Viña Sevilla – Fiesta del Vino

vina sevilla (1)The Third Fiesta del Vinos, organised by Viña Sevilla, is a great opportunity to discover and learn about the wonderful world of Spanish wines. This edition will be held in creative-space Rompemoldes and will be a bit like a big street party where you can sample a wide selection of wines from different areas of Spain and also meet the winemakers. There will be various wine tastings, interactive workshops, along with homemade tapas and plenty of good music. Entrance is free but if you’d like to sign up for any of the workshops get in touch with Viña Sevilla as space for these events is limited.
vina sevilla (2)

Viña Sevilla – Fiesta del Vinos
Centro Rompemoldes
San Luís 70
Friday May 20th  7.00 pm – midnight
Saturday May 21st  12.00 pm – midnight

Sevilla Orange Days 2015

orange days 2015

Sevilla Orange Days are back! The fourth edition begins tomorrow with a variety of orange-themed activities and, as always, with a delicious route of bars and restaurants in Seville which have prepared tapas based on the #NaranjadeSevilla. Click on the image below (or click here) to see the 27 establishments that are participating this year.

And don’t miss these two special activities this Saturday, February 21st…

Guadalquivir Vally gastronomic products: jams, oils, wines, sweets, teas, chocolates, sparkling wine. In front of the Las Sirenas Civic Centre in the Alameda from 11.00 am to 5.30 pm.

A cooking display and tasting by the Salmeroteca and the Barman Association of Western Andalucía from 12.00 – 2 pm, also at the Sirenas Civic Centre.

orange days 2015 barsSevilla Orange Days 2015
February 20 – March 1

Cata de la Vaca at Milongas

cata vaca milongas

Last week I was invited to a rather unusual tasting event at Milongas Restaurant in Calle Campo de los Martires. It’s been a while since I was last there, so I was happy to accept, and duly arrived around 9.30 pm.

Milongas is one of Seville’s best Argentinian restaurants, which basically means it specialises in beef, so no prizes for guessing that this was a Cata de la Vaca (literally a cow tasting), supplemented with a wine pairing/tasting organised by Fran León featuring wines from Bodegas Salado in Umbrete, a small town in the Aljarafe to the west of Seville. The invited guests were from the worlds of journalism and social media, and it was nice to spend an evening of wine and food with a few old friends (and put faces to a few names, too) in convivial surroundings.

cata vaca 2The tasting was of five different cuts of beef, ranging from the well-known to the obscure. These were paired with the local Salado wines. I was impressed by the Fina Paloma Blanca, a sherry style wine made from Pedro Ximenez grapes and aged under flor but my favourite of the night was an oak-aged white wine called Astarte.

cata vaca entraña, punta de picaña,
entrecôte, tenderloin, lomo alto

Many thanks to the organisers for a terrific evening. It was great fun and I learned a lot too.

Andalucía Brut

andalucia brut (1)David de Castro and Faustino Muñoz Soria

Andalucía Brut, the first “salón del cava, champagne y otras perlas”, organized by sommelier and “foodhunter” David de Castro, was held in Sevilla on October 16-17 to promote Spanish sparkling wines as part of the gastronomy of Andalucía.

andalucia brut (4)

The open air venue was Puerto de Cuba, on the bank of the Guadalquivir, with a great view across the river to the Torre del Oro. After the rain of the previous couple of weeks the weather was pleasantly warm and sunny, just perfect for wandering around the exhibitors’ stands which had been set up ready for tastings of the products on offer. These included some of the best known names of the cava world, such as Freixenet, Juvé y Camps and Codorníu, and some that I was unfamiliar with, such as Mestres and Llopart, but which proved to be of top quality. As with other wines, Spain has a great variety of excellent cava, at really very reasonable prices.

andalucia brut (3)

To complement the cava we had some of the accessories of a good tasting to sample. There was a special selection of bottled mineral waters chosen by another sommelier, Faustino Muñoz Soria (find them in his new book Aguas del Mundo), and Castro’s own Don Pelayo regaña flatbread and picos, which were developed especially for wine tastings. We also got to try some Spanish Riofrio caviar and Iberico pork products – a killer caña de lomo and a cooked Iberico ham infused with truffle.

andalucia brut (2)

andalucia brut

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.

Copa Jerez 2013

copa jerez
A last minute decision found me in Jerez earlier this week to attend the 5th Copa Jerez (Sherry Cup), an international bi-annual competition that aims to demonstrate sherry’s tremendous versatility as a wine to pair with food. It’s organized by the Regulatory Council of the D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry and Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and during the international final chef and sommelier teams compete to create the perfect sherry and food pairing. This year the Danish team from Clou won the coveted prize.

For me it was also an opportunity to meet up with old friends and sample exquisite sherries from 15 select bodegas, along with fabulous jamón Ibérica de bellota and Andalusian cheeses. It also whetted my interest to finish my own sherry education in order to be able to start my Introduction to Sherry tapas tours.

ajo negro

After the competition I was invited by Gonzalez-Byass to a wonderful lunch at Ajo Negro.