It’s not easy continuing to find worthy Port websites to recommend each month. So on occasion … and with good reason, there are times where I circle back and promote a website for a 2nd time, albeit typically separated by a few years. This month, I would like to reintroduce you all to one of the more distinctive, high-quality wine BLOG-sites on the web; created nearly at the same time as was FTLOP.
Ryan Opaz and his wife Gabriella collaborate on their site and make for a dynamic duo of wine writing. Both pen pieces for their newsy blog with astonishing frequency and I find it worth visiting at least a couple of times a week. Their focus has been the Iberian Peninsula and initially it was rather Spain-centric, (both are American’s settled in Barcelona) with an occasional nod towards Port and the wines of Portugal. However, in the past few years, they’ve made many more trips to Portugal and have done a fabulous job of encompassing a wide swath of the food, wine and culture of the country.
The Opaz’ site known as Catavino has continued to evolve exponentially over the years. It’s easy to lose track of time, sipping some Port while poring over the diverse content they’ve created. I admire their writing style and find theirs to be one of the most compelling wine sites in the entire blogosphere.
Ryan came up with a brilliant and revolutionary idea which has literally captured the attention of an entire wine producing continent; and I am not overstating this whatsoever. Along with Gabriella and their good friend Robert McIntosh, they organized the wine bloggers all across Europe (which covers many a wine producing nation) and created the EBWC or European Wine Blogger’s Conference. The first conference actually took place in Logrono (Rioja), Spain in August 2008. Last year’s event, held in Lisbon was well attended, and the Oct. 2010 version will be in Vienna, Austria.
Besides great networking opportunities and having fun visiting local wineries, participants exchange ideas on improving the quality of blogs. In one of the more popular seminars, the Opaz’ and other panelists share their expertise in utilizing social media, which has become a virtual high-tech art form.
If you haven’t already done so, treat yourself and visit Ryan & Gabriella on Catavino