You might be wondering, why am I doing a series on Spain when my page is all about the Middle East? Well Spain is one of my favorite countries in the world, and when I got the opportunity to travel with the lovely Leslie Sobrocco, host of Check Please on PBS, I jumped at the chance. I really connected with her when I was on her show a couple of years ago, and she is incredibly knowledgeable about wines and wine making, so I also saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the world of wine.
I also loved that the itinerary involved parts of Spain that not too many people know about, and I wanted to share this side of Spain with my viewers. As far as the world of wine goes, in California, we have Napa Valley, in France, there is the Bordeaux region, but in Spain it is all about Rioja, which is in the heart of Basque country. Before I delve into Rioja specifically, I wanted to share with you the charming town of San Sebastian, the small coastal city that Ernest Hemingway fell in love with when he wrote “The Sun Also Rises.” While many people might associate Spain with flamenco dancers and bull fighters, this region of Spain is most renowned for their food and wine. I felt at home because the ingredients in their Mediterranean diet are so similar to that of the Middle East: fresh fruits and vegetables, lamb, seafood and even fresh bread. Yes the Spaniards are not gluten phobic, and somehow manage to stay slender, most likely because they walk everywhere. However their food preparations are distinctly different, and they treat even their pinxos, or tapas like an art form.
Hope you enjoy part one of this travel series, and let me know what you think in the comments below!