88/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Canovelles – El Cortijo de…. – Nun 2012
…., and it is! Not lost time, but wasted effort in trying to explain why some people are in love with food, wine and life in general. My best moments in life, since childhood, have been together with other people over a nice meal with some good wines. Another such experience took place yesterday, where you least expect it. During times like these, it is easy to understand how good life can be, if it is enjoyed the way it should be! Life is great, and even greater with good friends, excellent food and wine!
El Cortijo de….., in this case, Miguel, is not a restaurant, it is a private house. Miguel only cooks when he feels like it and the food is of restaurant quality, but rustic and always always tasty. If I don’t give you the address (and I won’t), you will never find it. I’ll tell you this much, it is located in the the small town of Canovelles and the only way to get to enjoy the amazing food prepared by Miguel, is by personal invitation.
A townhouse in the midst of the town centre, owned and occupied by the family, parents and brothers of Miguel. At the very top of the four story building, they have constructed their hang-out in the form of a Cortijo. A Cortijo is normally a countryside retreat, where Spanish families would go to relax over the weekend. This one has a terrace with views of the town and another level up, there is a garden!
This is where he entertains and cooks for friends and friends of friends. Passion for food is evident and for foodies and wine lovers there is no place better, to sit and talk for hour on end. Yesterday was no different, but you must make sure to be in good health and able to stand some 15 or so wines and several courses.
The food is mainly prepared in a huge owen, which had to be delivered by crane, as to shift it into place on the roof top. This is where magic happens. The seafood rice dish, as a starter, was delicious and if I didn’t know better, I would have had seconds. It was followed by Sea-bass, cooked in a clay tray, with potatoes, Mediterranean herbs and olive oil. How he managed to extract the smoky flavors is beyond me, and I won’t try and figure it out, I’ll just have the memories.
The guy works in the town administration and his hobbies consist of food and wine. His library shows it all. Books are all about Escoffier, Gangnaire, Ferran Adria and other world renowned chefs, the greatest in the world. This is what Miguel reads as entertainment literature and is inspired by. After the fish, which for a normal person would have been enough, we continued with the owen baked piglet and lamb. Important during these kind of get together is to pace yourself.
It was supposed to be lunch that started just after midday, at around 6p.m. we were into the dessert. Over the course of the day we had experienced 15 wines, some of which were new acquaintances, starting with some few bottles of bubbly, continuing with the whites, the reds and finally the sweets! Does not get any better than this.
During a wine fair it is not unusual to try, over a day or two, up to a hundred wines. Taste, spit and write the notes. Enjoyment, none! But sure, this is a good way to experience many wines at once. The right way is to enjoy it together with great food at the Coritjo of Miguel together with great friends! Let me know next time you visit Catalonia, so that I can take you to Miguels, let’ just hope he is in cooking mode!
Nun Vinya dels Taus 2012, 100% Xarel.lo
Yellow color with delicate golden rims. Clean and bright. Glyceric (fatty) tears. The nose is very elegant, yet not very subtle, very fresh and seductive aromas. Ripe fruit is noted along fresh notes of citrus and flowers. Intertwined with the oak and the creaminess offered, the balance is immense. The wood is not to much, just the way I like it.
In the mouth it shows lot of volume and it is very oily. Travels for a very long time. It is deep, intense and concentrated. Excellent acidity that gives a lot of freshness throughout its path. Elegant, long and persistent finish.
292 to go!