Tag Archives: travel

Hasta luego, Hasta próxima or Hasta pronto?

Three weeks in and the Spanish is progressing you might think? Well I guess it does, but in the back of our heads where we don’t notice. My mind still goes blank in restaurants, and I sometimes find my self repeating verbs… Yo tengo, tú tiene, el/ella tienes, nosotros tenemos, tienen…
Its like my mind is constantly occupied with kids, cava, Instagram, friends, food, excursions, times to keep, book keeping, taxes and on top of it all Spanish. My brain must think I’m insane to try to learn something new in a already overloaded and over heated state of mind. Well we will see if I can make it fly or if I’ll crash and burn.

Three weeks in with people coming and going Andreas and I have that strange feeling that we just came, and at the same time that we have been here for ever. Even though our departure is just one and a half week away, thinking about going home feels strange and unnatural. I suppose that is one of the signs of us growing accustom to Penedés and that we honestly see it as our second home. Its a nice feeling. Hopefully we will have the chance to spend more time here since we are now looking for a hose to rent long term, and maybe we will look at some houses next week. Its all very exciting and that would mean that all of you reading the blog could come here and rent it. Since we will then also rent it to friends when we are not there our selves. I’ll tell you more about it when it happens.

One thing that I think I have got a grip on though is the meaning of these “good buy”-fraces…
Hasta pronto = we will see each other soon and you know it will be during that same day.
Hasta Luego = we will se each other soon but don’t know exactly when.
Hasta proxima= we will see each other later and that can be a day a week or a month. Who knows.
Hasta mañana = see you tomorrow.

The Gourmand awards 2013: The hunt for Cava in Paris

The problem with Paris, is that it is full of Champagne. Not that I don’t like Champagne, on the contrary. But when you are in Paris to promote a book about Cava, the focus will naturally be Cava… (…like every other day)

We landed around lunchtime and started our quest right away. Although the weather was everything but inspiring, we made our way to a Brasseri to have lunch. We realised quickly that there was no Cava on the menu, and that the beer was very expensive… a 33cl Heineken for 7,5€, while Bordeaux and Bourgogne and any other French wine was a bargain. You might wonder if there was wine from any other country on the menu?  Of course not this is France! 😉

We continued after lunch to explore some wine shops, to try our luck. No Cava, No other wine except French, I’m not kidding. So we had a look at some more menus at restaurants without luck. So we went home to rest.

At 21.30 we had a table booked at Chez Janou, that our friend Joel had helped us with since we don’t speak a word of French.

A fantastic small restaurant in the middle of a residential area, packed with people and so small tables that Andréas could hardly fit his elbows on it. Wonderful food, cozy and wonderful service, but NO CAVA. So we went home on a Friday without having had a single glass of Cava which was quite disturbing.

But altogether it was a great day, even though the weather was against us and the lack of Cava was profound.

Looking back at 2012 part two

After May and the fantastic trip we had, it was back to work and at the same time finishing up the book. During the summer we did manage to have some wonderful cava moments and many of them were out sailing.

To finish up the book was very hard work but we made it and at the end of August the book came finally from the printer. And we had a great book release in Uppsala.

We presented some of the producers that we have learned to know, and the guests got information about them and an opportunity to try some great cava available in Sweden.

During the later parts of the summer the cavabook and cava in general was seen in Swedish press.

The spanish wine day in Stockholm took place in the middle of september. I had the opportunity to host a tasting with 35 happy wine lovers. And they got the chance to try cavas from Marques de Monistrol, Juvé y Camps, Mestres and Gramona, everything very happily received by the participants. And I was so glad to be able to talk about cava, and spread the word.

Josep from Mestres came up to visit Alambic, and I hope that we will soon see some of their cavas here in sweden.

Then in October it was time for Cava tast and the presentation of the book in Sant Sadurní!

Cava tast grand opening!Last preparation before the presentation. I was so happy and moved that so many showed up and that people were so involved in my project. It was truly a fantastic experience.  

the girls liked the book!

Then we got ready for cava tast in the evening with wonderful cava and the opportunity to meet this years cava queen. A fantastic evening with our friends!

We were also so extremely lucky to be invited to stay at Raventós i Blanc, and they took so good care of us, so we wish that we could move there! We feel truly honored to have such friends. And of course we hope to be able to come back. 🙂


We cooked on the BBQ outside, almost every day and could enjoy the fantastic cava the house makes. De Nit, the pale rosé made by Ravenós i Blanc is truly one of my favorites. But we managed to try most of their portfolio and I’m very glad that we do get some of their great cavas in Sweden.

 

 

 

 

One day we took a trip in to Barcelona to visit Quim in the Boqueira, and to leave him a book as promised. And I had the chance to have my favorite on the menu; caramelized foi. We just love El Quim and really long for coming back to have lunch again.

The 13th of October Andréas had his birthday and we went to Florian and Veronica at Cal ruget so have some dinner. And they had made it so nice that we could not have wished fore anything better! and they had bought Andréas a cake!

The day after Andréas had to go home and I moved in with my dear friends Rosó and Partic. And we started to visit Colomer where we had a fantastic time!

The big event after Andréas had left was the tasting Recaredo held for the anniversary of Reserva Particular. A fantastic event with old  vintages of exceptional quality.

