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Wine geeks on Camino

Burton Axxe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2023
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
In Roija you walk right past several wineries and estates. If you want a wine experience, maybe take an extra day or two and go over to Haro which is near Santo Domingo de la Calzada. I believe 10 or so different wineries based there.
 

Burton Axxe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2023
Thanks for the replies.

Are there any particular city/town bars that specialize in introducing a whole host of regional wares on the CF (especially post-Covid, as the other thread is quite old).
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
There is a winery/bodega at Villamayor de Monjardin. You walk on the edge of their vineyards climbing up to the village. Similarly the land near Cacabellos and Villamayor de Bierzo is rich with vines and vineyards which the CF crosses. (Click the highlighted names for more info re individual bodegas)
 
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Burton Axxe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2023
The most amazing surprise for me on the wine front was the reds of the Bierzo region. They’re made from the Mencia grape. I buy them whenever I see them over here in the states, which isn’t often.
This is good to hear. I usually associate Mencia with bland supermarket fare so I’ll definitely be interested in trying some quality Mencia.
 

SabsP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Thanks for the replies.

Are there any particular city/town bars that specialize in introducing a whole host of regional wares on the CF (especially post-Covid, as the other thread is quite old).

IMO the good thing about the wine industry in Spain is that in general they are less " snotty " than other countries ( France or Italy )about their wines so you will find treasures in regular bars and restaurants and not only in the fancier vinotecas or winebars.

Let Logroño surprise you and follow some locals to an enoteca if you want to find something special!

And if you are able to walk to Finisterre do stop at Casa Barquiero in Negreira . They serve some very good Albariño and their food is wonderful. They are on social media so you will get an idea what I mean.
 
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Burton Axxe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2023
IMO the good thing about the wine industry in Spain is that in general they are less " snotty " than other countries ( France or Italy ) their wines so you will find treasures in regular bars and restaurants and not only in the fancier vinotecas or winebars.

Let Logroño surprise you and follow some locals to an enoteca if you want to find something special!

And if you are able to walk to Finisterre do stop at Casa Barquiero in Negreira . They serve some very good Albariño and their food is wonderful. They are on social media so you will get an idea what I mean.
In other words, no wine appreciation apartheid. Good.

Looking forward to Logrono with its pintxos rep too.
 
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Former member 105117

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When I look at art, I know what moves me. When I drink a wine, I know what I enjoy. When I'm in a new place, I tend to try what the locals are having, as SabineP seems to suggest. In the end, my palate will decide.
 

Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
In a similar vein, my (French) husband likes to say ‘the best wine is the wine you enjoy’. And price or label often have little to nothing to do with it. One of our favourite Spanish wines costs AUD$5. And in France we will rarely pay more than 3 or 4 euros for a bottle of wine in the supermarket. Most French people I know take a similar down to earth attitude to wine 🍷
 
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F

Former member 105117

Guest
Funny (to me) story: When I lived in America, before coming to Australia, here were a few Australian red wines I loved. They were far better than anything I'd had "back home". When I met my Australian wife and moved to Australia, I was surprised to discover I couldn't find any of the brands I was familiar with. When I mentioned the names to an Australian friend, he told me "that's the rubbish we export!"
I've since learned that, mostly, he was correct. I have a list of several 12 tom 15 dollar a bottle wines that I know will deliver consistent enjoyment. And, in the end, isn't that what matters?
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
that is a good topic, indeed! As you start from Navarra, I would suggest a few denominations

Navarra reds, try some in Pamplona with a few pinchos
Somontano, from nearby Aragon area, offers good assortment of Cariñena, Garnacha, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer local varietals, the most "French" of wine regions. You wil most likely find these in Pamplona, Estella area
Rioja needs no introduction, indeed. Nothing to add here
Burgos has part of Ribera del Duero red wines, very well known all over the world too
Palencia is near enough Rueda, home of good Verdejo whites
Leon is a surprise too! Try the Toro reds from nearby Zamora and, most importantly, the rosé local Prieto Picudo, great for some tapas and pinchos in Barrio Húmedo. Prieto Picudo wines can only be found in León, do not miss them!
Bierzo, inside the Leon province, deserves a special consideration by itself. Red Mencias, white Godellos are a must. In Ponferrada you will find good wineries, and Cacabelos is a good place too.
Valdeorras/Ribeira Sacra region is just west of Bierzo, wines are quite similar, but particularly mineral.
Galicia has two main denominations, in very general terms, Albariño, of course, and also Ribeiros, which may be a bit more inconsistent in quality, but when you find a nice white Ribeiro, they are BEAUTIFUL. In Santiago, Abastos 2.0 by the market offers extraordinary wines and food.


