our hosts, Manuel León Béjar and Alejandro Vera had chosen four wines for us to sample, Mulsum (fermented with honey), Sanguis (steeped with rose petals), Antinoo (steeped with violets), and Mesalina (flavoured with cinnamon, and named for the wife of the Emperor Claudius), which became very popular in the later Roman Empire. It’s not really known how close these are to the Roman originals, especially as many of the old grape varieties have sadly disappeared, but extensive research into the wine making techniques of the time and descriptions of the grapes that were used gives us considerable confidence, and the use of the various flavourings is well attested to by writers and commentators of the time.

roman wine tasting
Now, I have to admit that I’m not really a wine expert, so for proper tasting notes and pairings I’m going to send you over to these good people (the notes are in Spanish), but I will say that it was a fascinating experience, and that the wines were quite distinctive compared to modern ones. My favourites were the Mulsum, which did have a definite tang of honey without being overly sweet, and the Mesalina, which was the most intensely flavoured, and was apparently mainly used at the end of, or even after, the meal. Maybe next time we’ll get a complete Roman banquet, though I’m still not convinced about the advantages of eating lying down.

For more information about activities at Italica, including tasting events, you can visit the Cotidiana Vitae website.

Originally posted on the Seville Concierge blog.

Gourmet Experience Cata

GE cata (1)

Last night Gourmet Experience Duque held its first “interactive” wine tasting, presented by sommeliers David Castro and Silvia Flores. The setting was simple and elegant, and I liked that it had a nice relaxed feel to it. During the introduction we were served Taittenger champagne with oysters, which was a perfect way to start. Castro and Flores worked very well together – both are very passionate but with different styles that complement each other. Wines were paired with food from the Gourmet Experience tapas bars, and we were also entertained with snippets of contemporary flamenco.

GE cata (3)

Corimbo from Bodegas Horra with pavía de merluza courtesy of Egaña.
We were also served a fab crispy pork shin with quinoa from Barajas 20 Tapas.

GE cata (2)

Dido from Bodega Eneas served with pig head sausage from the Gourmet Experience Bar.
And fun flamenco!

GE cata (4)

Stunning Stilton and Cabrales cheeses with 30-year-old Noe PX from Gonzalez-Byass.
Here you see Flores waxing lyrical – clearly her father’s daughter.

Watch for future food and wine events at Gourmet Experience Duque. I think that once the good weather arrives that big rooftop terrace is going to become one of THE places to hang out. The other very cool thing about the GE Bar is that you can purchase food and wine from the shop and enjoy it there. Corkage is 3€ per bottle and to have your food purchases plated and nicely presented it’s 2.50€ per item. When you combine that with the option of also grabbing a burger or tapa to go with it all you get a very interesting concept – a gourmet food court that is striving to be unique and yet accessible. The staff in the food and wine shop are very knowledgeable and helpful, and there’s also the bonus of having Silvia Flores working in the wine section to offer expert advice.

Gourmet Experience Duque
Plaza del Duque de la Victoria 8
5th floor – El Corte Inglés
10.00 – 10.00 Monday – Thursday
10.00 – midnight Friday – Saturday
10.00 – 18.00 Sunday
€ € € €

Jerez en V Cata

cata jerezenv[click on image to enlarge]

As part of my ongoing sherry education, stemming from my World Sherry Day ephiphany, I was thrilled to be invited to a special sherry tasting hosted by Gonzalez-Byass at Catador Sevilla. And especially as our host was going to be Antonio Flores (@Hacedordevinos), not only head winemaker and master blender for G-B but also one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met when it comes to talking about their work. And as Antonio’s work involves creating some of the most amazing and prestigious wines in the world, well, it was both a pleasure and a privilege to see the master in action.

catador sevillaThis was a wine tasting event organised by Mónica Trujillano from El Comensal to which various bloggers, journalists and hospitality professionals had been invited. I loved the venue, Catador, which is smack in the middle of the Barrio Santa Cruz. It’s an open and minimalist space, with wall murals depicting both the famous Tío Pepe barrels and the vineyards surrounding Jerez. I’ve been to a few sherry tastings over the years, here in Sevilla, but nothing prepared me for how much I would feel engaged and inspired by Mr. Flores. He is both eloquent and passionate, and also quite a showman, knowing how to gently seduce and inspire his audience. With such an excellent product you wouldn’t think this sort of thing would even be necessary, but in fact sherry remains one of the lesser understood Spanish wines. People from abroad often assume that sherry is the sticky sickly sweet stuff their maiden aunt would haul out every Christmas but in fact there many varieties ranging from bone-dry finos to the sweet raisiny Pedro Ximenez, and I want to learn more about all of them.

On this occasion we sampled ten wines including Fino Tío Pepe, Amontillado Viña AB, Alfonso Oloroso, Leonor Palo Cortado (recently chosen one of the top 100 wines in the world by WAWWJ: World Association, Wines & Spirits, Writers and Journalists), Apostoles Palo Cortado, and Noé Pedro Ximénez. As a special treat we finished the evening by sampling Cuatro Cortador & Gonzalez-Romano, both more than 100 years old, while Catador put on a spread of some fab charcuterie and cheeses.

Watch for my Introduction to Sherry Tours, which I hope to start offering in September. Now that I am smitten with this amazing wine I really want to share the love.

Cata Habla at La Azotea

Another fabulous wine tasting evening was held last Thursday at La Azotea Vinos & Más, this time featuring wines from Bodegas Habla in Extremadura. This young winery (they have only been selling commercially for four years) produces top quality wines in limited editions. Each wine is numbered and unrepeatable, a unique expression of the soil and grapes in the specific climatic conditions of a particular growing season and harvest.

We were invited to try three varieties: Habla numbers 4 & 6, and Habla del Silencio, which is a separate vintage from the numbered wines. The wine tasting was introduced by Cristina Rojas,  the wines presented by Javier Compass, and then we had the opportunity to have Juan Tirado, the owner of Bodegas Habla, give us a talk on this very special project and the philosophy behind it. I’m very much looking forward to visiting the Trujillo bodega soon!

La Azotea Vinos & Más
Jesús del Gran Poder, 44
Tel. 955 11 67 48
Open: 12.00 – 15.00 / 20.00 – 23.00
Closed Sunday & Monday

La Azotea: Cavas & Blancos Cata

Last night I attended another fabulous cata at La Azotea Vinos & Más, this time featuring cavas and blancos from Bodegas Sumarroca. An excellent choice for a HOT summer evening. We started off with two lovely white wines that were quite different from each other, then two very refreshing white cavas  (brut reserva and cuvée gran reserva) and finished off the evening with – my personal favourite – a gorgeous gran brut pinot noir rosé. As usual the gathering was fun, casual and informative, and I not only learned a few things but also met some very nice people.

La Azotea will be hosting a three-hour wine course (in Spanish) next Tuesday July 6th, and I believe there are still a few places open. If interested get in touch with Jeanine at the phone number below. I recommend it as a great introduction to wines and wine tastings and, at 30€, it’s also great value.

Jesús del Gran Poder, 44
Tel. 955 11 67 48