After more than a week in Spain drinking some great Spanish wines we thought it would be easy to stop somewhere and pick up some local product to take back to France. Only trouble was finding a wine store. Here in in southern France, walk around any town for more than 5 minutes and you’re bound to stumble on a great little cave with a knowledgeable wine merchant.
In Spain it’s another story. Didn’t happen upon a single wine store and finally in Madrid I did a search on the internet. Still not much to choose from, but we did find one gem, Lavinia. Located at 16 Calle de José Ortega y Gasset, off calle de Serrano a main shopping street. As we approached the store, first passing Tiffany then Prada, Armani and Versace, we were beginning to wonder just what kind of wine merchant this was going to be. And then finally Lavinia, a large well lit contemporary store with about every name in Spanish wine you could imagine arranged mostly geographically.
Overwhelmed at first we solicited the help of one of the staff. We were looking for wines from regions of Spain other than the well-known Rioja and Ribiera del Duelo (which by the way we love and are not slighting). We had simply fallen for some of the lesser known regional wines such as Ribeira Sacra from Galicia and Jumilla and Valencia from the opposite corner of the country. The well-informed young man took us on a virtual tour of the wine regions of Spain explaining the various grapes and styles of wine and helped us select an interesting mix to sample.
Although we have not tasted our assortment yet I would definitely recommend Lavinia for their broad selection of Spanish and international wines as well as their obliging staff. Their website includes on-line shopping which will give you a good idea of the wines they carry. I should also mention that they have an extensive backroom of fine wines for those looking for something a little more haut de gamme.
January 18, 2013
For links to all the posts in this series see the Spain page.