Vol. 2 No. 10 Ribero del Duero to Rías Baixis

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Spanish love ‘x’s. In  the Basque country ‘x’ is pronounced ‘ch’. Okay why don’t they just call their delicious white wine Chocoli instead of Txocoli? …and why isn’t Rías Baixis spelled like it is pronounced? Ree-us Bay-shus? Again, dunno. What TB does know is he has had some wonderful wines on the trip so far and the trip isn’t even one-third over!

Every wine we have had has been at the least very nice. We have had Ribero del Duero Tinto (red), and a fine white from Pesqúera, some fine Toro Tinta’s (red), lovely Rueda’s (don’t buy unless it says Verdejo on the label). Lastly, a great white, Albariño, that is one of favorite whites and propels seafood to another level.

If you go into a restaurant you will not see the name wineries on the list (except perhaps their cheapest red). But all are priced in the range of 12-18 Euro’s, and worth it and more. You have to go to a bodega or wine shop for the best names yet most can be found in the 20-25 Euro range (currently about $1.15).

We drove in fog and rain mostly, from Valbuena in Ribero to a small fishing village called Camariñas on one of the many small peninsula’s on Spain’s ‘death coast’, so named for the many shipwrecks caused by rounding the corner too soon. The inn was called Rustica and was built in 1713. The owner has restored the inn beautifully and it has just seven gorgeous rooms. It took three years and I have no idea how many Euros to rebuild it from near rubble. We used this as a base to explore and despite the light rain (heavier at night,thankfully), we drove down to Finisterra (Lands End), and saw the end of ‘camino’ at what was then thought to be the end of the earth. While it is the westernmost point in Spain it is beaten as the westernmost in Europe by the southwestern corner of Portugal, which we visited years ago.

On Sunday (appropriately) we drove to Santiago de Compostella and arrived just before the mass began in the beautiful cathedral. It is mobbed, unlike any other I have been in in Europe. After walking among the pilgrims who just completed walking ‘the Camino’ from St. Jean-Pied-a-Port, we drove to Pontevedre and had a great lunch outside a little restaurant on one of the little squares that dot the city. It was fun  and being a Sunday, families were everywhere and the little kids held sway. From there we drove to our 1729 inn in de Cobres, near Villaboa. It is charming and is our second day here. We visited several Pazo’s (a Galician term for a large farm house where wine is made).

Tomorrow we will drive to Portugal to visit the beautiful and grand, Douro River valley, much more impressive than the tiny Duero that meanders through Spain before carving a huge swath across Portugal and the source of Port, Dâo, and  Vino Verde (which is made from the same Albariño grape  here it is called Albarinho or Vino Verde, but not the same quality.

If you think you know Spanish, it is probably Mexican Spanish and while helpful, won’t get you much farther than English will.But fret not, the Galicians, like the rest of Spain will make you feel comfortable.and make you feel good about yourself.

Next post will be from Portugal!


©Copyright 2016 TBOW, all rights reserved.

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How did Trader Bill originate? It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information. Who is Trader Bill? Initially any reference to me was as ‘i’. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience. Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else’s money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an ‘alter-ego’. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai’s! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small ‘I’? What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren’t even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it? How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of ‘87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in ‘87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn’t politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it’s always darkest before it’s pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective. What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don’t know that it is special, but at least it beats “the market closed down today on profit taking.” What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal…not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide…course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn’t be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend. So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success. Trader Bill

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