Archive for the ‘Wine’

Return to Restaurante Solana – Michelin Star Dining in Cantabria

June 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Wine

Coconut and pineapple ravioli with passionfruitWhen our friends Simon and Paola were visiting last week from Brussels, we wanted to show off our local cuisine. As you can see from Simon’s blog, they are fine dining hobbyists, taking advantage of their location in Brussels to try as many Michelin Star restaurants as they can. After I visited them and they took me out to one of Brussels’ finest establishments, the fine dining bug bit me as well. It really is a fun experience.

After I visited them in October, I took my wife out to our local Michelin Star establishment, Restaurante Solana, and we were wowed, especially my wife, who had been dubious about the whole thing. So naturally we wanted to take Simon and Paola to Restaurante Solana to show off what Cantabria has to offer.
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Blindfolded Wine Taste Test: Can you distinguish white from red? Cheap from expensive?

June 11, 2012 By: erik Category: Experiments, Fighting Stupidity, Science, Skepticism, Spain, Wine

Blind Wine Taste TestHave you ever heard the claim that some wine experts, when blindfolded, cannot actually tell white wine from red wine? My gut reaction was the same as everyone’s, “That’s ridiculous, they’re so different!!” But I know enough about psychology and illusions to know that the wine industry is mostly bullshit, and it’s very possible that we might be kidding ourselves. Ever since hearing this claim, I’ve been dying to run an experiment on myself. This past weekend, I finally had the time and wine and test subjects… My parents, wife and I drank wine blindfolded to see how good we were at sensing the wine in the glass without our eyes.
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Crin Roja – Genius Subliminal Wine Packaging

November 18, 2011 By: erik Category: Geeky, Photos, Reviews, Wine

Crin Roja - ThumbnailMost of the wine I buy is not the dirt cheap young cosechero, the wine from grapes from last year’s harvest which is usually about 1.50€/bottle. Nor do I buy reserva from the best regions and vineyards, made from better grapes and kept in oak barrels for at least a year which sells for at least 10€/bottle. I normally buy crianza, the middle quality, from good regions (mostly Rioja) and good vineyards, wine which has spent at least six months in oak barrels and usually retails between 4€ and 5€. For the better Rioja vineyards, the grapes are so good that the cosechero, which has spent little to no time in barrels is almost as good as a crianza, at just under the price.
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April Rioja Trip – Day 2 of 2

April 20, 2010 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Spain, Travel, Wine

Wine from 1970Previously, in Rioja…

On Sunday we woke up at 11:00 to the peaceful sound of no baby crying. After a quick breakfast at the pub neighboring the hotel, we checked out and the group of eleven of us took our three vehicles and headed towards Haro. I have wanted to visit Haro for some time, ever since learning about the Batalla de Vino they host every year, which I detailed in the 17th post on this blog back in June 2006. At some point on the way to Haro, the Tom Tom GPS unit in the leading car, decided that it wanted to visit the town of Cenicero. I have noticed Cenicero on the map a few times and chuckled at its horrible name, which is Spanish for “ashtray”. Wielding my trusty GPS-enabled iPhone, I volunteered to lead us to Haro, and in twenty minutes we were there.
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Inebriated Fruit Flies

November 02, 2009 By: erik Category: Damn, Nature!, Photos, Weird, Wine

Drunk Flies (crop)…or Why You Should Put The Cork Back In The Wine Bottle. Yesterday I opened a bottle of wine to have with lunch, as I often do on Sunday. Normally, however, I either put the cork back in it when I’m done, or insert a plastic cap. Yesterday I forgot, and today when we went to pour some leftover wine for our midday meal, we found some intruders were in there enjoying our delicious beverage.

At least some of them were alive and swimming around…perhaps drunkenly.
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The Wine Industry Is Mostly Bullshit

October 19, 2009 By: erik Category: Complaining, France, Wine

One thing I learned on my trip to the Bordeaux wine-making region of France is that the vast, vast, vast majority of things said about wine are complete bullshit. The upper end of the wine industry is almost entirely about marketing and branding, and has very little to do with the product. In a blind taste test, I bet that 97% of wine drinking adults can tell the difference between a 1€ bottle of wine and a 15€ bottle of wine. But once you get up to a 15€ bottle of wine (the threshold price might actually be closer to 7€), I bet less than 1% of wine drinking adults can tell the difference between that 15€ bottle and a 50€ or 100€ or 1000€ bottle of wine. There’s just not that much difference!
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Saint í‰milion – Part 2 of 2

October 15, 2009 By: erik Category: France, Photos, Travel, Wine

Vineyard RoseAfter a lovely morning with a guided tour and a delicious lunch, it was time to go to Clos La Madeleine for a tour and a wine tasting. Unfortunately, our morning tour ended at 12:45 and our Clos tour was to begin at 14:30. By 14:30, we were still in the restaurant, 20 minutes from the Clos La Madeleine, just finishing our main course, still with a cheese platter, dessert and coffee to follow! The Mediterranean half of our marriage convinced the Scandinavian half to, “Just relax, and we’ll get there when we get there.” This turned out to be an excellent strategy, since we enjoyed the twenty minute walk much more than the tour and tasting itself.
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Bordeaux – Part 2 of 2

October 13, 2009 By: erik Category: France, Photos, Travel, Wine

Strawberry and Raspberry PiesThis is the second post about our visit to Bordeaux, France on October 10, 2009. Please start with the first part if you haven’t read it yet.
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Semana del Pincho – Laredo

December 22, 2008 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Spain, Wine

NIKOS1: NikosThis past week saw the First Annual Tapa Week held in the nearby town of Laredo. Ten restaurants agreed to create one or two unique tapa dishes and serve them all week long for 2€ with young wine, grape juice, or small beer, or 2.50€ for a better wine or larger beer. I am very much in favor of these organized events. It seems to me like a win-win situation for the restaurants, the citizens, and even the local government. It gets people out of their houses and spending money in the local economy. Starting on Friday, I made it our mission to visit, sample, and photograph as many of the entries as we possibly could. It took us all three days, but we ended up sampling eight of the fourteen pinchos available.
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Our Dog Blue

November 26, 2008 By: erik Category: Family, Wine

Our Dog BlueOne of my parents’ dogs is named Blue. He’s a border collie with blue merle hair color, hence his name. So naturally when they found a bottle of wine called Our Dog Blue, they had to purchase it and keep it, unopened, for display. Perhaps one of them can share how they found or were given the bottle. I was showing the Marga the bottle, which is blue glass, I noticed where the winery was located, and I had to take a picture of the bottle label and the dog in question.
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