Category Archives: Cava

Recaredo Cava & Cheese


Established in 1924, Recaredo is a pioneer in the production of totally dry Spanish cavas, working with oak barrels and extended aging on the lees.

The musts from the oldest Xarello vines ferment in oak barrels, which give structure and greater complexity to Recaredo’s cavas.  Some of the base wine is also aged in oak barrels for a few months and this wine will be used to add greater finesse and structure to the final blending.

  Viticulture at Recaredo is based on dry farming, use of only estate fruit, and vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic.     The wines are meticulously produced, hand-riddled, and aged on the lees with cork stoppers.  They are disgorged manually, without freezing the necks of the bottles which provides the most natural product.   All cuvées are vintage-dated and have zero dosage. These sparkling wines must simply be tasted to be believed!
2010 Recaredo “Relats” Brut Nature, Gran Reserva Penedes ($33.00)  Relats means “little stories in a bottle” and with its extensive 54 months of lees aging, Relats says a ton about depth and complexity.   A blend of  54% Xarel-lo and 46% Macabeo, this is the youngest cuvee made by Recaredo.   With rich brioche aromas, hints of nuts and toast, this bone-dry cava has a fine mousse of bubbles with staying power and elegance.
2008 Recaredo Terrers Brut Nature Gran Reserva, Penedes ($41.00)  46% Xarel-lo, 40% Macabeo, 14% Parellada, aged 71 months on the lees.  Fresh aromas of yellow apple are bright and creamy on the palate. Ripe white fruit has a hint of nuts and mineral and very fine bubbles, which end in a delicate crown.  Balanced acidity with a persistent finish, showing notes of almond and anise.  “… an elegant bouquet of white flowers, pears, apples and freshly-baked brioche, fresh and elegant, subtle, with a fresh palate with tiny, almost imperceptible bubbles that only seem to add freshness and texture, with clean flavors, superb acidity and balance. A great Cava at a bargain price. Drink now-2017.”  92 points WineAdvocate
Also available from our distributor (call or e-mail to order):
2006 Recaredo “Brut de Brut” Brut Nature Gran Reserva ($60.00)
2004 Recaredo “Particular” Brut Nature Gran Reserva ($115.00)

   Infinitely variable in texture, flavor and unctuousness, cheese can play the meal’s starring role or be the fill-in workhorse.   Imagine an artisanal cheese platter accompanied by dried apricots or figs, charcuterie or nuts. Served with Recaredo cava, the seductive platter is a very romantic meal.
  Everyday quick and easy recipes like pizza, lasagna or toasted cheese sandwiches can be brightened up by using a different queso.   Variety is the spice of life; try one of the following tasty Iberian cheeses.
  One of our favorite meals in a hotel room is uber simple:  a selection of great cheeses and a bottle of wine.    This strategy is essential when restaurant options are poor.  Never leave home without emergency supplies!
Recommended Artisanal Cheeses:

Garroxta:  Goat milk.  Semi-hard and luscious, delicately flavored and smooth.   Excellent with cava!
Roncal:  Sheep milk. Made from raw milk of the Lacha and Aragonesa breeds that feed in high Navarran pastures.  Aged 6 months.  Intense flavors, nutty, with hint of mushroom.
Valdeon blue cheese:  Cow and goat milk.  Sweeter than Cabrales, it is smooth, rich and caramelized.
Olveha Amanteigado:  Portuguese sheep milk.  A non-DOP Serra de Estrela cheese, it is made with thistle rennet.  Unctuous and soft, sweet with hints of thistle.  Slice the top off this cheese and eat the center with a spoon.
Excellent Melting Cheeses:

Young Mahon: Cow’s milk.  Aged 4 months. Has a slight piquancy, with fruity, rich and nutty flavors.
Tetilla:  Cow’s milk.  Made in Galicia, the cows graze on lush grass and the cheese is aged 15-20 days.  Mild, buttery and semi-soft.
Palhais:  Goat milk.  From Portugal, semi-soft, crumbly and tangy.   Great stuffed inside piquillo peppers and warmed.
Great picnic cheeses:

Pata Cabra:  Goat milk. A washed-rind cheese from Aragon.  Fruity and refined when young, it develops tanginess with age.
El Valle Semi Curado:  Sheep milk.  Everyone knows Manchego sheep cheese from Spain, and we carry a selection from a number of producers.  El Valle is a non D.O. sheep milk cheese that is slightly creamier than Manchego, with fresh flavors of hay, and is a touch sharp.

