To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
And to run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
And to love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
Ooh, no matter how hopeless
No matter how far…
the beginning of “The Impossible Dream”
by Mitch Leigh (scroll down for complete lyrics)
from The Man from La Mancha
Growing up, we had a player piano, and “The Impossible Dream” was one of the 100 player piano rolls I grew up playing and singing. Continue reading
Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
I suspect that sherry is the most misunderstood and under-appreciated relationship to have in the wine world. I admit that it is not as easily accessible as some adult beverages. If most people know sherry at all it is for cooking or salads. But like the best relationships, its rich complexity rewards those willing to spend the time.
This month the World Wine Travel group of wine writers moves to southern Spain, Andalucia, which brought to mind the first line of one of my favorite Clash songs “Spanish songs in Andalucía.” The lyrics, like sherry, testify to layers of history, and how they interact with each other over time, connecting past and present, and with those who come in contact with it.
The rule of thumb for pairing sherry is: Continue reading
EL TABERNO: a veritable tower of vegetables! a great vegetarian pairing for Monastrell!
What wine is known as “the dog strangler”? What was the fourth most widely planted red wine grape variety with 106,380 acres in Spain five years ago? Why, Monastrell aka Mourvèdre in France and Mataro in Australia! Sadly these plantings are DOWN 150k acres from 10 years ago as vineyards get replanted with popular international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
However, in eastern Spain, particularly around Murcia and Valencia, Monastrell continues to be one of the primary red wine grape varieties in the DOPs of Jumilla, Yecla, Valencia, Almansa, and Alicante.
“To understand the path of wine in the 21st century, consider a bottle of Txakolina,” writes Eric Asimov in “Txakolina, a Simple Pleasure With a Deep Sense of Place.”
While twenty years ago, no one knew Txakolina outside Spanish Basque Country, “where it was the go-to wine with just about anything consumed at a table,” reports Asimov, today “people all over the world have a passing familiarity with this often mildly effervescent wine, even if they don’t know how to pronounce it (chock-oh-LEE-nah).” Continue reading
2 wines from Carinena
Located south of France’s Languedoc-Roussillon the northern Spanish region of Aragon is famous for castles, the Camino, and Cariñena.
leaving on a jet plane
If we walk along the El Camino Real from our house along the Ventura beach at night to Santa Barbara county campsites at Refugio or El Capitan State Beach just north of Santa Barbara, the lights of the squid boats bounce gently on the open ocean. They quietly gather there, moving into their spots as the sun sets. One minute you’re watching the falling light, the next you’re gazing on the twinkling squid boats with the stars above.
If I walked further –A LOT FURTHER than I did on the Pacific Crest Trail–I could find myself on the Camino de Santiago in Spain’s western shore, Galicia.
After all they say, the Camino — The Way of St James — starts at your front door.
And there are as many ways to get there as there are people who walk the way– over 300,000 people a year– with nearly 23,200 people along the Portuguese Coastal Path which travels through and, like all the Caminos, ends in Galicia, Spain.
This year, the World Wine Travel group of wine writers explore Espana, and this month we virtually visit Galicia, a trip we are pairing with Albariño wines from the Rias Baixas D. O. And Santiago de Campestoloa is located just above! Continue reading
Even during challenging times like these, there’s plenty of reasons to pop the cork on a sparkling wine. Continue reading