Pando Cheese Tasting

Pando Restaurant @PandoSevilla in San Eloy Street has been running a series of excellent “Gastronomic Schools” – educational tastings – of which the latest was this week’s cheese tasting, hosted by Diego Ruiz de Terry of Pando (Grupo San Eloy) and presented by Antonio Rodriguez Vacas of cheese distributors TGT group.

We tasted three very different cheeses, one goats’ cheese, one sheeps’ cheese, and one dairy cheese, accompanied by different wines.

Queso Ibores is a surprisingly mild and creamy goats cheese from the Extramadura region, with none of the harsher overtones of some goat cheeses. We had the natural version, but it also comes flavoured with pimentón, which gives the cheese a deeper yellow-orange colour. Delicious served with a light white wine.

Queso Roncal is a typical strong mature (minimum of 4 months ageing) sheeps cheese from the Navarra region of northeast Spain that has been produced in the traditional way for hundreds of years, and was the first cheese to have a Denomination of Origin (1981). Serve with quince jam and grapes and an earthy red wine to bring out the full flavour.

Queso Mahón is a dairy cheese (a relative rarity in Spain) from the island of Menorca, named after the port which was its point of export. The version we had was an aged variety (it also comes fresh or semi-cured), hard and flaky in texture, with a yellow-orange colour and a strong, rather salty, flavour. Excellent with a nice red wine.

Thanks to Pando and TGT group for putting on an enjoyable event.

Bodegas Lustau | Vermouth with a View

After a period of decline, vermouth (a fortified aromatic wine) has been enjoying something of a comeback recently, with a number of producers entering the market with a variety of “craft” vermouths. One of these, the respected sherry-house Lustau, brought out its first red vermouth at the end of 2015, and has followed it up with a white vermouth, launched in Sevilla at a special event on May 10th.

I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation, which also resulted in another first, as the presentation was being held in the new Sevilla Tower across the river next to the old expo site. Personally I think the building is an eyesore on the Sevilla skyline, but I have to admit the view from the 21st floor (halfway up) was pretty spectacular, and as usual at these events I met up with some old friends and made some new ones.

Lustau white vermouth: fino & moscatel

Stars of the show were, of course, the two Lustau vermouths. The new white vermouth is blended from fino and muscatel sherries, and is slightly less sweet than the existing red, which is blended from amontillado and PX sherries. Both are flavoured with a variety of aromatic botanicals and spices. I think the red is still my favourite (although a close decision), but if you haven’t caught the vermouth bug yet try one of these in your local bar. You might well become a convert.

Lustau red vermouth: amontillado & pedro ximénez

Lustau reps Estanis Bobadilla & Juan Mateos Arizón

vermouth cocktail recipes

Bodegas Lustau

Vinos de España – Una Pasión

vinos de espana
Tomorrow Sevilla will host the third edition of “Wines of Spain. A Passion”, a gathering of wineries organised this year by Bodegas Emilio Hidalgo, presenting the enormous diversity and richness of Spanish wines to fans, professionals, and wine lovers alike.

The event will be held in in the heart of Seville at Casa Bucarelli, an idyllic environment that combines beauty and history of the city. 42 Spanish wineries will be featured with a selection of over 200 fine wines. There will be a diverse representation of producing areas, designations of origin and wines: Rias Baixas, Bierzo, Somontano, Cádiz, Priorato, Jerez, Toro, Rioja, Mallorca, Extremadura, Navarra, Txakoli, Wheel, Cava, Ronda, Ribeiro, Valencia, Arianza, Ribera del Duero, Madrid, among others.

Vinos de España Una Pasión
May 12th
11.30 am – 7.30 pm

Sevilla Sabores

sevilla sabores

This weekend Sevilla’s first food event of the year takes place in the Patio de la Diputación, Avda. Menéndez y Pelayo. Typical food and wines from the all six counties within the province will be on display and available to sample, and chefs from each district will be preparing local dishes.

Sabores de la Provincia de Sevilla
Patio de la Diputación
January 2nd – 4th
Friday: 15:00-18:00 | 20:00-23:00
Saturday: 12:00-18:00 | 20:00-23:00
Sunday: 12:00-18:00
Free Admission

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

Wines & Liquors & Anis – Oh My!

vinos licores, etcSample the best of Sevilla’s towns and villages in the heart of the city.

Starting today the Diputación de Sevilla will be the site of the annual exhibition (this is the 5th edition) of wines, liquors and anis produced in the province. It’s a great way of getting to know new local products and enjoying old favourites.

November 7th – 9th
Diputación de Sevilla
Menéndez Pelayo, 32

La Revuelta – Art & Fun

la revuelta

La Revuelta is Sevilla’s newest multi-functional cultural space. Part art gallery, part bookshop, and venue for wine tastings, literary and cultural events, courses and workshops and much more, it’s the brainchild of local writer, journalist and wine expert Javier Compás. The space is bright, open and welcoming with exposed brick walls and high ceilings. It also has kitchen facilities.

If you live in Sevilla you can become a member for 12€ a month and take advantage of discounts and first options for limited-space events. For visitors it’s a unique spot to check out for books, art and wines. Just off the Plaza del Pan in the first “vuelta” of the serpentine calle Siete Revueltas.

la revuelta collage

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

Puerto de Cuba Gourmet Market

puerto de cuba gourmet market
I am so going to this! A three-day Gourmet Market kicks off this Friday at noon at Puerto de Cuba (San Telmo bridge end of calle Bétis) in Triana. There will be oyster and sushi stands, wines, cheeses, cured meats, olive oils, cakes and pastries… with drinks and cocktails available at the Puerto de Cuba bar. Weather forecast is looking good too!

Puerto de Cuba Gourmet Market
4 – 6 April
12 pm – 1 am Friday & Saturday / 11 am – 7 pm Sunday
Free Entrance


Orange Day Winners

orange day winners
Yesterday the winners of the Orange Day Tapa Competition were officially announced. Prizes were given out at a presentation at the Alfonso XIII Hotel. Over 30 local bars and restaurants had participated and I was honoured to be one of the judges this year. There was also a special prize awarded based on public votes received on the Visita Sevilla website.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Naranja de Oro:

  • Restaurante Agredano. Chicken thighs in Sevilla orange sauce (70 points)
  • Taberna Chani. Presa tataki salad with orange salmorejo (70 points)

Naranja de Plata:

  • Puerto Delicia Bar. Mini foie magnum with Sevilla bitter orange crumble (68.5 points)

Naranja de Bronce:

  • Bar Europa. Marinated mackerel with Sevilla orange gelée. (62. 5 points)
  • Dmercao. Orange salmorejo with bacalao strips and leek textures. (62.25 points)

Premio especial del público:

  • Los Corales. Pork solomillo with raisins in bitter orange honey (11.76% online votes)
  • Robles Laredo. Cochinillo a la naranja at 65º ( 11.76% online votes )