Cava – Spain’s Answer to Champagne

Cava has a 140 year tradition of being produced in Spain and has a growing worldwide following; it’s much more than just the poor cousin of France’s Champagne and, in many respects, constitutes much better value than the product of their European neighbours to the north. Commonly misconceived as a cheap imitation of Champagne, Cava is a sparkling wine in its own right with its own grape varieties and its own unique history.

Previous to the 1970’s Cava was simply known as Spanish Champagne until the EU passed a ruling that only wine produced in that specific region of France could carry the name Champagne. This ruling put the Spanish producers in a position where they had to find a new name for their product and they came up with «Cava» (the literal translation of which is «Cave» or «Cellar»). The ruling turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Spain’s sparkling wine producers forcing them to disassociate themselves with champagne and forge a new identity for their product, allowing Cava to emerge from the shadow of its French cousin. A downside to the EU legislation was that Spain also had to enforce stricter controls over what could carry the Cava name although, because of this, standards and quality have improved steadily, cementing Cava’s reputation as a viable alternative to Champagne.

The vast majority of Cava produced, comes from Catalonia and, in particular, the Penedés region within it. The capital of Cava production is the village of Sant Sadurni D’Anoia which is said to produce 85% of the total output of the wine. Despite production being dominated by this small region there are still other areas of Spain where Cava is produced and these include La Rioja, Aragón, Navarra, The Basque country, Valencia and Extremadura.

What is it that makes Penedés so good at creating the sparkling wine? There are a number of reasons for this, the most salient being the climate and the topography of the region. Temperatures in the region are mild with averages between 12-14°C and the regions grapes thrive at varying altitudes. Rainfall is mainly limited to storms in the autumn and spring but vital moisture is also provided by the summer dew. Winds in the region are not too strong and not too cold and therefore not damaging to the grapes. The region has also invested heavily in technology and using advanced automated techniques and the continuing success of Cava worldwide means the big «bodegas» (wine houses) such as Freixenet are able to continue to put money back into the production of Cava, ensuring its worldwide position.

To go back to Cava’s routes we must backtrack to the 1870’s when a group of Catalan wine producers known as the «Seven Creek Sages» got together to discuss how to produce a sparkling wine to rival that of France’s Champagne. They invested heavily in equipment, vineyards and additional staff and in 1872 Josep Raventos produced 3,000 bottles of Cava as we know it today. The emphasis was placed on using grapes native to Spain to give the Spanish version of champagne its own character. These are still used today and the three main grapes that formulate Cava are Macabeu, Xarel-lo (also known as Pansá Blanca) and Parellada. Since 1986 Cava producers have also been allowed to integrate the Chardonnay grape in their DO (domain d’origen) and it has been steadily planted in the last 20 years.

Today Cava is enjoyed the world over and, as it uses exactly the same production method as champagne, is comparable in flavour to its French rival. Taken as an aperitif, served with a meal or used for a toast; it’s a versatile wine that further strengthens Spain’s position as one of the world’s great wine producers.

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The 5 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing Formula 1 Tickets

‘ANGRY F1 FANS LEFT HIGH AND DRY AS TICKET COMPANY FAILS’, ‘SPA TICKET CONFUSION FOR THOUSANDS OF F1 FANS’. This is what can happen when innocent Formula 1 fans fall victim to fake ticket selling shops offering Formula 1 tickets that never arrive.

During the Formula 1 race year, a number of ticket selling scams typically pop up as online ticket selling shops. The most common ways F1 fans are scammed through these ticket shops is by paying in advance for tickets that never arrive. This is after paying a hefty amount for the ticket which includes paying for service charges and additional shipping fees.

