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Spanish Varietals Tasting at Christine Frechard's Gallery - Feb 2020

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

Dear friends,

Christine, Sally and I had the pleasure to share our third art gallery wine tasting with two groups of distinguished sommeliers and friends on February 22 and 23. This time it was about Spanish varietals.

Spain has resisted the impetus of the international varietals, mostly French, and has preserved its indigenous and traditional varietals with care. The country offers many different terroirs with many vineyards populated with very old vines. All that makes Spain a place where you will find surprising flavors and untapped diversity of wine styles. In addition, cultural traditions and monuments will always be near by. A fun place to explore!

The following map presents the Spanish deominations of origin and the wines that I selected for our tasting.

We did the reception with a Cava from Penedés, indeed. Once we sat at the tables, we started with whites, followed with reds and finished with a Sherry from Jerez, of course. We paired them with Spanish cheeses. See list below:

All cheeses except one were from Penn Mac (so lucky we have them), and the bread was from Five Points. Also, upon requests from several people (specially the Spaniards), I am  attaching the picture of the iberian chorizo pack.

Our Sommeliers contributed to maintain the Spanish wine paradigms unaltered, as follows:

1. The competition between Rueda and Albariño lovers keeps alive and well

2. Rioja Reservas maintain their reign at the top of the echelon

But I introduced some byas: The Rioja was 2-3 times more expensive than the rest, and a 96 points wine, according to James Suckling, from the legendary 2010 vintage.

A few rated the Monastrell as their favorite. I do not blame you. It was my second after the Rioja. And you got lucky: It is actually the only wine out of the eight you can find in the permanent selection at the wine store. But actually, after reviewing the tasting notes I collected, the Garnacha tied with the Monastrell as the second favorite wine.

I have added the links to the two videos we saw, showing the Castellers (human towers) of Tarragona and the Fair of April in Seville:

The second day I brought a "bota". A bottle made with leather that was traditionally used to carry and drink wine. Not sure, but it may be called skin in English. Definitively Jack and I were the best, but let me send KUDOS to the persons that tried and honor them with their pictures and a couple of videos to prove that THEY DID IT!:

This event could not have been possible without the contribution and engagement from our distinguised sommeliers and friends. Erin, Nicolas, Lori, Antonio, Karla, Joel, Judy, Sue, Diana, Ray, Patty, Tony, Sarah, Françoise, German, Marita, Marybeth, Yulia, Ines, Maria, Anne Marie, Hassan, Julia, Yuri, Olga, Vivian, Juan, Mirna, Ariel, Joyce, Arturo, Georgina, Denise, Kim, Debbie, Selim, Nonnie, Ben, Ellen, Allen, John, Michael, Eric, Cheryl, John, Michael, Sheena, Andy, Jack and spouse, Marti and Joyce, see the following slider with your pictures (click the right arrow to see the following picture):

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