Another treat during my San Sebastián Getaway was finally getting to meet Caroline (aka @floweries1) and her husband Steve. We’ve been Twitter pals for ages and they have already chalked up 11 visits to Donostia, so when I found out our next visits were going to coincide we made plans to meet up. It was a great evening out and now I am looking forward to when they are FINALLY going to visit Sevilla with friends in November.
I first met Laura @laurawburgess and Erik @thewhiskykiwi at Bodegas Urium in Jerez in September 2016, and would have met them a few months earlier in Sevilla, but I was hit with a random 24-hour bug and ended up giving them a “remote” tapas tour from bed via my iPhone.
Happily they were in town again yesterday and we were able to meet up for a fabulous lunch at Bodeguita Romero. They also joined me on last night’s Sevilla Tapas Tour with two other couples, and well, the chemistry couldn’t have been better. Right from the start everyone started talking and joking with each other. It was a great evening.
I will be seeing more of Laura & Eric at Vinoble, which starts tomorrow and is actually the reason they are here now. Can’t wait!
Most of you know how much my life has been enriched by Twitter. It’s not only a helpful social media business tool, but – more importantly – it has connected me with some of the most special people in my life.
A few weeks ago my friend Thane @ThanePrince (yes, I also met her on Twitter) put me in touch with her friend Edward @TimeToCook, saying he was planning a visit to Andalucía and that we should meet. That day finally came this week and the plan was that we would meet up for a drink before they headed off to dinner at Tribeca. As you can see, I ended up being invited to dinner, and what a splendid meal it was. Wonderful food and wine, and even better company.
It was like an evening out with old friends and I was sorry to see it end. But of course Ed and I are now keeping in touch via Twitter and, who knows, I may end up visiting them all in New York some day. Or maybe we’ll meet up in London with Thane. You never know…
Like the sign says… vinos ricos aguí! And indeed there were. The third Cuatro Gatos Wine Fest took place last Saturday (February 24th) under the big top behind the Hotel Duques de Medinaceli in El Puerto de Santa María. Peter and I arrived by train around noon and made our way to the hotel-apt we had booked for the night.
The courtyard of the Palacio de Luja is much more impressive than the rather tired and slightly sad apartments they offer, so I’m not even going to show photos of the apartment. It was clean, though with an overpowering “air freshener” smell, but everything just looked old and unloved, if you know what I mean. Luckily we were out and about most of the time.
Somehow I didn’t take many photos at the wine tasting, probably because it’s not easy to hold the iphone one-handed. It was great running into Paula and Andrew – two of my favourite sherry gurus – and seeing lots of other people I know, both producers and fellow wine lovers. We mostly hung out around the sherries, and got to taste some pretty spectacular wines. It was also a learning experience for me, tasting the groundbreaking wines by Ramiro Ibáñez and Willy Pérez, and also a new release of three 2014 single pago manzanillas by Viñas Callejuela, clearly showing the importance of terroir. Looking forward to visiting the Pérez and Callejuela bodegas soon.
Around 3 o’clock we took a lunch break and headed over to one of my favourite spots in El Puerto – La Bodeguilla del Bar Jamón. They were offering a stand-up buffet at the event, but sitting down for awhile at this point was a very attractive idea. Paula joined us and, as you can see, we had a delicious time. After lunch Paula had to drive back home to Mijas, and we went back to try a few more wines before calling it a day.
After stopping by the hotel to change shoes we headed out again for a walk around town and ran into another person we know who has recently moved to Cádiz. Jane and her son were looking for somewhere for dinner and so later that evening we once again found ourselves at Bodeguilla, this time with them, for a tapas snack at the bar. Then it was back to the hotel to sleep.
Next morning over breakfast we were trying to work out what to do for the rest of the day (our train home was for 6pm) and we decided there probably wasn’t much doing in El Puerto on a Sunday. So after a quick look at the train schedule, and also a quick google for a place to leave the suitcase, we popped over to Cádiz, which turned out to be an excellent idea. More on that tomorrow!
After knowing each other “virtually” for years I was very excited to finally meet fellow tapas tour pioneer Gayle @GranadaTapasTours in person. She was in town visiting with family but took time out to meet up for a lunchtime tapeo. Like me, Gayle began her tapas tours in Granada back when food tours were still a novelty, so we have a lot in common in that sense and spent a fair bit of time “talking shop”. And of course we also have a lot of mutual acquaintances. But we also just chatted about this and that and I think I’ve met my match when it comes to someone who loves talking as much as I do. 🙂 Hoping to meet up again soon in Granada.