Beira:  Cow’s milk.  From Portugal, near the Serra de Estrela mountains.  Flavorful, smooth and grassy.
Upcoming Paella class on Saturday March 19, 11-1 PM.
Details:  Hot Stove

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Filed under Catalan, Cava, Cheese, Events, Food, Jamon, Paella, Spain, Wine

Bean Stew & New Great Wines

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                                                          January 26, 2012 

ONE HOUR PARKING VALIDATION:   Park in the Public Market Parking Garage at 1531 Western Avenue and receive one hour free parking validation when you spend a minimum of $35.00 at The Spanish Table.January CD sale!   Buy three and receive the least expensive one free!

KitchenspSpain is justifiably proud of its incredible variety of beans, peas and lentils which are used in stews, soups, and even paella. When the weather outside is blustery, I like to get a big pot of beans simmering with some ham hocks and chorizo, and savor the mouth watering aromas filling the house. Put on a movie and serve the bean stew with a glass of Rioja. That’s not a half bad way to spend a winter evening!

Spain’s most famous bean dish is the wonderful fabada, but there’s more in the Spanish bean pot than just fabes. In the Basque country you’ll find many local beans such as deep red Tolosanas. White beans from Leon have a fine and consistent texture; popular in stews, they are principally cooked with potatoes, chorizo sausages, bacon and blood sausage. The recipe below is adapted from “My Kitchen in Spain“, by Janet Mendel (Harper Collins 202, $16.99). It’s not a glamorous, photo-filled book, but for unfussy home-style Spanish cooking it’s one of the best. (I like her blog, too. Check it out.)

NEW PRODUCTS AND ITEMS BACK IN STOCKChocolove bars are back! Choose from Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate, Coffee Crunch in Dark Chocolate, Ginger in Dark Chocolate or new flavors Salted Peanut in Milk Chocolate, and Peach & Pecan in Milk Chocolate.

Spicy Tunisian Olives – Find these in our deli cooler. Medium hot, buttery and meaty green olives warmed by a touch of heat.

Busha Browne’s Spicy Pepper Sherry ($7.99/5 oz). Sherry spiced with scotch bonnet peppers, made in Jamaica.   Add to soups, casseroles or even Bloody Mary’s.

Agnus EVOO  ($24.00/500 ml) A blend of Arbequina and Hojiblanca, this extra virgin olive oil is fruity with a touch of spice. It comes in a terrific Pyramid shaped bottle.  Ask to sample it.

EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL ORDER WINES ARRIVED TODAY FROM SPAIN.   Quantities limited and available only at The Spanish Table.torremor2009 El Halcon, Ribera del Duero ($16.99) Bodegas Torremoron is located in tiny Quintanamanvigo (pop. 94). We met many of the town’s residents during last May’s visit, as the winery employs nearly everyone in town. 2009 El Halcon is 100% Tempranillo, sourced from 75 year old vines grown in the highest elevation vineyard in Ribera del Duero. Vega Sicilia buys 20% of their fruit, and the best of the rest is used to make the 4500 cases of El Halcon. Aged 8 months in 3 year old French barrels, it is extremely aromatic. Notes of berry, vanilla, and coffee are balanced and well integrated. “.. it sports a fragrant nose of cedar, Asian spices, incense, lavender, and black fruits. Dense, rich, and round, it is a great value for drinking over the next 5-6 years.” 90 points Wine Advocate

2009 Dargo by Raul Perez, Vino de Mesa Mencia ($16.99) Ripe strawberry and cherry aromas up front give way to dark black fruit and minerals.   Think finesse, precision and elegance, a trademark of winemaker Raul Pérez.   Dargo is his value expression; he produced 1000 cases of it, a huge quantity for him.   We received one case. “The 2009 Dargo Mencia (100%) was 30% whole cluster fermented and aged for 7 months in 5000-liter foudres. Black cherry, cassis, mineral, and spice notes inform the nose of this surprisingly elegant red. Succulent, nicely balanced, and lengthy, this outstanding value will provide enjoyment over the next 5 years.  The Geografia Liquida wines are made by Raul Perez. 90 points Wine Advocate, 90 points Stephen Tanzer

