Index

1. JP's Corner, Wine of the Month
2. Luxury Wine Tours by Chauffeured Mercedes- Lisbon, Portugal
3. Food & Wine Day Excursions: Txacoli Wine Country, Spain
4. City Profile: Evora, Portugal
5. Winery Profile: Lustau, Sherry Wine Country, Jerez, Spain
6. Gourmet Highlight: Spanish Recipes for Summer- Salmorejo
7. Restaurant Review: Tt, Madrid, Spain
8. Historic & Charming Hotel Review: Parador de Lerma, Spain
Wine Tours Newsletter

Jessica Benavides Joins Cellar Tours

Wine Tours Newsletter We have welcomed a new member onboard the Gourmet Team, Jessica Benavides, you will lead specialized, VIP food and wine tours for French Speakers in Spain. Born in Lima, Peru, she was raised in New York City, NY. She gained valuable experience in New York in the top end hospitality sector and worked in high-end restaurants as a reservations and hosting staff manager. Her love of culture and travel has taken her around the globe where her studies have included architecture and interior design in London; Art in Florence; and Wine and Gastronomy in Paris where she currently resides. Jessica speaks four languages including Spanish and French, and is the marketing manager for Cellar Tours in France. Jessica has ample experience in wine tourism in France and has led various exclusive groups to the finest French Cellars, and now brings her experience and vivacious dynamism to our French Speaking clientele in Spain.




1. JP's Corner, Wine of the Month

Juan Pedro Vasquez
Palacio de Fefinanes

Welcome to the inaugural Cellar Tours "Wine Corner", provided by our Sommelier, Juan Pedro Vasquez, "JP". This section will provide you with clear, concise information related to all your "wine needs" You'll see in future months everything from wine commentaries to cellar storage descriptions. We will also include feature interviews from prominent personalities from diverse wine backgrounds. Take a minute and digest Juan Pedros discussion on wines, wineries and enological facts. You will be glad you read it! Here we have a fantastic wine for summer, tasted recently, that we thought you might enjoy, with the toasty summer temperatures.

Rias Baixas, Palacio de Fefinanes, 2003

The vinification process in the fermenting cellar was re-examined by the new team in 2001 in order to enable the fruit to express all of its aromatic components as early as the initial stages of the vinification. Founded in 1904 and still based in an actual palace, this is probably the most historic and beautiful winery in the whole appellation of Rias Baixas, in Galicia, Spain. This Albario (the flagship grape of the region) is a lovely straw-coloured, white wine with a good fruity nose and spectacular floral hints. On the palate, expressive citrus flavors. It is a gentle, fresh and harmonious wine with an excellent lingering finish. In our opinion a touch of age for 2 years in your cellar, could give this Albario bigger body and even greater balance.

Our Rating 91/100
Type: Dry White Wine
Appellation: Rias Baixas
Region: Galicia, N/W Atlantic Coast, Spain
Grape Composition: 100% Albario
Pairing: Oysters, Lobster, Sea Bass




2. Luxury Wine Tours by Chauffeured Mercedes- Lisbon, Portugal

Sintra, Portugal

This fascinating and complete tour begins at your Lisbon hotel where you will be collected by luxury vehicle to begin your morning guided touring of the sites in lovely "Lisboa". You'll take in the 16th century St Jeronimo Monastery and 16th century Belem Tower, St George's castle (dating back to the Moors), and the medieval Alfama district. A special visit to the Solar do Vinho do Porto, Lisbon's great classy, 18th-century Wine Bar. This is one of our favorite wine bars, located in a historic mansion where you can taste hundreds of ports by the glass. You'll be treated to two Port Tastings as an aperitif. After seeing the most beautiful spots in the city, you'll be starving and the next stop is a classic "Lisboeta" restaurant for a traditional lunch, almost certainly featuring the flagship "Bacalhau" (salt cod, a Portuguese delicacy). The latter part of the afternoon will bring you to the magical village of Sintra, in the forested hills north of Lisbon. The cellars of Jose Maria da Fonseca, Vila Fresca de Azeito and of the Bacalhoa Palace await as the next part of the tour. Apart from visits to the wineries, and wine tasting (of some exciting Moscatel wines), you'll even get to visit the lovely gardens of the palace. This is a very special itinerary organized for our very discerning food and wine loving clients.
more info...