Plus, any other surprises you might find along the way, of course!
 
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Burton Axxe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2023
that is a good topic, indeed! As you start from Navarra, I would suggest a few denominations

Navarra reds, try some in Pamplona with a few pinchos
Somontano, from nearby Aragon area, offers good assortment of Cariñena, Garnacha, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer local varietals, the most "French" of wine regions. You wil most likely find these in Pamplona, Estella area
Rioja needs no introduction, indeed. Nothing to add here
Burgos has part of Ribera del Duero red wines, very well known all over the world too
Palencia is near enough Rueda, home of good Verdejo whites
Leon is a surprise too! Try the Toro reds from nearby Zamora and, most importantly, the rosé local Prieto Picudo, great for some tapas and pinchos in Barrio Húmedo. Prieto Picudo wines can only be found in León, do not miss them!
Bierzo, inside the Leon province, deserves a special consideration by itself. Red Mencias, white Godellos are a must. In Ponferrada you will find good wineries, and Cacabelos is a good place too.
Valdeorras/Ribeira Sacra region is just west of Bierzo, wines are quite similar, but particularly mineral.
Galicia has two main denominations, in very general terms, Albariño, of course, and also Ribeiros, which may be a bit more inconsistent in quality, but when you find a nice white Ribeiro, they are BEAUTIFUL. In Santiago, Abastos 2.0 by the market offers extraordinary wines and food.


Plus, any other surprises you might find along the way, of course!
Superb stuff, thank you!

I’m a big Priorat fan but I think these are just out of the CF geographical range, am I correct?
 

TMcA

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
Many years ago my wife and I stopped at the tourist office in Logrono. They arranged a tasting at Bodegas Ontanon, a winemaker a little bit distant from the city center. That office advised us about which bus to take and where to get off the bus. For about 15 euros per person (price now higher) we had a guided tour of the facilities and tastings of four wines. I believe you would need to make a reservation for this tour.

Alternatively, you could inquire about wine bars at the tourist office which is in the heart of Logrono.



 

Kit Holmes

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2016)
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
If you are talking the Camino del Norte try Martinez wine shop in San Sebastián and Vinoteca el Local in Santander. They are wine shops but may serve by the glass Don’t miss the great Ribera del Dueros. Like a high end Tempranillo but sabroso
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
In Cacabellos there is Moncloa de San Lazaro. It is an upscale hotel (pricey), but they have a lovely restaurant and bar. We stayed there in a room with the Jacuzzi on our first Camino. They gave us a cup of young godello and also a snack when we checked and while they were preparing our room arrangements. They carried my backpack up to the room. I had been attacked by Spanish Flies the day before and my husband went out in search of some repellant and "locked me in" the room by accident. I took a nap...later we went down to the lovely indoor/outdoor terrace and sampled wines and had supper. Vines growing overhead with grapes hanging down. Lovely place if you have the budget...Also vegan dishes available if that is your preference.
 

Dean Morgenthal

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo January 2014
Ingles, September 2016
Muxia-Fisterra October 2016
Try some Rueda or Verdejo I couldn’t remember which one I liked best both interesting white wines especially with company diverse as possible! Fond memories of this time and these wines!
 

truenorthpilgrim

Camino Mermaid 🧜🏻‍♀️
Time of past OR future Camino
CF - February 2023
Bierzo reds are really nice, and I find Galician reds to be satisfyingly rustic...and paired with Galician cheese? *chef's kiss*

Question...has anyone ever shipped wine back to the U.S.? Is it terribly expensive?
 

motero99

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Camino Portugues (2022)
In Villa Franca del Bierzo there is a cafe on the main square. It has signs on the walls offering wine by the glass and I would guess there are at least 30 or more choices. I had breakfast there, so did not sample the wines. I wouldn't mind stopping there some day for some wine sampling.
 