Fake Formula 1 ticket selling scams can take many forms. Many of these scams look like legitimate companies that offer Formula 1 tickets but after the fans make the purchase, they never receive their tickets and later learn that the company was a scam. This is exactly what happened in June of 2012, when many F1 fans found themselves without tickets after they purchased tickets from a ticket shop known as ‘Simply The Ticket’ for the British GP at Silverstone. Many F1 fans that had intended to travel to Valencia for the European GP were scammed as tickets did not arrive despite paying for them. For example, Hayley Pearson who lives in Great Moulton, South Norfolk, had a few days off and had planned to go to the European Grand Prix. She decided to purchase her tickets from ‘Simply the Ticket’. She booked tickets on the site and then never received them. Another example was Ben Miller, who was set to take his girlfriend to Valencia for the F1 race but did not receive his tickets from the company either. Ben tried contacting ‘Simply The Ticket’ but was not able to be reached and there was news that the website had been taken down and the company had gone bust. What happened to Mrs. Pearson and Mr. Miller can also happen to you.

In another similar incident in August of 2012, the Dutch media reported that around 6,000 F1 fans who bought tickets for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps were not able to attend the event because their tickets did not arrive despite paying for them. If this was not enough, at the Indian GP event several F1 fans were duped by online ticketing vendors. The modus operandi of these fake F1 ticket vendors was simple. They claimed themselves as authorized ticketing partners, sending SMS messages saying «You have won a free Forumla-1 ticket in the India Grand Prix mobile draw promo». This even led the organizers of the Indian GP to issue a warning to F1 fans to be aware of the scamsters selling F1 tickets at a lower price. These scams could have been easily avoided if the fans were aware of all the official ticketing partners or could have checked the details behind the ticket sellers carefully. Unfortunately, not many F1 enthusiasts have the ability to perform background checks on ticket selling shops and thus could possibly be left outside the gates on race day either without tickets or with fake tickets. Not a good situation.

If this can happen to over 6,000 people, it can happen to you. No matter the stories, the fake F1 ticket selling shops seem to involve websites that ask you to pay money and then don’t get back to you with your tickets. The sad truth is there is often little or no recourse to get your money back if the tickets don’t arrive or are not legitimate. To get the full report which details the most common F1 ticket buying mistakes and how to avoid them, go here:

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Evening Dresses – Explore the World of Formal Dresses

Formal dresses are one of the most important dress a girl will wear throughout his life along with the wedding dress. We must therefore take special care and dedicate a special effort to get the perfect model to fit the child.

This requires that we gather all the information that we have to make a perfect purchase for first formal dresses.

We will try to give you some tips to help you decide to buy this dress so important in the life of a woman. For although perhaps enough time has passed i am convinced that many of you who are now looking for a dress for your daughter still remember fondly your evening dresses. It is therefore imperative that the search be thorough.

At the time of purchase of First formal dresses is important to be psyched that the secret to success is to be prepared to visit several shops. My advice is do not settle for a single location. While formal dresses cut English are famous for their beauty quality and value. It is possible that what you offer for a lot of variety that is not perfectly fit the child. Therefore it’s worth spending several weekends to visit the shops of your city and surrounding areas in search of first evening dresses.

The fashion centers of different countries are as follows.

In Spain Madrid Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, Bilbao, Malaga Santiago, the Tenerife, Santander.

On the other side Mexico City Guadalajara Monterrey Tijuana.

Further south in Argentina is pretty interesting to visit the shops of Buenos Aires Capital Federal Cordoba.

Finally but not least in Venezuela is interesting to make a visit to the shops in Caracas Maracaibo, Valencia Maracay, Barquisimeto.

Finally there is the option to buy clothes imported from USA Miami has a great center of fashion and through the Internet we can make our purchases safely. So we get cheap formal dresses unsurpassed quality.

On the other side for economic families there is a new kind of stores specializing in formal dresses second hand. They find first formal dresses inexpensive and very beautiful.

I leave you to finish with a selection of about evening dresses catalogs photos certainly help you at least get an idea of the vast market that exists for pictures of first formal dresses. As you can see some are shorter than others some are easier than others definitely a bit of everything.

Finally one last tip on first formal dresses excessively high prices do not necessarily mean quality beware that you do not try to cheat.

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Costa Del Sol Gay Scene

If you are homosexual, lesbian, transgender, bisexual or straight and want to go to a club or bar where you don’t have to worry about being harassed by the opposite sex, Spain has a very active gay scene. Gay clubs, bars, hotels and associations can be found throughout the country with more of a presence in the larger more cosmopolitan cities like Madrid or Barcelona.