3. Food & Wine Day Excursions: Txacoli Wine Country, Spain

Txacoli White Wine

Txacoli is a picturesque wine region located only 30 minutes away from San Sebastian. It is a very little known appellation, and what a pity! The wines taste of the sea and the villages are some of the prettiest in Spain. We organize this fabulous gourmet excursion to Txacoli from San Sebastian: Morning visit to the smallest D.O. wine producing region in Spain: Txacoli of Getaria. Getaria is a charming fishing village on the Cantabrian sea backed by green hills covered with trellised grape vines. You will be given a private tour of a lovely, family owned Txacoli winery. The owner will explain the history and production of this delightful white wine before a special tasting session accompanied by the highly prized anchovies, which have been caught, and handpacked right in the village! The local gastronomic specialty is fresh fish, which is charcoal grilled outdoors. Enjoy a marvellous, rustic lunch overlooking the beautiful protected harbor. And follow it with a VIP visit to the studio museum of Ignacio Zuloaga which houses the family's remarkable art collection including works by Goya, Zurbaran and El Greco.
more info...

4. City Profile: Evora, Portugal

Evora, Portugal

The Roman town of Evora is about 150 km south of Lisbon, on top of a steep hill and dominated by a large cathedral. It is the chief city of the capital of Alto Alentejo Province. The Alentejo province is a large, undulating plain south of the Rio Tejo (Tagus River). The Alentejo is full of cork and olive trees and whitewashed villages. Evora, the jewel of the Alentejo, is completely enclosed by an ancient wall and is extremely well preserved. It is listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites. It has over 2000 years of history, with various occupations including the Romans, Visigoths and Moors. In the Roman era this city was known as 'Liberalitas Julia,' and was first walled in on its perimeter. In 715 the city was taken by the Moors. In 1166, Geraldo the Fearless took over the city and transformed it into one of the most flourishing cities in Portugal in the middle ages. The ruins of the second century temple are still visible today with various ruins of Roman baths under the present day town hall and the Porta de Dona Isabel, a gated entrance within the perimeter wall. In the 15th and 16th centuries the Portuguese kings made Evora the city of their courts, and there are graceful aristocratic manors and mansions that testify to this regal past. The different architectural styles (Romantic, Gothic, Manueline, Mannerist, and Baroque) that line the palaces, squares, and streets make this city a delight to visit.
more info...




5. Winery Profile: Lustau, Sherry Wine Country, Jerez, Spain

Jerez, Spain

Emilio Lustau is considered by many to be simply the best sherry winery in existence. Founded in 1896, the winery was the first to coin the term "Almacenista" (and copyright it) to describe special wines bought in from stockholders. Emilio Lustau describe the concept of Almacenista wines as "An Almacenista is a stockholder who buys sherry or must from the farmers and matures it in his/her own bodegas. Almacenistas did not have a licence from the Consejo Regulador for bottling their own sherries. Traditionally these sherries were sent for inclusion in the large commercial blends but it was Lustau who recognised that these sherries all had strong individual merit." These Almacenista wines are nowadays the most sought after wines in Sherry. Lustau are key figures in the Wine Tourism sector in Spain, and are the first to create a "wine club" (so common in California, absolutely unheard of in Spain until recently). "The Almacenista Club is the brainchild of Don Luis Caballero, the Chairman of the House of Emilio Lustau, the premium sherry producer in Jerez and Fortified Winemaker of the Year in The International Wine Challenge of the Year 2002. He wanted to bring together like minded individuals who all shared his love for sherry. The Emilio Lustau Sherry Club has been established to promote global interest in Almacenista sherries. There are 6,500 members worldwide." The beautiful cellars are also a pleasure to visit.
more info...