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Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Like others here, I loved Logrono and have good memories of its main street with bars/restaurants lining both sides, filled with locals out on a perfect May evening enjoying a drink wih friends or family. Many of the tapas displays we passed were works of art, and my sons and I enjoyed a couple of glasses of very good red wine for only €1. I am no connoisseur of quality brands, but as others have said "I know what I like", which for me is smooth and definitely not vinegary.
Screenshot_20221201-105117~2.png Screenshot_20221201-104846~2.png
 
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Rick M

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Time of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept ('21, '23)
@SabineP gave you a terrific hint. Typical Rioja jug wine is served everywhere, and that's what people drink because its cheap. But nearly all bars and all restaurants will have a shelf or locker with a handful of Better Wines. A bar in a tiny village might not have options, but in any town, they will. A few of the choices on the Better Wine Shelf are the same jug wine in a nicer bottle, but many times I have had a Riserva (Spanish wine grading includes Crianza, Riserva, and Gran Riserva) which I have never heard of or seen again, that was spectacular. Even a modest restaurant might have its own cellar with some very old Riojas. All tapas bars will have choices, and its catch-as-catch-can. You pay much more for these (20-40 euro), and the barman or waiter will serve them with a flourish, but it's well worth experimenting with recommendations from the server who controls the Better Wine Shelf nearly everywhere you might find yourself.
 

Tandem Graham

E ultreia e suseia, Deus adjuva nos
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In San Esteban de Gormez, on the Camino del Lana (by tandem in 2019) we were disappointed to find no pilgrim style accommodation, so forked out for a hotel close to the centre. That reduced our budget for dinner, so we bought picnic ingredients from the local supermarket and had cold meats and salad in our room.
Then we went out in search of a nice drop of wine. The town centre has an attractive cloistered main square, but the bars and restaurants there were expensive and almost deserted. We followed our ears and noses 200 metres to a local bar just north of the centre in a more open square under the shade of plane trees and with a view of the Moorish castle. I asked an elderly local couple who were nursing red wine in fine goblet glasses what we should be drinking. The gentleman walked with me to the bar and pointed to one of eight bottles. Two glasses were poured. It was heavenly! Ribeira del Douro.
We savoured it and wondered if we could justify a second glass each of what we assumed was an expensive choice. 'What the hell, it's only money'. So we had another round, watching the setting sun colour the castle ruins above us.
When I eventually went to settle our bill, four glasses came to 4.80 Euros!
I've not found the same label since (and I can't remember the Bodega name), but I suspect that the setting contributed to its perfection.
 

USSusan

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Fall 2021, Fall 2023
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
I also like to try interesting wines. I will be on the CF late August-Early October. Would love to hear about what wines / places you discover!
 

lindam

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Superb stuff, thank you!

I’m a big Priorat fan but I think these are just out of the CF geographical range, am I correct?
Indeed, Priorat is a Catalan varietal. You will be unlikely to find it along the CF. Instead, you will need to include Barcelona and its surroundings in your travels.
 
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MichaelC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
In Reboleira (Galicia) I stopped for lunch and had a glass of white wine from Val de Paxariñas. The wine is made from 85% godello and 15% doña blanca grapes. Those were both new to me. It’s a rich, fruity, somewhat floral wine with enough acid to give it a good depth.

Wine related: orujo is related to grappa and marc, and once in awhile you will meet a patron who will bring out their homemade orujo. It's a nice way to end an evening!

Also be sure to check out the vermouth bars in León - these are much more drinkable than the basic mixers we get in the US.
 

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pepi

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Last: Sept 2022
next 🤷
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
Calle del Laurel in the Rioja capital Logroño is best known by pilgrims and casual tourists for pinchos. The initiated, however, go to the local bars to drink the best wines, which are sold by the glass. For them, the pinchos serve to neutralize their palate between two top wines. Many bars compete to find the most precious drops from the winemakers to proudly serve to their regular customers. Engage the bartender in a conversation about wine - knowledge of Spanish is very helpful here - and challenge him, for he will not part with his best reservas until he is convinced that you are able to savor and appreciate it. A paradise for connoisseurs, the only downer is the fact that the (red) wines in Spain are consistently served too cool.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Superb stuff, thank you!

