Thursday, January 3, 2013

Restaurateurs, sommeliers invited to Castilla-La Mancha wine event

Join the Louisiana Restaurant Association and Tales of the Cocktail, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., at the New Orleans Board of Trade, 316 Board of Trade Place for the Castilla-La Mancha U.S. Tour. Featuring delicious Spanish tapas, live music, complimentary valet parking and a guided seminar, this event is free to members of the restaurant, spirit and hospitality trades. Register here for your complimentary admission.

Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the wines from Don Quixote’s Spain. In the interior of Spain and surrounded by Castille and Leon, Madrid and Valencia sits Castilla-La Mancha. Made up of five provinces, Castilla-La Mancha is home to a little more than 2 million people and in recent years, an equal number of tourists journeyed to the region. Although Castilla-La Mancha is the largest swath of Spain, it only represents 4.42 percent of the country’s total population.

But who is Don Quixote? He’s the subject of The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, a novel written by Miguel de Cervantes in 1605 and is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. It regularly appears high on the list of the greatest works of fiction ever published and in a 2002 list, Don Quixote was cited as the “best literary work ever written.”

The main character, Alonso Quijano, is a Spanish nobleman, or hidalgo, who reads so many chivalric novels full of medieval romance stories, knights, castles and jousts, that they take over his reality and he begins to dress as a knight. Seeking to set out on an adventure to restore all things chivalrous, he enlists a simple farmer (his squire) and sets out to fight perceived foes, both real and imagined in the name of his ladylove who stands for purity and perfection.

Wine produced in Castilla-La Mancha now print the bust of Don Quixote with the words, “Vinos de la Espana de Don Quixote” on the bottles. Nearly two thirds of Spain’s vineyards (600) are located in the 30,000 square miles of the hot, dry area of open plains of Castilla-La Mancha and these wines are growing in popularity and are being exported around the world.

If the wines of Castilla-La Mancha are as rich as Don Quixote’s imagination, no doubt we’re in for a delicious treat.


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