Day: April 24, 2015

OT: Bobal

Bobal is a variety of Vitis Vinifera, a red grape used in winemaking. It is native to the Utiel-Requena region in Valencia, Spain. The name derives from the Latin bovale, in reference to the shape of a bull’s head. It is grown predominantly in the Utiel-Requena DO where it represents about 90% of all vines grown, and is also present in significant quantities in Valencia, Cuenca and Albacete. It can only be found in small quantities in other regions of Spain: La Manchuela (Castile La Mancha), selected vineyards in Ribera de Guadiana DO, Alicante DO, Murcia, Campo de Borja, Calatayud, Cariñena, Valdejalón. Small quantities are also grown in Rosellón (south of France) and in Sardinia (Italy). A rare white variety of the same name also exists. According to the data from the Spanish Vine Registry (Registro Vitícola Español) of 31 July 2004, Bobal is the third most planted variety in Spain with 90,000 ha (8%), coming behind Airén 305,000 ha (27%) and Tempranillo 190,000 (17%). The best wines are deep, soft color. Bobal has traditionally been used for the production of bulk wine, but producers working in higher altidudes, above 800 meters sea level, are taking this variety more seriously and give it the attention it deserves. (Source: Wikipedia).

Unfortunately I’ve never tasted wines from this grape, but have recently bought a couple of bottles and I look forward to taste it soon. Stay tune. Meanwhile enjoy the trailer of “La Bobal and other stories about wine” directed In 2008 by Zev Robinson, which brought a degree of international recognition to Spain’s second most planted but widely unknown grape.

Silver Bullets by Elmer Mendoza

getImage.php MacLehose Press, 2015. Translated by Mark Fried. ISBN: 9780857052582

Book Description: Tormented by past heartbreak and contemporary politics, for Edgar ‘Lefty’ Mendieta the news of the murder of lawyer Bruno Canizales represents just another day at the office in the drug-ridden city of Culiacán. It soon becomes clear that there is no shortage of suspects in a city where it’s hard to tell the gangsters from the politicians. Canizales was the son of a former government minister and the partner of a drug baron’s daughter, with his own penchant for cross-dressing and dangerous sex. What is less clear is why the assassin chose to use a silver bullet. And why, two days later, they seem to have struck again. In this sweltering city where a desire for the truth can be as dangerous as any drug, Mendieta’s search for justice takes him from mansions to drug dens, in Élmer Mendoza’s seminal founding text of Latin America’s ‘narco-lit’ wave.

More about the author: Élmer Mendoza was born in Culiacán, México in 1949. He is a professor and author, widely regarded as the founder of ‘narco-lit’, which explores drug trafficking and corruption in Latin America. He won the José Fuentes Mares National Literary Prize for Janis Joplin’s Lover, and the Tusquets Prize for Silver Bullets.

Mark Fried is head of public policy at Oxfam Canada and a literary translator of both fiction and non-fiction. (Source: MacLehose Press)

Further information Tusquets Editores (in English) here.

Other novels by Elmer Mendoza:

  • Un asesino solitario, Tusquets, 1999
  • El amante de Janis Joplin, Tusquets, 2001
  • Efecto tequila, Tusquets, 2004
  • Cóbraselo caro, Tusquets, 2005
  • Balas de plata, Tusquets, 2008
  • La prueba del ácido, Tusquets, 2010
  • Nombre de perro, Tusquets, 2012
  • El misterio de la orquídea Calavera, Tusquets, 2014

(Source: Wikipedia)

The Best Day to Visit Barcelona

It is well worth visiting Barcelona all year round, but if there is a particular day to be there that day is on 23 April. On that date Barcelona celebrates Sant Jordi (Saint George), the patron saint of Catalonia, and although the 23 of April isn’t a public holiday, it’s always a celebration. Don’t expect saints clutching swords or dragons dripping blood: it’s a day for lovers, authors, book signings and rose stalls. Read more details here.