It is currently estimated that there are around four million lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people in Spain with around 62% of Spanish people supporting the move to legalize same-sex marriages. This law now gives Spanish resident same-sex couples the right to marry and the same rights of ownership, inheritance and adoption as married heterosexuals. Because of this growing support for homosexuality, Spain has become a popular tourist and vacation destination for the gay community.

Ever since the early 1960s the Costa del Sol, and Torremolinos in particular, have been a Mecca for gay and gay friendly people. With its laid back lifestyle and visiting or resident artists, singers and writers the Costa del Sol has become the most popular gay centre in Southern Europe.

If you head westwards from Malaga Airport you will discover the gay Costa del Sol starting at the gay beach at Guadalmar, trendy beach bars of Los Alamos to the gay night life of La Nogalera in Torremolinos. If you continue past the naturist beach at Benalmadena to the more restrained gay bars of Fuengirola you will find the famous gay beach at Cabopino before hitting the more subdued scene in the stylish resort of Marbella.

The Costa del Sol is less than a three hour flight from the UK and is an all year round resort area offering real value and something for all gays and lesbians.

Torremolinos has a great gay nightlife, only being surpassed by Madrid and Barcelona.While Sitges and Gran Canaria mainly attract visitors from UK, Holland and Germany, Torremolinos is still a very Spanish town with most of the gay bars filled with local Spanish guys. The age of gay crowd is younger than in Sitges and Gran Canaria with the large nightclubs attracting a very young gay crowd of 18-30 years olds.

There are more than 30 gay and lesbian places in Torremolinos concentrated in a small gay village called Nogalera. Most of the bars are not open before 11:00 pm so be prepared to party until dawn. The most popular gay venues at the moment are El Gate Bar which attracts handsome 30+ guys, the Parthenon Club and Home Disco. The biggest gay sauna of southern Europe will be opening here the end of this year.

There are no real gay hotels in Torremolinos but you will find plenty of gay beach front Bungalows which are in the centre of town just a five minute walk from all the gay bars. Gay bungalows offer a free parking space and total privacy.

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Is Di Maria Worth It?

It has been one point shy of a nightmare start for Louis Van Gaal in the premier league. Following a lackluster defeat to Swansea at home, Manchester United bagged a point in week two away to Sunderland. Things cannot get much worse for the Dutchman, but with the addition of Marcos Rojo, and the imminent signing of Angel Di Maria, things are looking to improve.

It is widely believed that Angel Di Maria will be unveiled as a Manchester United player Tuesday morning, having completed his move to Old Trafford for a fee in the region of 60 million pounds.

This will break the English transfer record by 10 million pounds, so one has to wonder if Di Maria is worth the fee. However, the way things are going at Manchester United right now, it’s a given that the club will have to overpay players of Di Maria’s pedigree to join.

The 130,000 pound-per-week wage package given to Luke Shaw was heavily criticized by Jose Mourinho of all people. These comments mean a lot coming from «The Special One», who has spent more than any manager in the world since 2004 (now over 900 million euros) and would be better suited for the title «The Spending One.»

Part dig at a rival club, and part truth, this accusation that United are overpaying for Luke Shaw is completely spot-on. Mourinho justifies this by saying a deal that large for a 19 year old would derail morale amongst the older players, but United would not have the youngster had they not stumped up that amount of money.

United are not in a position of leverage right now as they had been for decades under Alex Ferguson. Liverpool are exiting their own era in which they had to overpay for players, while United are taking their turn dealing with the cruel nature of the transfer market. Coming off a seventh-place finish in the league and no Champions League football to show for it, United are in the precarious position of being forced to pay top dollar for everything.

Di Maria is no exception to this, but even so, the fee is very, very steep. Paris Saint Germain were priced out of a deal for Di Maria a month ago, so Van Gaal must be beyond impressed by the Argentine to shell out this much cash for him.

Di Maria showed his worth to Argentina in the World Cup, and was awarded man of the match in the UEFA Champions League Final against Atletico Madrid. His pace is unquestionable, and although he has shortcomings defensively, Van Gaal will accommodate these with the team he puts on the field.