I’m a big Priorat fan but I think these are just out of the CF geographical range, am I correct?
indeed, Priorat is south of Barcelona, you have good taste, no cheap stuff from that area! There are lots of other regions in different caminos. I personally have a penchant for Somontano and the enormous variety of grapes you can find in it!
 
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Roland49

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2023!
I was very surprised by the wines (Reds) of the Bierzo. Never heard about that region before I walked.
I prefer the non barrel aged Mencia (not Mencia Roble), fresh and yummy, very pleasant terroir.
As you walk towards Villafranca del Bierzo, stick to the road, you will pass several Bodegas. Just stop and ask for a tasting. In Villafranca you will find that most Bars offers local wines.

Together with very good White and Rosé wines of a winery in the Provence (which I have to import myself by car) the Reds of the Bierzo region are my favourites.
 

Burton Axxe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2023
I was very surprised by the wines (Reds) of the Bierzo. Never heard about that region before I walked.
I was very surprised by the wines (Reds) of the Bierzo. Never heard about that region before I walked.
I prefer the non barrel aged Mencia (not Mencia Roble), fresh and yummy, very pleasant terroir.
As you walk towards Villafranca del Bierzo, stick to the road, you will pass several Bodegas. Just stop and ask for a tasting. In Villafranca you will find that most Bars offers local wines.

Together with very good White and Rosé wines of a winery in the Provence (which I have to import myself by car) the Reds of the Bierzo region are my favourites.
I hadn’t heard of Bierzo wines until this thread. It goes to the top of my ‘to try’ list now.
 
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CF 2012, others, hospitalero, resumed VdlP 2022
You should stop in Rabanal del camino and take a glass of vino ecologico at Posada de Gaspar (on the right, going up, just past the church)
 
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Martin 888

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances ‘19 and ‘22, Camino Portuguese ‘22
Hello. A real discovery for me is the vino blanco grape, Godello, grown by a few producers in NW Spain. Yes we all know Verdeho and Albarhino as wines from those grapes are exported all over the world but you won't see Godello wines much, if at all, outside of Spain. If you are walking the Camino Frances, just beyond the town of Cacabelos on the way to Villafranca del Bierzo, you walk right past the front door of Godelia Vineyard (see pic taken just last week) and Godello wines from this vineyard are available locally there including Villafranca.....spectacular! Don't forget Ribeira Sacra wines also when in Galicia......Buen Camino !
 

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amancio

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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
In Cacabellos there is Moncloa de San Lazaro. It is an upscale hotel (pricey), but they have a lovely restaurant and bar. We stayed there in a room with the Jacuzzi on our first Camino. They gave us a cup of young godello and also a snack when we checked and while they were preparing our room arrangements. They carried my backpack up to the room. I had been attacked by Spanish Flies the day before and my husband went out in search of some repellant and "locked me in" the room by accident. I took a nap...later we went down to the lovely indoor/outdoor terrace and sampled wines and had supper. Vines growing overhead with grapes hanging down. Lovely place if you have the budget...Also vegan dishes available if that is your preference.
La Moncloa is definitely worth it, even if you only stop for a cold beer or a nice glass of their own wine, their patio is so beautiful! and the restaurant is great for a good treat too
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
that is a good topic, indeed! As you start from Navarra, I would suggest a few denominations

