LET’S OPEN A BOTTLE, 19: D.O. Valdepeñas

This is the story of a wine king struggling to keep up with the times. Still one of Spain’s biggest wine producers, this large region from La Mancha has suffered some setbacks over the years and now is faced with trying to turn it around. Listen and learn more. 

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Spanish History 101, ep. 34: Carlos IV and Godoy

Spain has experienced a period of growth and progress under king Carlos III, but his son, Carlos IV, will let that quickly slip away as his ineptitude during a time of major political and social turmoil in Europe, will compromise Spain’s situation. And before we know it, Spain will be occupied by Napoleon Bonaparte. Listen and learn more. Enjoy!

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The Amazing Madoz Geographic Dictionary

Often just called “El Madoz”, this herculean work edited by Pascual Madoz was comprised of 16 huge volumes that covers, at least in theroy, each and every municipality in Spain and its then overseas possessions. Completed in 1850, it took 16 years to put together, which is not that bad considering the time and the size of this project. We took a look at just one town, a town we were following from a previous podcast, to give you an idea of just what kind of details we learned about a Spanish village from the 1840s. Listen and enjoy!

You can subscribe to our podcasts on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and Castos. Or if you wish to support Brian’s Spain Domain, click on our PayPal donate button at www.brianmurdock.net or check us out at Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain

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Let’s Open a Bottle, ep. 18: D.O. La Mancha

D.O. La Mancha. One of the largest wine regions, if not the largest wine region, in the world, and certainly the largest in Spain. For centuries, this flat. open land has been the perfect place for grape-growing and winemaking and the tradition continues to this day. The actual size of the region itself should give you an idea of how important it has been to the region and Spain over the years.  Probably more famous for making lowcost standard wine, it has been slowly making a concerted effort to offer higher quality, without compromising its attractive price tag. Listen and learn more.

You can subscribe to our podcasts on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and Castos. Or if you wish to support Brian’s Spain Domain, click on our PayPal donate button at www.brianmurdock.net or check us out at Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain

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Spanish History 101, EP33: Carlos III and Enlightened Spain

Today we are going to talk about one of the most popular and successful kings of Spain, Carlos III, who ruled from 1759 to 1788. He took the Age of Reason to new heights in Spain at a time when it was dearly in need of modernizing. The results were mixed, but there is no doubt that the dynamic, energetic, talented and affable Carlos left an indeleble mark on Spain and especially its capital, Madrid. Listen and learn more. 

You can subscribe to our podcasts on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and Castos. Or if you wish to support Brian’s Spain Domain, click on our PayPal donate button at www.brianmurdock.net or check us out at Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain

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The truth behind Seville’s NO8DO symbol

One of the symbols of Seville (you can find it on its flag) is an enigmatic emblem that reads NO8DO, which according to legend is an abbreviated form of “No me ha dejado” (It -i.e. Seville- hasn’t left me) in reference to the time when the city stood faithful to King Alfonso X during a civil war in the late 13th century. Is it true? Surprisingly, many guides will tell you it is. But listen and learn more. Enjoy!

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Spanish Traditions: Feast of the Holy Innocents

December 28, Feast of the Innocent Saints, is a day in the Christmas calendar that commemorates the massacre of the all children under two in Bethlehem by order of Herod. The aim was to ensure that the future king of the Jews, Jesus, was eliminated. It failed, but it was a tragedy all the same. Today in Spain and in many parts of the Spanish-speaking world, it’s a day for practical jokes, much like our April Fool’s Day. Listen and find out more. Enjoy

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Spanish History 101, EP 32: Fernando VI

By the middle of the 18th Century, the Age of Enlightment began to have its effect on Spain. And King Fernando VI and his wife Barbara de Braganza took this country in a new direction. Political, economic and military reforms were high up on the to-do list. On top of that, Spain stayed out of costly wars, which helped matters. Fernando is not one of the most famous kings in Spain’s history, but he deserves more attention than he traditionally gets. Listen and learn more. Enjoy!

You can subscribe to our podcasts on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and Castos. Or if you wish to support Brian’s Spain Domain, click on our PayPal donate button or check us out at Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain

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Let’s Open a Bottle 17: Rías Baixas and its Albariño Wine

Albariño is one of the great Spanish white wines, a stellar voice in a world dominated by red wine. It is probably the first white wine to appear in the Spanish wine revolution as a reference on an international level. Made mainly in the northwest region of Galicia, for years production was small meaning exposure was limited; but one thing is for sure, its quality was undisputed. Most of it is bottled and marketed under the D.O. Rías Baixas, a region whose name is synonymous with the wonder wine Albariño. Listen and enjoy!

You can subscribe to our podcasts on Spotify, Amazon, Apple and Castos. Or if you wish to support Brian’s Spain Domain, click on our PayPal donate button or check us out at Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/briansspaindomain

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The Spanish Origins of the Dollar

The dollar is an unquestionable symbol of the United States, its economy and even money itself. Still the most influential global currency around, this unit of money gets its roots from another currency which, in its day, was the most important in the world and is considered by many to be the first true global medium of exchange: the Spanish peso, or the Spanish dollar, also known as the piece of eight.  Listen and learn more about how the U.S. dollar was heavily influenced by this amazing silver coin. Enjoy!

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