However, it remains to be seen if Di Maria can be ‘the man’ for a team. For Argentina, he always plays off of Lionel Messi, while Madrid have their own fair share of world-beaters to grab headlines. Stepping out from under the shadow of these players will be a big step in the career of the Argentine.

Di Maria impressed me greatly last season when he still managed a spectacular year with the arrival of Gareth Bale from Tottenham. The Argentine played more through the middle than he had in years past and was a catalyst for both club and country with a more free role.

If Di Maria can handle the rockstar-type media attention that will hover over him like a dark cloud, he could very well justify the 60 million pounds United are paying for his services. Earlier in the summer, Di Maria turned down a lucrative contract extension, and given the arrival of James and the presence of Bale, it’s no surprise he has moved on.

Coming off Champions League glory in Lisbon and a silver medal in Brazil, Di Maria easily could have signed a bigger deal and sat around in Madrid likely surrounding time to the likes of Isco, Modric, and James. The winger’s desire is on full display right now; he has left the Galacticos in favor of spearheading a rebuilding project.

The Argentine is stepping out from the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo and taking it upon himself to be ‘the man’ at Old Trafford. In fact, it is rumored that Ronaldo had to do with Di Maria’s decision to join United. It would be poetically just if the Argentine brought back the same flair that has been missing from Old Trafford since Ronaldo left.

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Crystal Palace v. Man City | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 10/19/19 | NBC Sports

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Crystal Palace v. Man City | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 10/19/19 | NBC Sports

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The Unknown, Understated, and Underrated: Ten Powerful Songs You Should Listen to More

I'm not giving a list of obscure bands and unknown songs. The list is just songs that are under appreciated in the catalogs of these great bands.

Scorpions, "The Sails of Charon"

In 1977 the Scorpions had not hit their height of popularity and had a slightly different lineup. One huge difference is guitar player Uli Jon Roth. "The Sails of Charon" starts off with the best intro guitar solo ever. Everything Uli does is well crafted but the work in this song is one of the top guitar masterpieces. The rest of the song has solid vocal rhythm and great overall groove.

Guns N 'Roses, "Estranged"

I know they were one of the biggest bands at the time of the songs release but recently the song does not have the same lasting effects as the rest of their hits and it should. After the song's soft entrance and Axl's barely audible vocal lines the song breaks into an immense guitar melody that set a tone and pace for the rest of the first half. The song takes a beautiful turn for the second half which becomes lighter and piano driven.

Candlebox, "Do not You"

For some reason Candlebox gets this reputation of being this soft band of the grunge era. I disagree. "Do not You" is the first song off of their debut album and it set a tone that is maintained through. This song is hard rock / blues at its best. The vocal performance is gargantuan and the recording is also monstrous.

Soundgarden, "Like Suicide"

One of the most underrated songs from their most popular album. Chris Cornell's lyrics in this song are woven brilliantly and his vocal performance pushes the theme into your brain. The music accompaniment adds a beauty to the despair of the subject matter.

Live, "White, Discussion"

I just love the wide open groove and vocal rhythm of this tune and definitely the forgotten single from this album.

Type O Negative, "Be My Druidness"

No band can deviate from groovy to depressed to lighthearted to agonizing seamlessly and all in one song like Type O can. This song is a great example of that talent.

Pearl Jam, "Tremor Christ"

After their debut album I never feel like Pearl Jam put out another solid effort. I am not a fan of their "Vitalogy" album with the exception of this gem. "Tremor Christ" is haunting. The minimal approach, vamping guitar work, the vocals drowned in reverb make this song a ghostly entity that consumes you as a listener.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Warped"

Many Chili fans believe "One Hot Minute" was a weak departure from its predecessor "Blood Sugar Sex Magic." I could not disagree more. Dave Navarro's work on this album added a heavier side to the funk rock Chilis. "Warped" is the greatest illustration of that. This song packs a punch and morphs into an excellent short outro piece. This song was the perfect choice to start this album and its first but underrated single.

Nevermore, "Dreaming Neon Black"

If you want an intense vocal performance the title track of Nevermore's 1999 album is for you. When Warrel Dane sings you feel his agony and Jeff Loomis is pure power and finesse as a guitarist. This song is a genius blend of frailty and virtuosity.

