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Wine Buying in Portugal and Spain


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Hi All,

As we near our trip dates I am arranging all the great info I have garnered here. One thing I do not have but need is a great wine shop in BCN  that I can shop at our last day for take home treats. I am looking for a shop with a wide selection of European wines as well as hard to find wines of Spain. Selection is more important than price.

TIA,

David

I had some excellent advice from kind members about what to buy from Lavinia. You can try some of vserna's excellent wine and there is an excellent selection of wines from around the world. It's not the most atmospheric place but it's well worth a visit.

See this thread

We have repeatedly experienced the best selections at Lavinia. Will you tell us what is the name of VSerna's wine and where is his vineyard? Would appreciate knowing. Thanks Judith Gebhart
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We have repeatedly experienced the best selections at Lavinia. Will you tell us what is the name of VSerna's wine and where is his vineyard? Would appreciate knowing. Thanks Judith Gebhart

I don't suppose I'm violating any privacy here. This is a matter of public record. Here's the Livinia page for the 2002 Finca Sandoval. The wine is made from Syrah in the province of Cuenca in the region of Castilla-La Mancha and entitled to the D.O. of Manchuela. The D.O. is not, to my knowledge, a very restrictive one and Finca Sandoval is not at all representative of what's been produced there in the past.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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A hidden gem amongst the wine shops would also be El Cellier de Gelida in Calle Vallespir, just north of the Sants railway station. Whilst it does not have the broad selection of Lavinia (No shop can match that one!), they do carry some old and rare Riojas and well selected wines from Catalunya.

Also: The street itself is charming, bustling with everyday life and small shops; delicatessens, coffe bars, etc.

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Thank You all for the reply's. I will hit all 3 shops as well as look forward to trying the syrah from Spain. It is one of my favorite grapes when done well. Not a big fan of the over the top inky Aussie ones. I prefer Rhone or California style Syrah. I'm interested to see where the Spanish Syrahs will fit in the equation.

Cheers,

David

David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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Thank You all for the reply's. I will hit all 3 shops as well as look forward to trying the syrah from Spain. It is one of my favorite grapes when done well. Not a big fan of the over the top inky Aussie ones. I prefer Rhone or California style Syrah. I'm interested to see where the Spanish Syrahs will fit in the equation.

Cheers,

David

David,

the best three syrahs in Spain, IMHO, are Finca Sandoval (my favourite vintage so far, 2002), Duratón Syrah (from 2001, but be careful , there's a regular Duratón too) from Valtiendas in the province of Segovia, and Valtosca from Casa Castillo in Jumilla (I think 2002 was also the best vintage for this one, but I'm not 100% sure...).

Cheers,

Luis

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Hi David,

My wife and I always buy wine from La carte des Vins in the El Borne district. They have a great selection of Penedes and Cava. Helpful staff too!

http://www.lacartedesvins.com

Drop by Comerc 24 for lunch or dinner..it's just around the corner.

Cheers,

Stephen Bonner

Vancouver

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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A hidden gem amongst the wine shops would also be El Cellier de Gelida in Calle Vallespir, just north of the Sants railway station. Whilst it does not have the broad selection of Lavinia (No shop can match that one!), they do carry some old and rare Riojas and well selected wines from Catalunya.

Also: The street itself is charming, bustling with everyday life and small shops; delicatessens, coffe bars, etc.

We have had many Barcelona visits and we certainly endorse your experience. It is a bit out of the way but truly worth the visit. Thanks for your note as it sparked our memory of a good Barcelona wine destination.
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  • 1 year later...

I will be in Barcelona for one month this summer. I have rented an apartment to do a lot of my cooking in. Naturally, I am excited to try some of the inexpensive Spanish wines to go with my homecooked meals. The problem is...where do I start? Can anyone tell me: a) Where to do the wine shopping? We are staying in Barceloneta, so it would be nice to know the best local shop if possible. The nearer the better. b) What labels should I look for? Both white or red are fine. I am on a tight budget so the more inexpensive the better.....without compromising too much in quality. Think "the best quality for the cheapest you can get!" I can't wait to hear responses! :smile:

Edited by Catbrigab (log)
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If you like full-bodied red wines that are totally unsuitable for the faint - hearted, I strongly recommend the following two gems:

1. Costers del Graver 2001 made by Celler de Capcanes, and

2. Masia Esplanes 2001 made by Celler Capafons - Osso.

The Shop I recommend is "La Carte de Vins", across the street from Hoffmann's school and restaurant. Ask for Gareth York, an English lad who is knowledgeable and very helpful.

The address is:

Sombrerers, 1 (El Born)08003 Barcelona

www.lacartedevins.com

athinaeos

civilization is an everyday affair

the situation is hopeless, but not very serious

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i agree with victor.

vilaviniteca is the best place here.

and, as the weather heats up, or during the afternoon, you might want something lighter:

cérvoles blanc del 2004 from costers del segre...i love this white, but their red is good too.

viña tondonia rosado from rioja...bone dry and complex.

nadal brut salvatge cava.

though not exactly the cheapest wine you'll find...they are all well priced.

for daily table wines...they will lead you in the right direction at vilaviniteca.

tanya

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Yes, of course! I forgot how hot it is going to be there in summer! I will no doubt be more attracted to whites in the heat! Any other white wine suggestions would be great! And how wonderful to know that such a great wine shop is but a short walk away!