2009 Pinyolet Selección, Montsant ($19.99) Made from old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena, 2009 Pinyolet Selección displays black fruit aromas with notes of crushed rock. Laced with minerals, it shows bright fruit and dark velvety elements, layered with notes of chocolate and road dust. Full-bodied and expressive, this has the stuffing to age for several years — if it lasts that long.   ” The 2009 Pinyolet Selección is made up of 80% Garnacha planted in 1945 and 20% Carinena planted in 1928 aged for 8 months in two-year-old French oak. Asian spices, incense, mineral, and a confiture of black fruits inform the nose of this juicy, incipiently complex red. Plush, friendly, and nicely proportioned, it can be enjoyed over the next 6 years. It is an outstanding value in pleasure-bent Montsant.” 91 points Wine Advocate


2006 Kripta Cava Brut Nature ($78.00)   Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this cult cava comes in a handmade, amphora-shaped bottle and is now back on the shelf!   The grapes come from vineyards over 50 years old and it is aged on the lees for 4 years. Pronounced better than most Champagnes by an influential French wine critic, this exceptional cava continues to develop in the glass, revealing layers of buttered brioche, citrus peel, dried white fruit and mineral. Only 20% of this producer’s wine is exported.

Photo by Friederike Paetzold 

beansJudiones con Chorizo y Jamon1 lb Spanish Alubia Judión (large white beans), rinsed but not presoaked

1 ham bone or hock

1 large carrot cut into chunks

2 bay leaves

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 leek, white & tender green parts, chopped

1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes

1 tablespoon salt

1 Palacios chorizo (7.9 oz), sliced

1/2 red onion, slicesd and sauteed

Put the beans in a soup pot w/ 6 cups water. Add the ham bone,bay leaves, green pepper, and onion. Bring the water to a boil and add the oil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour.

Add 1 cup cold water. Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Add another cup of cold water. Add the leek, potatoes, salt, and chorizo. Bring to a full boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for another 30-60 minutes, until the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaves.

Serve the beans accompanied by sautéed onions and a glass of red wine . Serves 4.

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Filed under Books, Cava, crockery, Red Wine, Spain

Special Wines From Spain Arrive!

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                       October 20, 2011



In May we took one of the best wine trips of our lives to northern Spain. We discovered a multitude 

of innovative winemakers who are pushing the boundaries to produce phenomenal wines.  Raul Peréz, pictured to the left, epitomizes this group of  groundbreaking innovators.   (He’s sharing barrel samples with us in the photo). Born into the family that owns Bodegas Castro Ventosa, the largest owner of Mencía plantings in Bierzo, he developed his ideals and passions at his family’s winery and by studying intently the world’s wines. As a winemaker, Raul’s mission is to capture all of the potential from each site, and he has an uncanny knack for knowing exactly what a vineyard needs and how to extract the greatest expression from its grapes. In addition to producing his own handcrafted, artisanal wines, he is full-time winemaker at Bodegas Tilenus in Bierzo. His unwillingness to accept anything less than zenith has made him the most sought-after winemaker and consultant in northern Spain.

Many other winemakers that we met on the trip are just as passionate, but lesser known. And unfortunately, many of these wines are produced in very limited quantities with only infintesimal quantities available to the U.S. market. We were able to place small orders at the wineries, and the newest lot arrived late last week. You’ll be unlikely to find these wines anywhere except at The Spanish Table, due to the limited availability. Give these special wines a try or lay some away as gifts for that special Spanish wine lover!

NV Matilde Totus Tuus Brut Cava ($16.99) This delicious cava has bright notes of apple and pear, brioche and finishes dry with hints of toast.   The 17 months aging on the lees offer up a sparkler with intensity and depth. ” Matilde’s Non-Vintage Totus Tuus Cuvee Brut is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 18% Xarel-lo, 18% Macabeo, 18% Parellada, and 6% Pinot Noir aged for 17 months on its lees. It reveals a beautiful frothy mousse, fragrant aromas from the Chardonnay, plenty of glycerin, and a Champagne-like personality at a fraction of the price. This lengthy effort is an outstanding value meant for drinking over the next 12-18 months.” 89 points Wine Advocate

2010 Carro, Yecla ($9.99) A blend of 50% Monastrell, 35% Syrah, Tempranillo and Syrah, aged in stainless steel, 2010 Carro is a seriously delicious wine. Suave, elegant, and full-bodied with a hint of blueberry, it has notes of dust and profound earthy flavors. Rich and muscular, it has a depth of flavor and complexity that most $9.99 wines can only dream about. Highly recommended!

