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36. Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel

"My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life. . .” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019


World Wine Crisis Series (Nine): The Champagne Price Crash Will Benefit Consumers This Holiday Season & Beyond, Prices Down in UK and US; Cava Sales Up by 10% in USA

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It was a cliché that Champagne did well when times were bad,” said Robert Joseph, editor at large of Meininger’s Wine Business International magazine. “But this recession has an added element to it in which conspicuous spending — bling — is out of fashion.”--Eric Asimov, The Pour (New York Times), November 13, 2009

Champagne Prices Have Crashed!  
That may be good news for consumers, since some Champagne houses have cut their prices in half to unload some of the surplus, which may not be great news for Cava producers from Spain, who already sell some great sparkling wines at already very reasonable prices.  

There is also a huge surplus in Catalunya's Cava country, where 95% of Spanish sparking wines are made, so Cava prices most likely will also be dropping, but Cava sales are up in the American market, according to Eric Asimov of The New York Times.

"American consumers are clearly trading down. Sales of cheaper sparkling wines — typically produced in Spain or Italy — are up 10 percent this year, while sales of imported wines priced at more than $25 are down 21 percent, according to Danny Brager, the group client director for alcohol for Nielsen, which tracks sales in the United States."  -- Eric Asimov, The Pour (New York Times)

Cava for "breakfast" at Bar Pinotxo in La Bouquería, Barcelona. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2009.

Cava - once cheap, now chic (Wine News December/January 2005-06 Gerry Dawes©2006)
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Bubbles at a Discount for Consumers Trading Down
by Eric Asimov, The Pour (New York Times) 
ÉPERNAY, France — "For generations of French Champagne makers, the threat of calamity has been a constant companion, whether it is winter freezes or spring frosts, phylloxera parasites or Nazi occupiers.

Now add to the list a drop in Champagne sales in all the top export markets, particularly the United States, Britain and Japan. All had seemed to have insatiable appetites for the extravagant, delicate bubbles in recent years — until popping housing bubbles sent the global economy into a downturn. The weak currencies in those export markets have also hurt."  Read the rest of the article.
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Gerry Dawes drinking rosé Champagne with Emiliano García at Casa Montaña.
Photo by Kathleen Balun©2009.

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"As the Champagne price war hots up, Tesco has asked suppliers to find it 300,000 bottles it can sell for £10 each, and Bollinger can be had for a song.

All the major brands are involved in the supermarkets' battle for customers. Next Monday Morrisons will offer Bollinger, Moët & Chandon, Lanson Black Label and Nicolas Feuillatte all at less than half price." -- Giles Fallowfield, Decanter magazine, November 19, 2009.

Champagne and wine botas in El Celler de la Boquería, Barcelona.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2009.

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About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià.

". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009.

Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television
series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.

Experience Spain With Gerry Dawes: Culinary Trips to Spain & Travel Consulting on Spain

Gerry Dawes can be reached at; Alternate e-mail (use only if your e-mail to AOL is rejected), send e-mail to

1 comment:

  1. Hi Gerry, great video about your trip to Valencia and Alicante. How can we see more of this stuff!


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