6. Gourmet Highlight: Spanish Recipes for Summer- Salmorejo

Spanish Recipe -Salmorejo

Salmorejo is similar to Gazpacho, as it is an Andalusian cold soup. However, the Salmorejo (which hails from the beautiful Moorish town of Cordoba) does not contain cucumber or peppers, and it has the additional ham and egg, which Gazpacho does not. Cold soups are, of course, very typical in Southern Spain where summer temperatures go way beyond 100 degrees F. Gazpacho, cold garlic soup, cold melon soups, and this delicious Salmorejo soup, are common everywhere from Seville to Granada to Cadiz. This recipe for Salmorejo comes from Ruth Roberts, a professional cook with more than 20 years experience in catering in Madrid, Seville and in Sydney, Australia. During the International Exhibition (Expo92) in Seville in 1992, Ruth was the chef in the VIP suite of the British Pavilion. This involved catering for British Government ministers and members of the Royal Family, such as Prince Charles and Lady Diana. In 1995 Ruth was asked to be one of the chefs at the Royal wedding in Seville of the Princess Elena, eldest daughter of the King and Queen of Spain. During the last few years Ruth has been giving cooking classes in Seville.

More info...




7. Restaurant Review: Tt, Madrid, Spain

Tt, Madrid, Spain

Surely one of the great undiscovered restaurants on the Gourmet Traveller's map, Tt offers one of the most fascinating menus and wine lists in Spain. We recently dined there with our colleagues from Reserva y Cata, Spain's best wine merchants, and what a dinner! Located on a charming side street of the San Bernardo area, Tt is tiny inside, with less than 15 tables. The menus came in large rice paper envelopes, and upon opening them we found the most tantalizing suggestions on the menu. We began with a delicious bottle of Marte, exquisite. For dinner, we ate a variety of taster, including calamari sorbets topped with Anis, a guava sorbet with spoon of aloe vera, a delicious parmesan and balsamic salad, rissoto with chopped walnuts and prawns, baby lamb chops and an array of taster desserts.

The presentation of the dishes was beautiful, the service was exceptional, and the prices extremely reasonable. Three of us ate out at this stylish and top class restaurant for less than 50 euros per head, with plenty of Cava and wine. We were treated to an interesting red dessert wine from Tenerife as an after dinner wine, on the house. Tt comes highly recommended; get there before the Gourmet Guidebooks do!

Restaurante Tt,
c/Andres Borrego, 16, Madrid
Tel: +34 91 522 7391




8. Historic & Charming Hotel Review: Parador de Lerma, Spain

Parador de Lerma, Spain

Only recently opened as a luxury hotel, the Parador of Lerma is an absolute treat to stay at. Located in the historic village of Lerma, it is a great base to tour the Ribera del Duero wine region. The stunning building, dating back to the 17th century, once belonged to the notorious Duke of Lerma. The palace was built on the site of an earlier medieval castle, and in the early 1600's was used as a retreat by King Philip III. Now, lucky tourists can sleep in the Duke's quarters! The rooms are very elegant, nice materials are used in the dcor and the bathrooms are wonderful.

The restaurant is extremely good. We ate there this month and can only report good things. The dining room is located in one of the oldest parts of the palace, and has lovely arched ceilings and a huge wood-burning oven in one of the two historic salons. As soon as you sit down to your beautiful table, you are brought a glass of "Fino" (sherry), almonds and olives as an aperitif on the house. The glasses, silverware, etc are all first rate. The menu takes regional and national dishes and puts a creative twist on them. Memorable dishes included: "Vieira albardada en panecillos de ssamo" (scallops sauteed in olive oil and covered in sesame seeds), "Cardos de Covarrubias en Salsa de Almendra" (absolutely delicious, it's a vegetable called "Cardoon" cooked in an almond sauce), "Degustacin de Queso Burgaleses" (Selection of local cured and fresh cheeses, from Burgos Province) and the grand finale was certainly the traditional "Lechazo asado en horno de lea" (baby lamb, slow roasted in the wood-fired oven). "Obleas rellenas de manzana caramelizada" (Creps stuffed with apple and flambed), finished off the meal, paired with a sweet Malvasia de Toro.

Contact Details

Parador de Lerma, Spain
Address: Plaza Mayor, 109340 Lerma (Burgos), Spain
Tel: +34 947 17 71 10
Fax: +34 947 17 06 85
Web: www.parador.es
Email: lerma@parador.es