Let’s make a trade
Last week we had a holiday in Barcelona. As well as gazing upwards at the architecture and taking a trip to cava winery, we also managed some long boozy lunches/dinners, but we really wanted to do something a bit different whilst also being wine-related. And good old Twitter came up with the goods yet again. Two days before we left, I spotted a tweet about sherry by someone called @TradeforWine and my curiosity was piqued….
Here’s the deal: if you’re heading to Barcelona you pack two bottles per person of your local wine and you meet with TradeforWine team for a trade – they’ll provide a tasting of local wines (you can choose from several formats) in return for the wines you bring. It sounded great, but Scotland is not exactly renowned for its local wines. Good news: you can trade for whisky too!
Guillem and Chandler, the couple behind TradeforWine host the tastings in their own home (unless you’re a bigger group, then they decamp to a local bar). They offer five different tasting options, including whites only, reds only and specific regions of Catalunya. We asked for a regional tasting of Montsant and Priorat wines.
Guillem met us from the Metro so we didn’t get lost on our way to our trade, and took us to their apartment where he’d selected two wines from each of the two regions. The living room has huge maps showing the wine regions of Spain in general and Catalunya specifically, so we spent a happy half an hour learning about the regions and their characteristics before beginning the tasting.
- Montsant: Petites Estones 2012 by Bodegas Mas Sersal, and Dido 2013 by Bodegas La Universal made by Sara Perez and Renee Barbier who’s fathers were in the vanguard of reviving the fortunes of Priorat wines
- Priorat: Mas de las Valls 2013 by Celler Devinssi in Gratallops, and Pardelasses 2011 by Bodegas Pardelasses in Torroja de Priorat
As a treat we also finished with a sweet wine from Celler Pinol in the Terra Alta DO, made with Garnacha.
The clear winner, perhaps not surprisingly, was the Pardelasses 2011.
Before we left, Guillem and Chandler gave us some great recommendations for wine bars to try in Barcelona – the kind of places we would never have found by ourselves.
The cautious amongst you might be a little hesitant about contacting someone on Twitter, going to their home and swapping bottles of wine. Don’t be. This was a fantastic experience with lovely people who are genuinely passionate about their local wines and want to share them with you.
There is simply nothing like meeting locals and getting off the beaten track to feel like you’ve really been in a city, rather than just being a tourist, and TradeforWine let’s you do that. For the price of a bit of space in your luggage – and let’s face it, that creates room for the shopping you’ll inevitably do whilst you’re on holiday! – you can taste wines you will probably never otherwise taste, and enjoy good company into the bargain.
Find out more about TradeforWine here or follow them on Twitter at @TradeforWine