Navarra reds, try some in Pamplona with a few pinchos
Somontano, from nearby Aragon area, offers good assortment of Cariñena, Garnacha, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer local varietals, the most "French" of wine regions. You wil most likely find these in Pamplona, Estella area
Rioja needs no introduction, indeed. Nothing to add here
Burgos has part of Ribera del Duero red wines, very well known all over the world too
Palencia is near enough Rueda, home of good Verdejo whites
Leon is a surprise too! Try the Toro reds from nearby Zamora and, most importantly, the rosé local Prieto Picudo, great for some tapas and pinchos in Barrio Húmedo. Prieto Picudo wines can only be found in León, do not miss them!
Bierzo, inside the Leon province, deserves a special consideration by itself. Red Mencias, white Godellos are a must. In Ponferrada you will find good wineries, and Cacabelos is a good place too.
Valdeorras/Ribeira Sacra region is just west of Bierzo, wines are quite similar, but particularly mineral.
Galicia has two main denominations, in very general terms, Albariño, of course, and also Ribeiros, which may be a bit more inconsistent in quality, but when you find a nice white Ribeiro, they are BEAUTIFUL. In Santiago, Abastos 2.0 by the market offers extraordinary wines and food.


Plus, any other surprises you might find along the way, of course!

I knew I’d be able to trust someone whose avatar looks like he’s carrying a magnum (or is it Goliath?) wine bottle in his backpack!

If you do your Camino in autumn rather than spring, you’d be able to pick and taste some of the grapes as they’d be round about harvest time.

The Fiesta de San Mateo is held on the third week of September, and Logroño goes loco in a very happy and jolly way. Celebrations every day and night, bands walking down the street playing music and singing, various food and wine stands, displays such as giant statues, free concerts, fireworks display… (bullfighting too)

If you could, I’d recommend a rest day (or days?) In Logroño and getting a car to visit some of the bodegas, they’re around 30-45min away from Logroño, including Haro. I like Bodega Vallemayor in Fuenmayor, which is only around 10km from Logroño, esp their single origin La Cerradilla.

Also another one worth visiting is Laguardia, which is the capital of Rioja Alavesa (Rioja is divided into 3 wine regions) and try Bodega El Fabulista.

If you have a car then you can also visit the Monastery of San Millan Suso y Yuso.

Also it’s worth noting that the vino tinto served with menu del día or menu peregrino is a very very joven and didn’t spend time in the barrel. I kind of accepted that, I mean what kind of business would serve a reserva, or even crianza, for free/bottomless? Until some Spanish peregrinos showed me that they would smoothen out the acidity by adding a few drops of lemonade/gaseosa, Spanish version of Sprite, called La Casera. And it has improved my menu del dia a lot!!! In bars there is a cocktail drink called tinto de Verano but that is 1/2 vino tinto and 1/2 gaseosa which makes it overly sweet and yuk. But with just a small amount of gaseosa it’s really good 👍🏻 some places don’t charge extra if you asked vino tinto with gaseosa, some may do but they will let you know the gaseosa is extra.

And then in Santiago…… yes, agree Abastos 2.0 very good seafood.

Again, if you rent a car…. You can do a little Rias Baixas tour… because you will be able to make your own list of which places to visit. But if it’s not possible to rent a car, there will be agents all over Santiago offering bus tour of Rias Baixas which includes some boat trip to check out mussel farms etc.

If you come in spring-summer, make sure to visit the furanchos in Galicia…. (They’re closed the rest of the year) These are like secret kitchens, people opening up eateries in their homes and make their own wines… (the tradition started with winemakers selling their surplus wines to their neighbours who then bring foods):


I saw this list of where to go to try some Albariño, and the list didn’t disappoint. We were limited for time though unfortunately, so more places to go see next time, there’s always a next time!

 
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amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
I knew I’d be able to trust someone whose avatar looks like he’s carrying a magnum (or is it Goliath?) wine bottle in his backpack!

If you do your Camino in autumn rather than spring, you’d be able to pick and taste some of the grapes as they’d be round about harvest time.

The Fiesta de San Mateo is held on the third week of September, and Logroño goes loco in a very happy and jolly way. Celebrations every day and night, bands walking down the street playing music and singing, various food and wine stands, displays such as giant statues, free concerts, fireworks display… (bullfighting too)

If you could, I’d recommend a rest day (or days?) In Logroño and getting a car to visit some of the bodegas, they’re around 30-45min away from Logroño, including Haro. I like Bodega Vallemayor in Fuenmayor, which is only around 10km from Logroño, esp their single origin La Cerradilla.

