By Robin Kelley O’Connor
A land of enchantment, unspoiled and pure, where the people, wine and cuisine are authentic and genuine. Spain is in the midst of a wine revolution. Navarra has taken this notion of ‘wine revolution’ with a fervor.
The natural resources run very deep in the Navarran ‘tierra’ with endless possibilities to produce wines that meet the needs of everyday consumption at everyday prices, yet satisfy those who are in search of the limited and rare.
This is my inaugural new year entry (blog) to expose, highlight, feature and reveal the true nature of some of Spain’s most exciting wines. I have had a love affair with Navarra beginning shortly after finishing my university studies. My love goes deep not only for the wonderful people of Navarra, the wines, the food but for the culture, the history, the ethos, the values, the traditions and the basic humanity.
My first venture into Navarra was to go directly to Pamplona for the July fiesta of San Fermin and the Running of the Bulls. It was on this very first visit that changed my world. I had found a magic that honestly was electrifying, broadened my horizons exponentially and gave me a spark that led me into a life-long study of the vine, one as a passionate consumer and the other as a dedicated professional to the enhancement and education of wine.
What was that spark? My very first glass of ‘Clarete’ as it was known colloquially, now universally called ‘Rosado’. It was the ‘Garnacha’ grape that bright out the magic in the glass: flavorful, easy, flowed deliciously down the palate and was so pleasing and gratifying in the hot July Spanish sun.
Robin Kelley O’Connor
A leading wine educator, international wine judge, wine writer, and sommelier, Robin Kelley O’Connor is a leading wine expert. His thirty years of experience, authority and passion enable captivating seminars, dinner events, and wine education and allows him to offer an unparalleled suite of services to corporations and individuals from around the world.
Robin serves as a guest wine instructor and examiner for the Intensive Sommelier Training program at the International Culinary Center. ICC is one of the leading culinary educational institutions in the U.S., with campuses in New York and Napa Valley. It is a world-class institution dedicated to the culinary arts and vinous education.