My awareness of wine is dismal. Although it’s slightly improved over the last decade (mostly because my budget helps me avoid the hooch) I still am stupidly new at various blends and qualities.
In fact, last time I was in the Catalonia region of Spain, my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I only visited the Freixenet cava factory. While fun for new fans of the sparkling stuff, we definitely missed out on tons of other amazing wineries. And seven years later, so many more are earning awards, getting organic certified and offering variety throughout Catalonia.
Oh hey, 2010.
I wish I knew about something like Inn Travel’s self-guided driving tour through Catalonia when we took our road trip. It would have taken some of the guesswork out of sampling wines in the region that were good, not just the ones we happened upon. I think with my newfound knowledge it’s high time to return!
Although the next trip hasn’t happened yet, Inn Travel and the Catalonia Tourism Board were more than kind to ship me a ton of wine from the area to try at home here in London! I invited a couple girlfriends over – including Corey the wine lover and Amy, who’s right in the middle of studying to be a big-time Sommelier. I knew they’d all have some good commentary, especially as the glasses just kept mysteriously filling back up themselves. Odd.
OK, It’s go time!
Codorníu Cuvée Barcelona Cava Brut
Bubbles! Cava is Spain’s version of champagne, made very similarly and often just as wonderful. This Codorníu Cuvée is made from three types of grapes (pandarella, xarello and macabeu), and they make it the old school way by aging it in barrels.
Amy: Lemon, crisp green apple and pear tasting notes. Almost a bread dough and pastry smell and taste as well. Creamy mouse that’s long lasting, it doesn’t fade it lingers in your mouth.
Corey: It’s really foamy. I’d make it into a floofy dessert cocktail, you could put ice cream in it.
Jane Ventura Rosat Seleccio
My friend Joy in Boston is a Rose queen, and has turned me onto a few of her favorites. The rose wine tasting I attended in London last year also introduced some classy blends to be palate, so I’m happy to give this kind a go now anytime. To be honest, this rose fell a little flat, but still not terrible. The Rosat Seleccio comes from a blend of grapes sources at 10 vineyards throughout Catalonia.
Amy: I taste candied strawberry, simple red fruits, cranberry and red raspberry. I can see myself sitting by the beach, one of those warm sunny days, easy drinking.
Corey: You could make sangria out of this!
Gran Vina Sol Chardonnay
Amazingly, this was my favorite. I usually avoid Chardonnays and blends of it ike the plague, because the oaky smell and taste reminds me of fish. But this was an unoaked version and tasted wonderful. It’s a blend of chardonnay and pandarella grapes and interesting enough to me that I’d drink more at a party with nibbles.
Amy: There’s notes of orange peel, stone fruits (peaches), a little apricot, like a smoky/toasted vanilla from the oak. This is a good food wine, perfect with a Sunday roast.
Corey: I think it smells like cereal, or cotton candy!
Albet i Noya Curious Organic Tempranillo
The Temrpanillo came at the home stretch. It’s paler than you’d think a red would be, but that doesn’t make the taste any less exciting. This brand stays true to the old school ways of making wine in Catalonia and is also organic. In this particular type, there’s less sulfur dioxide as well, which is better for avoiding hangovers. Great news!
Amy: There’s black currant and black cherry Also florals, like fresh cut violet. You can get tobacco notes from the aging.
Corey: I like it, you could have this at a party and drink the shit out of this wine.
Now after all this tasting (and polishing off the bottles the same day, let me honest), I have GREAT NEWS for you! I’m giving away a bottle of the Gran Vina Sol to one of you winos in the UK. Share around, spread the love, and good luck!