2009 Pinyolet Selección, Montsant ($19.99)

licinia2008 Bodegas Licinia Licinia, Vinos de Madrid ($55.00). Licinia is produced by three extraordinary visionaries whose mantra is “no compromises” and where the team’s attention to detail is paramount. Their only wine, Licinia, is an homage to the soil and soul of Madrid and the first release in 2006 was named the best red wine in Spain in a blind tasting by 50 top winemakers. Not a bad way to start! 2008 Licinia is a blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Tempranillo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, all farmed biodynamically without certification. The varieties are fermented and oak aged separately for 12 months in 95% French oak, 5% American oak; the wines are not clarified or cold stabilized. The result of this exceptional care is a seamless red wine, layered, with juicy red fruit, spices and complexity, elegant, polished and intense. “Inky violet. Pungent, highly expressive bouquet of dark berries, licorice, Indian spices and strong violet. Juicy, mineral-laced blackberry and bitter cherry flavors stain the palate, picking up an exotic floral pastille quality with air. Impressively focused blend with strong mineral cut to the finish… very impressive.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer   1000 cases were produced – 150 cases were brought to the U.S. – we have 12 bottles available. 

 muti2009 Muti Albariño, Rias Baixas ($37.00) Raul Peréz makes a one-of-a-kind albariño called Sketch, which he ages in an underwater cellar below an aquaculture barge in an estuary of Rias Baixas. We motored out to the barge while on our trip and tasted it with plates of fresh mussels and oysters. I can only say that drinking Sketch was a an incredible experience and we hope to one day carry it at the store! In the meantime, we’ve obtained 4 bottles of Raul’s 2009 Muti Albariño which actually contains a half barrel of Sketch in the blend. It is 50% oak aged in large barrels for 12 months with grapes from three vineyards, one of which has 100 year old vines. It is expressive, with high toned fruit, lean and rich simultaneously. Only 133 cases were made. ” Deeply pitched aromas of smoky lees, bergamot, apricot pit and salty minerals. Viscous, palate-coating orchard and pit fruit flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and complemented by honeysuckle and a hint of spun sugar. Wild, complex and singular wine with strong finishing cut and sappy persistence. This is far removed from your classic albarino.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer

r per2009 Ultreia Saint Jacques Mencia, Bierzo ($26.99)  ultr Raul Peréz produces 100 cases of this wine, and less than half is available to the U.S. market – we have 12 bottles. Made of 100% Mencia, it is fermented in egg shape Austrian barrels made of French oak. Intensely aromatic, it displays the beautifully ripened red fruit of the stellar 2009 vintage. Loaded with minerals, it is succulent, brooding and concentrated. Herbal and earthy notes offer layers of complexity with silky tannins. It’s a great introduction to his style of wine making at an affordable price!

2008 Tampesta Imelda Prieto Picudo, Tierra de Leon ($36.00) The Prieto Picudo grape is only grown in a small area of Leon, near Valdevimbre.   Raul Peréz makes 50 cases of this wine with Noelia de Paz; we have 12 bottles available. It displays bright and juicy red fruits, rich and balanced, backed with spice notes and an elegant finish. “The 2008 Tampesta Imelda is 100% Prieto Picudo from 70-year-old vines that was naturally fermented and aged for 12 months in seasoned French oak. Purple in color with an inviting perfume of Asian spices, incense, lavender, leather, and cigar box, on the palate it displays enough structure to evolve for 2-3 years. This nicely proportioned, suave offering will have a drinking window extending from 2013 to 2023.” 90 points Wine Advocate, 90 points Stephen Tanzer

Photos by Friederike Paetzold

This excellent red made from old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena displays black fruit aromas with notes of crushed rock. Laced with minerals, it shows bright fruit and dark velvety elements, layered with notes of chocolate and road dust. Full-bodied and expressive, this has the stuffing to age for 3 to 5 years. “The 2009 Pinyolet Seleccion is made up of 80% Garnacha planted in 1945 and 20% Carinena planted in 1928 aged for 8 months in two-year-old French oak. Asian spices, incense, mineral, and a confiture of black fruits inform the nose of this juicy, incipiently complex red. Plush, friendly, and nicely proportioned, it can be enjoyed over the next 6 years, It is an outstanding value in pleasure-bent Montsant.” 91 points Wine Advocate  2000 cases made; we have 12 bottles available.

Governor Chris Gregoire proclaims the week of October 30 – November 5 as Flamenco Awareness Week! Seriously, flamenco in Washington is hitting the mainstream. The Spanish Table will be playing exclusively flamenco music in the store that week, and the top-shelf flamenco group from Madrid, Casa Patas will be performing and teaching in the following greater Puget Sound locations. Don’t miss this group if you are a flamenco aficionado.

 November 2    Evergreen State College    Olympia    1:30p.m.    