Rival Sons, "Manifest Destiny PT.1"

One of the most prolific new rock bands of the past ten years at their best. Slow, droning intro and versa with an explosive chorus. To top it off this song has a guitar solo that could belong on the "Band of Gypsys."

World Cup 2010 – Semi Final Preview

What a great World Cup it has been.

Although it pains me to say it, Germany have been the best team thus far. In particular Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich, something about the way he runs and moves is old fashioned and for some reason reminds me of jelly as the movements are just unpredictable.

Like any good team they appear to have the recipe for success. A lucky goalkeeper, Tall organised back four, Good holding Player, A left footed pocket rocket, Dribbling magicians and a Goal Poacher.

You can decide which player fit into which brackets.

So what of the others.. Second in line to the thrown would have to be Spain however not on form on this occasion. David Villa has been exceptional and so much so that had he been injured for this tournament Spain would already be back home by now. The rest of the team has looked jaded and idea-less which is unlike the Spain that has emerged as a new powerhouse over the past two years.

If only Torres clicks into gear he could go onto to win them the tournament.

Then comes Holland.. Have been effective up to this point with both Sneijder and Robben the main dangermen, The defence is always a worry against quick strikers however they haven’t conceded many.

And finally Uruguay or should i say Diego Forlan, He is of course there only hope in the semi against Holland, On form and scoring goals he will be one to watch for the dutch back line. The rest of the team are willing runners and movers however the new hand of god Luiz Suarez will be missing and this could upset the balance which has seen them into the Semi Finals.

Result Prediction

Spain 1-1 Germany Germany to progress on Penaltys

Holland 2-1 Uruguay Holland to progress in Normal Time

Main Men to watch:

David Villa

Bastian Schweinstiger

Miroslave Klose

Wesley Sneijder

Arjen Robben

Diego Forlan

Get the vuvuzela ready as we are in for a thrill ride in the next two matches.

Four Different Baltimore Pro Football Teams Have Won Championships

Winning the championship is the primary goal of any football team, or any sports team at all really. There is only one reason to go out and play and that is to win the championship. A championship season is not only rewarding to the players that duke it out on the field, but also to the fans that root them on. Cities and regions should be very proud of their championship winning teams.

Baltimore is a great football town and professional football has been present there in one form or another for more than 60 years. Many people don’t know this, but four different professional football teams have won championships while representing the city of Baltimore.

The Baltimore Ravens – 2000

The last Baltimore team to win a league title in pro football was the team that currently represents the city in the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens began as a franchise in 1996, having been active as the Cleveland Browns the previous year. They had a few tough years, but in 2000 everything came together behind a strong running game and an out of this world defense. They ended up defeating the New York Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV.

The Baltimore Colts – 1958, 1959, and 1970

The Baltimore Colts won championships three times. In 1958, they defeated the New York Giants for the NFL title in what many would refer to as the greatest game ever played. After trailing most of the 1959 title game, the Colts would eventually score 24 unanswered points and defeat the Giants in a rematch of the previous year’s championship game by the score of 31-16. The Colts won their third league title in 1970 when they beat the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl V by the score of 27-17. Technically, the Colts have a fourth title as they were champions of the NFL in 1968, but went on to lose Super Bowl III to the New York Jets of the American Football League before the two leagues merged.

The Baltimore Stars – 1985

The Stars franchise had played the first two seasons of their time in the USFL in the city of Philadelphia. The team was moved to Baltimore for 1985 and though they weren’t as successful as they had been in the past, they were able to make it into the playoffs. The magic was still there though and they marched through the post season and would win the last championship game in USFL history by defeating the Oakland Invaders.

The Baltimore Stallions – 1995

The Canadian Football League expanded into the United States in the mid 1990’s, and one of the cities that got a team was Baltimore. In 1995, their second season, the Baltimore Stallions not only won their division, but they became the first team based in America to win the Grey Cup as champions of the Canadian Football League. The team was gone the next year as they were moved to Montreal and renamed the Allouettes.

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