December is a particularly hectic time for wine merchants, so much so that at Yapp Brothers we (self) impose a ban on taking holidays until we’ve closed the doors on echoing cellars on Christmas Eve. So don’t tell my colleagues, but I managed to slip away to Barcelona for a long weekend to attend a wedding.
Boy, one can eat and drink well in Barcelona, especially as we were staying with our good friends, the multi-talented Joe and Niki who manage to find time when not designing shoes, making radio shows and documentaries, painting and DJ-ing to run tailored tours of the city (Antiques and Boutiques), one of which is Epicurean-themed. Yum!
Within 12 hours of arrival we had enjoyed Vietnamese dumplings in the Born (Mosquito) and were then ensconced at Biblioteca in Raval, enjoying Esqueixada (Catalan bacalao salad) washed down with Ruedan Verdejo. No weekend in Barcelona is complete without a visit to the 200 year old food market La Boqueria through which Niki effortlessly guided us as we picked up raw materials for Sunday lunch. At some point during an ambitiously programmed weekend I tailed off to sort out some wine for Sunday’s slow cooked pork on a fennel and garlic base, opting for a magnum of 2005 Rioja Coto de Imaz, then chucking in another couple of reds from Ribero del Duero for luck. In true Spanish style guests who were invited for dinner at 7pm arrived nearer 10, which made for a convivial evening , but a rather tough early morning flight to the UK, leaving my wife to keep the party going at the Calcotada (sweet roasted onion) Festival the next day.