Master Class Open to the Public   

November 2    Washington Center for the Performing Arts Olympia     8:00p.m.    

Flamenco Show     

November 4    Benaroya Hall Seattle 8:00p.m. Flamenco Show 

November 5    Benaroya Hall Seattle 6:00p.m. Flamenco Show  

November 6    Community Gym Makah Indian Reservation Neah Bay    2:00p.m.    Flamenco Show 
November 7    University of Washington  Seattle Brechmin Auditorium – School of Music   1:30p.m.    
Master Class   Open to the Public   

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Cava Tasting and Party Wines

When the Thanksgiving leftovers run out, the holiday party season can’t be far behind.  We have a sensational time noshing on finger foods, experimenting with seasonal beverages and catching up with old friends – it is indeed a special time of year!  And there is absolutely nothing more festive than a glass of bubbly at a party.   Thus our Cava tasting dinner at Harvest Vine could not be more timely.  Join us on Wednesday December 8th, at 6:30 p.m. to taste the cavas of preeminent winemaker Augustí Torelló Mata. Here’s an opportunity to taste the acclaimed Kripta cava which influential French wine critic Michele Bettane described as comparable to the very best champagne.   Click Cava to view the complete menu; the cost is $65.00 per person.  For reservations, please contact Harvest Vine at 206.320.9771. “The Agustí Torelló Mata Cavas rank with the best I have tasted.”  Jay Miller, Wine Advocate


2008 Ique Malbec, Mendoza ($9.99) Juicy and lush, this 100% Malbec has notes of violet and ripe berry. With firm structure, flavors of coffee and hints of licorice add complexity to the lengthy finish.   This unoaked Malbec is meant to be enjoyed young and is excellent served with pizza or burgers.

2009 Prado Rey Verdejo, Rueda ($11.99) 100% Verdejo, Prado Rey comes from a 75 year old vineyard.  It displays intense citrus aromas with notes of fennel.  A serious white, it is lean and steely, fresh and balanced.   It has a long and polished finish with notes of bitter almonds, characteristic of the Verdejo varietial.  This is excellent with steamed clams or mussels.

2008 Tres Picos Garnacha, Campo de Borja ($15.99) We’ve never been disappointed by Tres Picos. Reliably delicious year after year,  “The 2008 Tres Picos is 100% Garnacha old vines in which 50% was aged in tank and 50% in French oak for 10 months. It gives up a compelling nose of black cherry fruit that jumps from the glass along with earth and mineral notes. Plush on the palate bordering on voluptuous, this pleasure-bent, full-flavored effort will drink well for another 3-4 years although few will be able to resist its charms for that long.”  91 points Wine Advocate

2008 La Planta, Ribera del Duero ($15.99) La Planta is the youngest red produced by Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro, whose wines are full-bodied and suave.  2008 La Planta has fresh aromas with high fruity notes of blackcurrant, licorice, and toasty notes from noble woods.  A meaty wine with ripe tannins, it has a fine tuned velvety texture.   The finish is persistent and smooth.

Last chance to pre-order special vintages of Cune Rioja!  Bodegas Cune will be shipping a limited number of old Rioja Reservas and Grand Reservas directly from Spain in February 2011.   Pre-order now to assure availability of a special anniversary or birthday wine!   Pre-orders are due no later than December 8, 2010.   Standout offerings include a 1917 Imperial Gran Reserva, 1964 Viña Real Gran Reserva, and a 1939 Corona, (a cache of this golden-colored Rioja blanco was recently discovered during the winery’s renovation.)  There are over 30 wines available from vintage 1917 through 1995; pre-sell prices range from $68.00 for a 1988 Imperial Reserva to $510.00 for the 1917 Imperial Gran Reserva.   For a complete list and prices, just send a request to


Seasonal Spanish Food Cookbook by José Pizarro ($32.95)  This is not a vegetarian cookbook but it’s loaded with delicious salads, soups and sautés that make you want to rush home and start cooking.   I can’t wait to make Artichoke and Sheep Cheese Salad and Green Asparagus Soup with Romesco Sauce.

New shipment of Churreras!  chur We now have plastic ($19.99) and metal ($45.99).  Fry up some of these bits of dough deliciousness and dunk them into a steaming mug of thick Spanish hot chocolate.   This indeed, is true decadence!  We also carry Blanxart, Amalia and Valor brand hot chocolate mix.