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Yes, of course!  I forgot how hot it is going to be there in summer!  I will no doubt be more attracted to whites in the heat!  Any other white wine suggestions would be great!  And how wonderful to know that such a great wine shop is but a short walk away!

Try some albariños - this is a Galician white grape, very fresh and dry - sometimes I think you can taste the Atlantic breezes in there - lots of ozone. Good cheapish ones I like are Martin Codax (not everyone's a fan of this, mind), Pazo de Señorans and Fillaboa. Victor recommended an Albariño a while back - 2003 Granbazán. Great with seafood.

Another grape you may not have tried is Picapoll - Try Abadal's Picapoll from the Catalan Pla de Bages DO. Floral but still quite dry.

Speaking of Vila Vinateca, Quim Vila's socio makes a good easy drinking cheap white called Ca N'Estruc as well as a rosado and a couple of reds under the same label. All are great value IMO.

Another reliable bodega is Castell del Remei from the Costers del Segre DO - look out for the Gotim Bru red - try and find a 2002 if you can.

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My recommendations:

White:

Anything from Rueda D.O. Martivilli and Basa come to mind, but most of them are around 5€.

Blanc Tranquille, D.O. Penedes. 4€ To drink quite cold, very refreshing.

If you have a longing for Chardonnay or Gewurztraminer, try a Somontano D.O.: Enate or Viñas del Vero. Around 7€.

Red:

Young reds from not very well known DOs all over Spain: Almuvedre, Les Sorts jove, Borsao. 3-4€.

Rioja crianzas (wines from Rioja DO aged in barrels for 12 months) are a great value, though not especially suited for summer. Anyway, they'll be great if you're having a hearty dinner. Some names: Martinez Lacuesta, Lan, Sierra Cantabria, Conde de Valdemar. Some you can find in a supermarket when you don't have time to look for a wine-shop: Marques de Caceres, Marques de Riscal, Cune. All of these are between 5 and 10€.

You should also try something from Ribera del Duero DO. The ones labelled "Roble" (aged for about 4-6 months) are not expensive and they're very fruity. Viña Mayor and Vizcarra are two good ones. If you can spend a little bit more on one occasion try some Ribera crianza: Matarromera, Legaris, Valduero, Emilio Moro. These should cost between 12 and 20€.

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Drink lots of Cava my friend. We were in Barcelona two years ago for a month and found Cava a great deal. There's nothing like a glass of bubbles on a hot Spanish day and it's a great way to start off the day :wink: The shops mentioned in the thread above are great source for wine. The Cartes du Vin in El Born has a great selection of wines including some amazing boutique Cava producers. On a hot summer's day a glass of Torres Sauvignon Banc or Vina Esmarelda (sp?) will hit the spot.

Cheers,

Stephen Bonner

Vancouver

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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  • 1 year later...

I'm going to Lisbon, Lagos and Seville in a couple weeks. I've checked out the threads on dining in portugal and seville, very useful stuff.

Wondering, though, whether anyone has any suggestions on a couple of nice bottles to bring home to the US. I used to load up coming back from Europe, but with all the airline restrictions now, I feel practically limited to picking up maybe 3-4 bottles, at about $35-65 each.

Advice on either specific producers not available in US or on wine shops where I can get great advice overseas would be much appreciated.

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I recently spent 2 weeks in Portugal. For that price you should get some very good wine indeed. The hard part might be finding wine that expensive (I'm sure you'll manage) My wine was much cheaper than that, and I just got some from the vineyards I visited and a few markets.

One thing to note, outside of the douro valley (port growing region) make sure you call ahead to vineyards. Actually, call ahead in the Douro too (if you're heading up that way) Its not like Napa, where everyone is just waiting for you to come in. I stopped in a few and they looked at me like I was nuts, even though there was a giant sign on the road saying "Visit Us!"

I was a bit surprised by the lack of wine culture there. This is my opinion after spending 2 weeks there, so apply a hefty grain of salt, but most people don't seem that passionate about wine. Its something they drink at meal times, but finding people who get excited about it was tough. Even at the vineyards. Usually when I travel, once you show a little interest in the local product, and exhibit that you've done a little homework before coming, they really open up and get excited to guide you through. That didn't really happen for me in Portugal. Maybe I didn't go to the right places, or talk to the right people.

That being said, I thought the wine was very good. Even the cheap stuff. Spend 10 euros and you can expect to have a very decent bottle (by my standards).

If you're able, try to get out into some of the more rural areas. Pack a picnic with a bottle of vinho verde. Can't go wrong.

Here's one vineyard I had a good time at.

http://www.quintadelarosa.com/

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Jack, I'd go for something that you can't find in the states. If you're in Sevilla try to find oll sherry wines on it's different styles, Oloroso, Palo Cortado, Amontillado and Pedro Ximenez. The VORS series by Domecq: Sibarita, Capucino, 51-1ª and Venerable are about 50€ each, and are a very good option.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for all the advice. I found the store manager in the wine shop at belem cultural center to be very helpful. Ended up with a vintage port, a malmsey madeira and a couple less expensive bottles of pedro ximenez and oloroso.

For anyone making a future visit from the US, I highly recommend doing some sampling at the port institute in lisbon before making some purchases for the return trip. You can easily get a feel for many different styles without busting the budget.

Drank quite a bit of green wine on the trip, but honestly I wasn't that blown away. My wife really liked it though. We only encountered the branco green wines, despite reading that tinto green wines would be fairly easy to come by. Maybe next time...anyone know if you can get tinto green wines in the US?

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