It's cold, but we have Vi Novell, "Grad" Cru, & the War-Life Balance
Year 12, No. 11
Fall? Who needed that?
One day you're popping off to run errands in sandals and the next you're cursing the dogs for wanting a walk so early when it's still 0C. Yup, winter leaped upon our backs like a cousin with a horrible sense of humor.
The heat pump is now pumping (or whatever this sci-fi heating thing does) and the solar panels are solaring (more or less), but it's still cold. That of course means it was time for the Vi Novell to be released (*) here in Catalunya.
Ah, but new wine released just after the harvest is a Frenchie thing with the beaujolais nouveau and all that, no? Well yes... and no as pretty much everywhere in Europe used to do it and in many places, such as Catalunya, there's been a revival of the event. And, for anyone who just "casually" finds themselves in Barcelona on 10 December, head to the Palau Robert to partake in the triumphant return of "la Festa del Vi Novell".
Many tremendous thanks to the people who have bought the solidarity wine for Ukraine, "Tocat per l'Est". Last week I made a transfer of 530€ to Rebel Volunteers to aid their organization. Wines are still available from www.quel.cat.
Jenia Nikolaichuk is a Ukrainian sommelier who has been based in Portugal with her family since the Russians invaded her country in February. She was gracious enough to write this lengthy report (*) for the site about how people are managing and specifically how the wine community in Ukraine is working as a harsh winter sets in as well as the, "War-Life Balance".
IN THE NEWS
In the typical dark humor that's helped see the Ukrainians through this war as best they can, a winery in the south near Kherson woke up one day in March to find an unexploded Grad missile in their vineyard.
What do you do? You release a "Grad Cru" pét-nat sparkling wine, that's what you do.
Why hello there, Hvar!
I finally got a chance to do something I'd been meaning to do since June 2020 which was get over to the island of Hvar in Croatia to compile this brand-spankin' new report. The wines keep evolving and they're trying new things, including sparkling wines!
AND NOW THIS
Ever heard of the Tintilia grape variety? No, not "Tintilla", but Tintilia. Aren't variety synonyms fun? (sorta?) At any rate, this quite rare variety from Molise in Italy does make a quite smashing wine.
Rioja or Ribera? The ever-present dilemma for any lover of Tempranillo from Spain. Here I picked up two very easy-to-find wines from these two regions at a local supermarket that were less than 7€ locally and did a head-to-head comparison of Reservas from the same vintage. Neither was the least bit bad, but one was definitely better.
Drink well, be well.
(*) articles are free to read