Marcona Almond Butter: A healthy alternative to peanut butter, and a great option for those folks with peanut allergies. Marcona Almond Butter can be substituted in any recipe you would normally use peanut butter. We suggest:  Changing your PB&J into a MAB&J, high-brow take on the quintessential classic, substitute MAB for your Thai peanut sauce or fold into your ice cream. Think of it like liquid Turron!

Armenian Walnuts Steeped in Syrup: They look like black olives, but they are whole walnuts packed green in the Ararat Valley of Armenia and steeped in sugar syrup until they turn lush, sweet, tender and irresistible, a little like marron glaće, only moister. The walnuts are perfect foil for pungent cheeses, pâté or roast duck or game. You can also nibble them after dinner or slice them to decorate your pumpkin pie.


Caña de Oveja: This snow-white, fluffy coated, soft-ripened sheep’s milk cheese hails from Murcia, a region known for its goat milk. The pale ivory creamy interior is suave, silky tangy and spreadable. Enjoy with a glass of sparkling white wine or cava.   14.99/LB

Queso de Oveja en Aceite de Oliva: From Jumilla in Spain’s southeast, this sharp and herbaceous sheep’s milk cheese is soaked in virgin olive oil and rosemary. Tangy with a bit of harrumph! The flavors are more infused than our Spanish Table customer favorite, Rosemary Manchego!   15.99/LB

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Filed under Books, Cava, Cheese, crockery, Events, Food, Red Wine

A Few Favorite Things

I feel like Julie Andrews’ Maria as I gaze at a few of my favorite things here in the store. Some are items that we restocked this week, including palleras and burners in all sizes, flaneras and cazuelas.  And there are new favorites that we unloaded yesterday from our Spanish container. These make sensational gifts for the foodie or wine lover in your life!

Goblets and Tumblers made of recycled glass

Toro Albala Sherry Vinegar, now in 750 ml bottles

Cataplanas:  Nothing steams clams and mussels like a cataplana, which clamps shut to hold in the moisture.    Essential for making traditional pork and clams Cataplana.

The Book of Tapas ($39.95) by Simone and Inés Ortega is filled with mouthwatering pictures and easy to prepare recipes such as cardoons in vinaigrette and trout pâté, along with pages of tortilla recipes.  The New York Times calls it “irresistible”.

Mediterranean Street Food by Anissa Helou  ($18.95) has North African, Turkish and European recipes such as Turkish Meat Bread,  Eggplant Salad, Kefta and Kebabs.

Also Children’s books in Spanish!

Rabitos – Brandy filled, chocolate covered figs.

Madeiras: This is the season to sip Madeira!   Perfect on a cold and blustery night, the high acidity of a Madeira wine gives it a lighter feeling on the palate.    Depending on the varietal used, Madeiras range from bone dry if made from Sercial grape to the very sweet Malmsey.

Delicious Delaviuda Chocolate Florentinos:  I fell hard for these circular chocolate disks covered with almonds, hazelnuts and honey.   Bite size, and impossible to eat just one.

Tortas: Our selection of these crisp breads keeps expanding!  Select a savory style with olive oil or herbs to eat with cheese, or top a sweet torta with honey and ice cream for an easy dessert.

Tagines: There’s nothing easier than combining meat and vegetables in a tagine and slow cooking it for a couple of hours.   A North African tradition, the recipes use seasonings such as cinammon, dried fruits, honey, tumeric and olives to produce astonishing flavors.


2007 Gramona Gran Cuvee Brut, Penedes ($19.99)  30 months aging on the lees gives this cava spectacular depth and complexity.   Aromas of apple pie with flavors of pastry and dry fruit.  Notes of yeast frame this creamy and silky cava.  Dynamic on the mid-palate, it has a mineral and citrus filled finish that keeps you coming back for more.

2009 Pacto, Tierra del Bajo Aragon ($9.99)  2009 Pacto comes from just outside the Montsant region in Catalonia and is made from 100% Garnacha Peluda, one of the oldest varietals grown in Spain, thought to be a mutant of Garnacha.  The extreme climate in this area produces a wine of juicy substance and bright fruit.   Notes of raspberry and black berry fruit have a clean minerality in this medium-bodied red. Serve this versatile wine with pasta dishes, soups or poultry.

2009 Nieto Senetiner Pinot Noir, Mendoza ($10.99)  Pinot Noir from Argentina we asked?  But after one sip of this juicy red we were asking why there aren’t more Argentinean Pinots on the market!  2009 Nieto Senetiner Pinot Noir has aromas of earth and fresh cherry, kirsch and plum flavors.  A depth of black fruit on the mid palate gives complexity and depth.  Aged only in stainless steel, this is a medium-bodied Pinot with a velvety finish.   Serve with leaner meats, or spicy stews.

