On Thursday, March 15th, we had the pleasure of welcoming some of our favorite guests (turned friends!) to celebrate the 2nd birthday of our brick and mortar store. And wow, did we have a blast!
Before we run through the highlights and stories from last Thursday, we would like to thank everyone who joined us, and everyone who has supported us on this journey. Thank you so much!
A big shout out to Arepa Zone for supplying some delicious Latino flavors to the party! We had Empanadas de Carne Molida, Plátano & Queso served on a scrumptious bun (sooooo good!), and, the star, Tequeños con Salsa de Ajo. That last one, a gourmet Venezuelan treat, truly stole the show.
Elena Lacayo, the frontwoman of the band Elena & the Fulanos, pumped up the energy with a combination of her own tunes and some Latino classics. Elena played twice, both times kicking the party into a new gear. A standout moment for us came when Elena sang “Se Me Olvido Otra Vez” and most of the crowd was either humming along, or belting out the lyrics along with her! After her first set, Elena said she actually extended that song because everyone enjoyed it so much!
Elena hails from Nicaragua and now calls DC home. Check out her website, and catch one of her shows as soon as you can.
We asked some friends from the distributing side of the wine industry to help us put our best foot forward during the party. From Winebow, Alex Crawford brought out a magnum bottle of Juve & Camps cava that went so fast he had to switch to their rosé! Alex also poured a stunningly balanced carmenere from Lapostolle, a Chilean producer we love. The way this wine combines the savory, herbal and jalapeño spice of carmenere with dark fruit and a dusty finish leaves us speechless every time we have it. Also from Lapostolle, Alex offered up a funky still rosé that many of you told us knocked our socks off. The biggest splash among Alex’s selection belonged to the Cousiño-Macul "Lota" Red Blend 2010. Earthy, via a touch of mushroom aroma, herbal, nutty, just fruity enough, this wine shone. Yet, the truly best part of tasting wine with Alex is how, despite so many people, he makes each pour seem private. He always takes the time to explain each wine to every guest. A bunch of you commented on how nice that was!
While Alex set up at our #dailycata bar, Justo Casado of Dominio del Cuco posted up on the far end of our community table. And all we can say is, “whoa, what a character (and talent)!”
Originally from Segovia, Spain, Justo makes wine in Ribera del Duero, a region in Northern Spain along the Duero river known for huge, highly structured, intense wines made from tempranillo. None of his wines are for the faint of heart, and all of the ones he brought with him could spend years more reaching their potential.
Instead of diving deep into his wines - all of which shared some combination of luscious dark fruit, cigar box, eucalyptus, and dill - it makes more sense to attempt to describe the man.
Justo has been both a poet and a musician, in addition to winemaker, in his life. And this shows in his wines, and winemaking philosophy. It is obvious that Justo thinks deeply in general. For any ear willing to listen, Justo has a story to tell. But what really stood out to us is the reason why he calls his top wine “Haiku.” To Justo, every language has its advantages when it comes to describing wine, but not one can do it perfectly. It is only through poetry that we can even get close. And based off how indescribably good his Haiku 2010 is, we think he’s onto something here!
Though last week we celebrated our 2nd year with a physical space, we started Grand Cata as a concept way back in 2011. Back then, we would help others to put on events based around wines - specifically, Latin American wines. Among other things, this meant helping people get the most out of their space, to create the best atmosphere for their events.
With that in mind, we knew our brick and mortar space need to dazzle. One of the compliments about Grand Cata the store we love the most is when people tell us how much they love the space. Obviously, we take great pride in the selection of wines, spirits, beers, food and merchandise that we curate. Yet, there’s something special about being able to house all that in such a beautiful place. And when the lovely mixture of music, people conversing in Spanish and English (and often some combination of the two), clinking glasses and flowing wine fills the air, we realize just how fulfilling this journey truly is.
So thank you, all of you. Those who came out, those who wandered in for the first time during the party, those who’ve supported us from day one, to those yet to discover us. Thank you for allowing us to live the Grand Cata Life, and for joining us on this amazing journey!