I'd been to Ptown to pick up the Casal Garcia Vinho Verde (that's Spanish/Portugese for GREEN WINE!) and to find more fabulous Tawny and Colheita Port, Italian Brunello and Barbaresco as well as the most amazing Blanxart Dark Chocolate from Spain (good chocolate always makes me think of you Lisa P!) We love the Vinho Verde; it's a fabulous wine to serve with spicy foods and goes well with asparagus (the real reason we love spring so very, very much!)
I planned the trip around a trade tasting of wines from one of our favorite importers of Spanish wines including an Alvear PX Solera 1830 sherry. It was one of the most beautiful wines I've tasted; by far the most decadent in both perfume and length, in fact the perfume seemed to linger for over an hour! Alvear, from Montilla-Moriles is the oldest wine producing region of Spain but is inland from the more well-known region of Jerez (pronounced Sherry!) BELLA has featured the Alvear wines since '97; they are an exceptional value (although the 1830 is pricey for the simple reason of rarity and oh yeah, it's really, really old!) and the Cream and PX wines are stunning! All of the Alvear wines are currently available, including the very last bottle of 1830 Solera on the west coast - stop in and let us show you the 'gold' from Andalusia!
(For more info about Montilla-Moriles and the Pedro Ximenez grape -
This "International Wine Bar" sign is actually the logo from a divine little wine bar in the East Village, NYC called Carrera. I stumbled into it shortly after it opened and have visited it every time I've been in NYC since! It seemed like they wrote the wine list just for me, with many of my favorite Spanish wines by the glass including phenomenal wines like the dessert Moscatel from Malaga made by Jorge Ordonez (we always keep the Seleccion Especial #1 at BELLA- oh my!) and my favorite Spainish Rueda, Bodegas Naia Naiades- a wine that will make you consider never drinking Chardonnay again! Anyways, I love the bartender, the menu, the wines and the art (stylized cattle skulls made from bike seats and handlebars - how cool is that?!) but most of all, I adored the logo. In fact, it's so cool I can't help but wish I'd thought of it first!!!
But we've got BELLA and that's makes us pretty lucky! And luckier still, it's the Merry Month of March and that means the Birthday Queens have already begun the celebrating and it will continue on well into the month of April. Just a hunch, but I think this year deserves an added element of jubilation without restraint! Vicki and I got the ball rolling with a glass of bubbly while we had lunch together in Portland at Milo's City Cafe. Sally, Vickie and I will be wearing our best party dresses at WICKED (in Portland!) on the 27th and we are planning other soirees to fill our idle hours! Our happy little group keeps growing as we realize how many fabulous individuals share this spot on the calendar - including a couple of very groovy guys- who are cool enough to accept membership into something called the Birthday Queens without feeling the least bit threatened (of course, they are on the Aries side of the deal- could that be part of it?!)
So with that, a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish to everyone who first appeared in the month of planet Mars. If you find yourself in the neighborhood, stop in and share a little cheer!