2006 Finca Nueva Crianza Rioja($14.99) Finca Nueva, founded in 2004, is a new project of boutique winery Finca Allende.  The inspiration was to create a new style of Rioja at a more affordable price.  The 2006 Crianza has aged 12 months in French oak and displays a purity of red and black cherry fruit.  Understated, elegant and with a lengthy finish, this medium bodied red is crafted in the artisanal style of Finca Allende.   ” ..aromas of violets, spice box, and blackberry, on the palate it is ripe with excellent volume and savory flavors. It is a lot of wine for the money.”

89 points Wine Advocate

2007 Quinto do Crasto Reserva Old Vines, Douro ($40.00) From 70 year old vines, a blend of over twenty varietals, we’ve been eagerly waiting for this phenomenal vintage.  Only 5 cases shipped to Washington and we’ve got 12 bottles available.

“The 2007 RESERVA OLD VINES is a lovely Old Vines, comparable in quality to the 2003 and 2004, which makes it one of the best values in the Douro, even with the recent price hike. As is typical of many 2007s, it combines elegance and depth, showing good balance, yet richness and fine flavor. It is richer and fuller bodied than the Maria Teresa, closer to Vinha da Ponte, if you are comparing. Granting that stylistic preferences of individual consumers may differ, this is certainly the smartest buy in this lineup by a long margin, which it usually is every year. It is less than a third of the price of the Maria Teresa, for instance and many may actually prefer it. This will be approachable young, but it will show better in a couple of years and will age well. It drank nicely the next day. Drink now-2023.” 94pts Wine Advocate

“This has a complex array of red and dark fruit flavors, led by blueberry, kirsch, dark plum and dark cherry. Very plush midpalate, with an elegant, caressing finish of spice, mocha and cream. Drink now through 2017. 750 cases imported.  93pts Wine Spectator

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Gonzalez Byass Tasting & More

Anyone interested in the different styles of sherry and Spanish wines will not want to miss next Wednesday’s Gonzalez Byass tasting at the Harvest Vine from 6 to 8 pm.  Fifth generation family member, Felipe Gonzalez will lead us through four flights of wines from their portfolio for a total of twelve samples, each flight paired with a tapa specially prepared by The Harvest Vine.

Gonzalez Byass, established in 1835, celebrates its 175th anniversary of family ownership this year and is one of Spain’s most historic and important family owned wine producers.  Combining a balance of tradition with modern innovation, their portfolio of sherry, sparkling and still wines include Gonzalez Byass Sherries, iconic Tio Pepe Fino (which holds Spain’s first registered trademark), valued priced Altozano (Castilla-LaMancha), classical Beronia (Rioja), Finca Moncloa (Cadiz), Villarnau (Cava) wines and Vinas del Vero from the Somontano region of Northern Spain. Gonzalez Byass is committed to traditional styles of Spanish winemaking with sustainable production.

Perhaps best of all, the cost is only $25.00! The tasting line up includes samples of two very old sherries, including one of my favorites, the incredible Noe Pedro Ximenez.  Don’t miss this rare and unique opportunity to taste through an exceptional array of Spanish wines, guided by one of the owners of this historic firm.  Seats are limited and are booking quickly.   For reservations, call The Harvest Vine at 206.320.9771.

This is what we’ll be tasting:

Flight 1: – Sparklers and White

Vilarnau Brut Cava

Vilarnau Brut Vintage Reserve Cava

Vinas Del Vero Garnacha Blanca – Somontano

Flight 2: – Old vines/ New vines

Vinas del Vero Garnacha Tinto – Somontano

Vinas del Vero “Secastilla” Garnacha – Somontano

Finca Constancia Red Blend – Castilla-La Mancha

Flight 3: – Rioja

Beronia Crianza

Beronia Reserva

Beronia Gran Reserva

Flight 4: – Sherries

Tio Pepe – Fino

Del Duque – Rare Amontillado

Solera 1847 – Oloroso Dulce

Noe – Rare Old Pedro Ximenez


2008 Zaumau, Priorat ($17.99)  A blend of Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo and Pedro Ximenez,  Zaumau is a white wine from the Priorat with aromas of flint and white flowers.  Very dry, it is round on the palate with notes of beeswax, subdued stone fruit flavors, nuts and a refreshing minerality.  This graceful white is unoaked which allows the pure expression of Priorat’s terrunyo.   This is excellent with the Catalan cheese Garroxta.

