Archive | January, 2011

Vino Vino Vino!

27 Jan

For all your oenophiles out there, or for anyone who simply enjoys a nice glass of wine on a sunny afternoon, you must take a trip out to the Mallorcan wine region! It’s about a half hour outside of Palma and parts of it are easily accessible by train (the trains to Inca, Sa Pobla, and Manacor all pass through it). Although officially it’s labeled the Denomination of Origin (D.O.) Binissalem it includes five municipalities: Binissalem, Santa Maria del Camí, Consell, Sencelles, and Santa Eugenia. There are more than ten different vineyards between these pueblos, and most of them offer daily visits open to the public. There are at least a couple more vineyards located outside of this region in Petra and Manacor, but I’m not sure if they’re officially affiliated with the D.O. Binissalem. Seeing as how Manacor and Petra are only accessible by bus now, I would recommend making the much easier trip to Binissalem or Santa Maria, or both.

The unique thing about Mallorcan wine is the varieties of grapes grown here. Manto Negro and Callet are two grapes grown only in Mallorca that are used in many varietals of vino tinto. Both grapes are typically characterized as adding a spicy flavor to the wine. Because these grapes are only indigenous to the Balearic Islands, the D.O. Binissalem, requires its affiliates to produce all vino tinto with at least 30% of the blend made with Manto Negro. The rest of these red blends can be made up of Callet, Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc. Moll and Premsal Blanc are two grapes used in white wines that are once again only indigenous to the Balearic Islands. In addition to these grapes, Chardonnay, Moscatell, and others are used to make white wines. So a wine tasting in Mallorca means trying wines that you can’t find anywhere else!

When making the trip out there, I would suggest visiting the Bodega Jose Luis Ferrer in Binissalem. This vineyard has been around since 1931, and is one of the biggest on the island. You can visit the vineyard Monday –Friday from 9:00-19:00 and Saturday from 10:00-14:00. The cost of a tour is six euros, but this includes the tour and a tasting of a selection of wines. You can buy wine there to take home, or to enjoy at the vineyard outside. If you have the time, I would definitely suggest buying a bottle of wine and sitting outside to enjoy it (It only costs about 5.5 euros on average to buy a bottle, and if you split it with other people it doesn’t cost much at all). The vineyard’s grounds are gorgeous and it’s an excellent way to relax in the Mallorcan sun. I’ve been there twice, with gorgeous weather, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back again! The staff is very friendly and the wine is delicious. Try the Crianza, the Blanc de Blancs, Rosada, and finish with the Veritas Dolç (if you like sweet dessert wines; after all, it’s award winning). After you try the some wine, take a stroll through the town, explore, and have a nice almuerzo. It really is a fun and relaxing way to spend a Friday or Saturday with a group of friends! DO IT PRONTO!!!

They’re located on C/ Conquistador, 103 in Binissalem. Their phone number is +34 971 51 10 50. It might be a good idea to call ahead to double check that they are offering tours for that day just to ensure you don’t make a trip out there for no reason.  Also, if you want more info on D.O. Binissalem in general, visit their website here Salud!

¡I ♥ Sushi!

24 Jan

Last Wednesday, on the day of San Sebastian,  a new sushi place, Sake No Hana, opened up right around the corner from my house. There’s the basic café menu of coffees and teas and the bar is topped with baskets of croissants, ensaimadas and other goodies. There’s a nice variety of sushi, including tortilla sushi, temaki, hosomaki and niguiri. 8-piece rolls go for a reasonable 7€ and salads range between 5,00-5,5o€. It’s very conveniently located on C/Sant Francesc, the small street that runs between Plaza Santa Eulalia and Plaza San Francisco. And it’s open everyday of the week! 7:30-22:00 Monday-Thursday and 7:30-24:00 Friday-Sunday. Además, there’s a 50% discount on baked goods and take-away between 19:00 and 21:00.

Bon profit!

Correfoc

22 Jan

Just a preview of what you’ll be experiencing tonight:

In my opinion, this is the one can’t-miss event during the week of San Sebastián. The torrades are fantastic, the concerts are incredible, and I love the art shows… but the best festivity of all is the correfoc, or fire run. What could be better than being chased with fire by screaming demons? When the fire run ends, stick around to check out the apocalyptic fireworks display set up above the Cathedral to booming classical music. Here’s a schedule for the night:

Sortida de l’Infern: Col·legi Jaume I – 20h
Marxa de les bèsties: Parc de la Mar – 20’30h
Espectacle Final: Parc de la Mar – 21h

Les Gloses

21 Jan

If you went to Sa Pobla, Manacor, or Artà last Sunday for Sant Antoni, you probably heard people playing xeremías, a kind of bagpipe, and ximbombes, which look like drums with a stick stuck in the middle of them. While I knew that these were old folk instruments, I didn’t realize that they traditionally accompany improvised songs, or gloses, on different saints’ days. Continue reading

“Fuck Art.”

20 Jan

Check out this incredible piece of street art on Calle Sant Domingo before it’s gone for good. Continue reading

It’s Torrada Time

19 Jan

In any of the plazas today you can find barbecues (torrades in Mallorquín), with bread, veggies, chorizo, sobrasada, butifarra, and every other pork variant that Mallorca has to offer. Get there early to snag a spot and be prepared to make friends — the best thing about this festivity is the people you meet while sharing food.

Later on, the night will turn into this:

Happy San Sebastián!

A City Bathed in Flames…

18 Jan

Without a doubt, the festival of San Sebastian was the most memorable cultural happening I experienced last year living on this island. Going into the event I expected little more than children wearing costumes and the scanty use  of shoddy firecrackers. Little did I know that I’d soon be in the midst of a renaissance depiction of the depths of hell.

Continue reading