You look around at the relaxed, cavernous-like place. Dark wood and stone everywhere. You sit down on a long bench at one of the long tables and sip the excellent red wine in front of you. Start to nibble on the cured Spanish cheese, the olives piled on a small plate. Then you graduate to having a glass of a little-known but full-bodied red wine you see you would like to become more acquainted with. Welcome to the world of Madrid wine bars!
You don’t have to just stick with any La Rioja wine on the premises, as people who don’t know about wine are typically advised to do in Spanish restaurants. In Madrid’s wine bars, you can sample and truly learn about what makes Spanish wine great. Just ask the guy behind the bar to show you what to do. Chances are he’ll speak some English.
Start your tour of Spanish wine bars on Cava Alta and Cava Baja streets in the La Latina neighborhood. They are simply lined with Madrid’s best wine bars. But if you need names, try Taberna Matritum first. The rest will come to you.
Then outside of La Latina, try Entrevinos in Arguelles and De Pura Cepa in Salamanca. Spanish wine deserves a little investigation, don’t you think?
[Photo: Andreas Weigand]