2008 Valera Monastrell, Bullas ($10.99) Rich, structured and bold, this wine has aromas of smoke, blackberries and exotic spices.  Wonderfully complex with notes of dust and olive, it finishes long and dry.

2008 Mas dels Frares Priorat ($17.99) Accessible and balanced with notes of graphite and mineral, Mas dels Frares is structured with a persistent red fruit finish.  “The 2008 Mas del Frares is an unoaked blend of 50% Carinena, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Garnacha. The nose gives up earth notes, mineral, lavender, and black cherry. Substantial on the palate with good density and ripe flavors, this friendly effort is a good introduction to the region and an outstanding value.”  89 points Wine Advocate

2005 Lopez Cristobal Crianza, Ribera del Duero ($29.99) Fresh, balanced and structured with notes of coconut, blackberry and minerals, the winemaker is a former bullfighter who used to sell his grapes to Pingus.   Lopez Cristobal Crianza was a New York Times’ favorite in the September 15, 2010 article “From Spain, Big Reds, Well Tuned”  where it is described as “sleek and balanced with plummy, floral aromas and flavors.”


1954 Barbeito Malvasia Reserva Velha, Madeira ($261.00) “The 1954 Barbeito Malvasia Reserva Velha reveals stunning balance between the elements of sweetness and acidity, both of which are integrated with notable balance. This dark-hued wine possesses gorgeous aromatics that lead to intriguing notes of worn-in leather, baking spices, toffee, roasted coffee beans and dark plums. This is an unctuous, full-bodied style of Madeira that is simply breathtaking. The wine’s haunting perfume lingers on the long, seductive finish.”  95 points Wine Advocate


Molcajetes:    We’ve been trying to bring these in for months and finally have them.   Made of stone, they grind anything to a pulp in just a few turns of the wrist.   I grind spices and make guacamole with mine.

More cazuelas, including a larger selection of the bright red color!

A new shipment of paella pans, burners, leg sets, and hoses just arrived.  This may be our last shipment before the holidays so if you’re thinking of gifting a paella set this year get it now while the full selection is available!

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Filed under Cava, Events, Food, Red Wine, Sherry

Segura Viudas Wine Dinner This Week

Bodegas Segura Viudas, Catalonia
Don’t miss this Thursday’s wine dinner at La Taberna del Alabardero, featuring the the cavas of Segura Viudas and the wines of Freixenet. Eva Bertran, a native of Catalonia and V.P. of Wine Education will lead us through the tasting with David Brown, Marketing Director of Freixenet U.S.A. David, formerly in advertising, moved to Spain to learn flamenco guitar and from there had the opportunity to enter the wine industry.   Too bad he won’t be playing his guitar for us, but it will be a  lively and educational evening in any event!

La Taberna del Alabardero has put together an amazing five course menu to pair with the wines for a cost of $75.00.   The menu is shown below; please call La Taberna at 206.448.8884 to make reservations.   The dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday September 23rd.

If you’re unable to attend the dinner, stop by La Taberna that afternoon to sample special pintxos, Freixenet wines and cocktails made with Segura Viudas cavas for $5.00 each.

Segura Viudas Fall Harvest Dinner Menu

Segura Viudas Bubble Cocktail:  Segura Viudas Brut Rva with Saint Germain and Mango “Bubbles”

Duck a L’orange Alabardero Style

Coffee and Foie Gras Bonbon

D.O. Cava-Reserva Heredad (Macabeo, Parellada)

Scallops Over an Edamame Emulsion with a Ñora Pepper Sauce and Wild Rice

D.O. Rias Baixas- Vionta 2009 (Albariño)

Vionta vineyards, Rias Baixas

Red Snapper in a Cava Sauce with a Gnocchi Stew with Onions and Sundried Tomatoes in a Demiglas Sauce

D.O. Penedes- Mas D’aranyo Rva 2003 (Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon)

Beef Sirloin with a Carrot and Cauliflower Faux Cous-Cous, Pedro Ximenez Sauce and Potato Crystal

D.O. Ca. Priorat- Morlanda 2003 (Garnacha, Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon)

Carrot Cake with a Creamy Milk Chocolate Frosting and a Bay Leaf Breton Shortbread

D.O. Cava- Aria Brut Rosé (Pinot Noir)

$75.00  (Tax and Gratuity not included)

Call for reservations: La Taberna del Alabardero, 2328 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 (206)448-8884

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Filed under Cava, Events, Food, Red Wine, Spain