After the amazing tasting we got equally amazing food in the winery. El Cellar de Can Roca made the food and it was amazing to say the least!

I visited Valformosa on a very sunny morning and had a wonderful tour with Angel, who showed me around. And I also had the chance to try a wide ranch of their great cavas.

 

 

 

Me and my wonderful hosts also visited Marues de Gelida and tried one of their bio cavas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I also went to se Toni at Torelló, on the way towards Gelida. And I really do not understand why I have not visited them before. I had a great time there and Toni showed me the production and told me about the family history which was extremely interesting. Next time I’ll bring Andréas along. 
Toni also showed me a fantastic new press that I had not seen before. A way of filling the press with gas (I don’t remember which one) so the grapes has no way to oxidize. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I came home and started working again, I fond Vilarnau Cava when I was flying from a very small airport in sweden. I was very surprised but very happy! Cava is spreading!

 

 

Then The Swedish book came! And now the work is done. English and Swedish version done and printed, and now will will see what happens.

In november I also found out that I had been picked out  among all swedish wine books this year as the “best wine book in the world (Except france)” in the Gourmand cook book awards, and now I have made it to the final in February. It is me against 4 outer books. So now I cross my fingers!

At the end of the year we needed to get all our books and papers ready for the tax office and to make it a bit more fun we found a Cordon negro in the fridge! Jiipii!

 

 

 

 

And just before christmas I read in the biggest swedish daily paper that Raventós i Blanc’s brut nature was recommended with 6 out of 6 points, which indicates “a bargain” in that papers terms. I was so happy for my friends at Raventós and for all cava lovers!

 

 

 

Then New years eve came and we had a great dinner with our frineds at our house with lots of great cava. A fantastic way to end 2012!

 

I have probably forgot many wonderful things that happend this year. But I have such a mess among my photos, and I do know that many are missing. But I think I got most of it.

 

Now I just want to wish you all a fantastic 2013, and I hope that it will be a great one with a nice harvest and a lot of new chances to explore new cavas and meet new producers and cava lovers!

Happy New Year!!

 

Cavatast Friday!

I love it here!! Cava, fantastic food, friendly people and great atmosphere. Next year we will be bringing some friends to experience this too. A festival where the only thing you can drink is Cava! Fantastic!

The participants in Cavatast are the following:

Agusti Torelló Mata, Alsina Sardà, Bertha, Canals y Munné, Castell Peralada, Castellblanch, Castelo de pedregosa, Cava & Hotel Mas Tinell, Cellers Carol Vallès, Codorníu, Convides Vinyes, Cum Laude, El Xamfrà, Eduald Massana Noya, Fonpinet, Freixenet, Gramona, <heredad Segura viudas, Jaume Giró i Giró, Juvé y Camps, Llopart, Marquès de Gelida, Mascaró, Maset, Mont Marcal, Nadal, Naveran, Recaredo, Rimarts, Rosell Gallart, Sumarroca, Vallformosa, Vilarnau. 

Since I promised you pictures, here they are from the Friday events.

Opening of Cavatast that the New fantastic Cava museum in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia.

Mr Jep Bargallo (responsible for tourism and trade in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia), Mr Josep Maria Ribas (Major of Sant Sadurní) and Mr Javier de las Muelas (bartender and owner of Barcelonas famouse cocktail bar “Dry Martini”) Having the opening toast at the museeum.

 

Beautiful ceiling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our great friends at Giró i Giró having fantastic cava for tasting.

Apparently a “calm” Friday at Cavatast. But a great evening it was!

Me and Andréas and our two friends Rosó and Patrick had a great Happy Friday Cava, that is for sure!

 

Busy busy. So many things and so little time!

I just don’t get it, where does all my time go?
Of course I work full time and then I have the book coming out and a lot of things to fix around that, and on top of everything I have a house and a small garden to take care of and wonderful friends and a family I want to spend time with! 24 hours on a day is just not enough and I wish I could fill in some application to apply for some more hours. But I am really not complaining because I have a wonderful life.

To get you all up to speed with how things are moving along with the book, I’m happy to announce that it is scheduled to arrive on my doorstep the last week of August, and I am so excited I could die. That same week on the 31st of August I welcome all of you who are in or close to Uppsala (Sweden) to come to the official Swedish book-release. There will be books and the opportunity to taste some Cava’s that are only available on our special ordering section at the monopoly. It will be a great #Happy_Friday_Cava event with full focus on these fantastic bubbles and some of the fantastic producers!

In September I will be hosting a Cava tasting during the “Spanish wine days” at Grand Hotel in Stockholm and it will be open for the public. I am doing this together with Institute del Cava and the Spanish board of commerce here in Sweden (ICEX). I will bring my book of course, so if you cant come to Uppsala you have a second chance to get a sighed ex.

In october 7-9th I’ll be in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia during Cavatast to distribute the book, and hopefully we will have the official Spanish book release. But I am still awaiting Institute del Cava’s decision regarding this, and they are right now enjoying some well deserved vacation.

And then I have some new plans until x-mas. So you see, I’m keeping my self busy!

In the spring, me and my lovely husband Andréas will start on the next Cava book. So stay tuned!