So the We Love Tapas Sherry Tours are going well… 🙂
I met the lovely Ania @ania_marchlik a few years ago in Las Teresas, and so it seemed fitting that while we were out celebrating her 10th Anniversary of living in Sevilla that we would end up there. Though we started off the day’s celebrations revisiting another spot with fond memories for both of us – the Corral de Conde – a “patio de vecinos” where Ania and her friend María once hosted a Peirogy Party in the fabulous courtyeard there. Then we stopped off at another of Ania’s favourite places, Taberna Quitapenas, before heading for a sumptuous lunch across the street at La Quinta.
Before and After (no more wine… oh hey! cava!)
It was after lunch that we found ourselves at Las Teresas, sitting at the very spot where we first met. We had a nice chat with Rafael, enjoyed some of his perfectly sliced jamón and then, as so often happens, we ended up at The Office (AKA La Azotea) for a Penúltima.
TUG-O-JAMÓN – yep, kinda drunk at this point
Ania has gone from acquaintance to work colleague (she is also part of my fab We Love Tapas team) to cherished friend. I can always count on her honesty and discretion and, besides that, we always have so much fun together. So happy we met.
So there I was – as usual – making last minute bodega visit plans via Twitter and WhatsApp the day before my trip… and mostly that worked out, except that two of the bodegas I wanted to visit weren’t available at such short notice. Really, it was probably enough seeing five bodegas in two and a half days, but I am always left wanting more. I think I might plan a longer stay in Jerez soon and make day trips to Sanlúcar and El Puerto while there, and keep it down to one bodega a day. Well, maybe two now and then… 😉
This time the bodegas were all very special in their own way, as bodegas tend to be, but there were also a couple of totally blow-me-away moments. I’ll write about this more over on my BRAND NEW Sherry Educator pages on Sevilla Tapas. But please be patient, because it may take awhile to get them set up properly. You can have a look now, but things are very much still “under construction”.
Meanwhile, a sneak peak of where I visited this time…
After a two-hour BUS RIDE FROM HELL we arrived in Sanlúcar with just time to drop off our bags and make it to the first bodega visit. Much later we returned to the hotel to find this lovely room and lovely view. So far not as rainy as I’d feared. More later…
By happy coincidence this Saturday’s sherry cata at the Consejo Regulador in Jerez happened to be on the same day as a combination birthday-farewell party for our friend Momoko, who has been living in Jerez for the past three years. Now that her book research is done she has to return home to Japan, but we are all hoping she will be back in Jerez – her true home – before long. Momoko was taken totally by surprise and spent much of the time at her party – at the fabulous Bodegas Faustina González – with happy tears in her eyes. I’m glad I had a chance to see her before she leaves next week. And as always it was great catching up with Jerez friends, and also meeting some new ones.
At least that was the plan. Today is Peter’s birthday and this is my birthday present to him. It was supposed to be this evening, but then the date got changed to tomorrow. Probably just as well as the birthday boy is still a bit run down and also still on antibiotics (which finish today). So we’re going to pretend that tomorrow is March 2nd instead!
It’s going to be a very sherry month while I prepare for the Big Event in London. And what better way to start my extra practice than with my friend Silvia, a sommelier, fellow sherry educator, and daughter of a master sherry blender? What’s going on here is simply helping me focus on what I am able to identify and giving that structure.
Aside from doing something similar to this on a daily basis (either at bars or at home) I will also be going to as many tastings as possible. That includes three sherry tastings (two in Sevilla, one in Jerez) over the weekend being given by different bodegas , and a getaway to Sanlúcar mid-month to visit bodegas there. At the moment it seems a bit daunting, but now with “extra added structure” thanks to Silvia, I can take things step by step.
As you may already know… I LOVE MONDAYS. Probably because I love my work. Being freelance, I often don’t even remember what day of the week it is. Except Mondays. Because I just love the idea of starting a fresh new week with lots of possibilities ahead.
Anyhow, this particular Monday was even more special that usual. I was not only invited to the glam Gurmé Awards event, but I was also fortunate enough to attend a special sherry tasting featuring the wonderful manzanillas of Antonio Barbadillo… which made it an extra special Manzanilla Monday. The tasting took place at La Cochera de Abuelo, a restored coach that is now available for private gastronomical events. It was a vertical tasting, taking us from the first mosto up to a manzanilla pasada, and as always, I learned a lot. It’s always thrilling to listen to a winemaker talk about their product, their “baby”…
So guess who has been invited to be a judge at a major sherry event in London? I’ll give you a hint. It’s the same person who is now a complete nervous wreck (but in a good way?). I’ve done judging events before, but this is BIG TIME. Will be spending the entire of March boning up on, well, everything. Eek!
Taberna La Manzanilla is a special place I always visit when I’m in Cádiz. And this last trip I had an extra reason to do so after having tasted their amontillado fino at Alabaster in Madrid, when co-owner Fran gave us a taste of it from his “secret stash”. So it was fun to tell (Manzanilla owner) Pepe this story and show him the photo. Oh, and the amontillado fino is fabulous.