Also another one worth visiting is Laguardia, which is the capital of Rioja Alavesa (Rioja is divided into 3 wine regions) and try Bodega El Fabulista.

If you have a car then you can also visit the Monastery of San Millan Suso y Yuso.

Also it’s worth noting that the vino tinto served with menu del día or menu peregrino is a very very joven and didn’t spend time in the barrel. I kind of accepted that, I mean what kind of business would serve a reserva, or even crianza, for free/bottomless? Until some Spanish peregrinos showed me that they would smoothen out the acidity by adding a few drops of lemonade/gaseosa, Spanish version of Sprite, called La Casera. And it has improved my menu del dia a lot!!! In bars there is a cocktail drink called tinto de Verano but that is 1/2 vino tinto and 1/2 gaseosa which makes it overly sweet and yuk. But with just a small amount of gaseosa it’s really good 👍🏻 some places don’t charge extra if you asked vino tinto with gaseosa, some may do but they will let you know the gaseosa is extra.

And then in Santiago…… yes, agree Abastos 2.0 very good seafood.

Again, if you rent a car…. You can do a little Rias Baixas tour… because you will be able to make your own list of which places to visit. But if it’s not possible to rent a car, there will be agents all over Santiago offering bus tour of Rias Baixas which includes some boat trip to check out mussel farms etc.

If you come in spring-summer, make sure to visit the furanchos in Galicia…. (They’re closed the rest of the year) These are like secret kitchens, people opening up eateries in their homes and make their own wines… (the tradition started with winemakers selling their surplus wines to their neighbours who then bring foods):


I saw this list of where to go to try some Albariño, and the list didn’t disappoint. We were limited for time though unfortunately, so more places to go see next time, there’s always a next time!

Indeed, Furanchos are something else, not be missed!!! only it is not alwasy easy to find, but if you find one, the food is fresh and the wine is delicious
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
Also it’s worth noting that the vino tinto served with menu del día or menu peregrino is a very very joven and didn’t spend time in the barrel.
I was told this is why bars serve their reds chilled.

I kind of accepted that, I mean what kind of business would serve a reserva, or even crianza, for free/bottomless? Until some Spanish peregrinos showed me that they would smoothen out the acidity by adding a few drops of lemonade/gaseosa, Spanish version of Sprite, called La Casera. And it has improved my menu del dia a lot!!!

Or coca cola, for a "tinto de verano!" Though that always makes my wine geek friends cringe.

Edit: ¡Ay! Everyone was right & I mixed up my wine+soda drinks!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
A poor quality, inexpensive red, with a bit of Sprite/gas added often turns them into a lovely Sangia; add some cut up fruit pieces and voila! Great at home, too, for outdoor summer party/picnics.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Indeed, Priorat is a Catalan varietal. You will be unlikely to find it along the CF. Instead, you will need to include Barcelona and its surroundings in your travels.
Better than including Barcelona, which has the usual big-city dives and prices, I would recommend heading on to the Camino Catalan-- as you get a few days out into Linyola and Balaguer, there are local vineyards with some extraordinary products (e.g. Castell de Remei); and where in Balaguer, the patron at El Tastet del Reng served me a range of local reds-- sadly I cannot find my notebook for that Camino.

Often I would ask the waiter for a bottle of a good local wine, such as he would serve to the uncle on whom he was counting for an inheritance. I pointed out that it was likley that this was the only time I would be in that town in my life, and I would like something by which I could remember it. More than once a pitcher or a dusty bottle would come out of the basement, and it would be liquid velvet. The positive side of patriotism is a real pride in local products-- challenged, the Spanish take great pride in the best of what is locally produced.

I remember well my discoveries of varietals which I had never encountered in Ontario, and the friends I was with that night. Emilio and Patricia brought me to my first albarino, and Rob and Fran with whom I first broke into a bottle of godello in Astorga.

Another poster mentioned the vermouth bars-- many bars and restaurants now produce their own vermouth (vermut casero) which is a thousand kilometres away from the death-to-diabetic swill which we use for our mixed drinks. I have a very positive if perhaps an understandably vague memory of an Aragonese vermouth made with black walnut, deep and memorable.

As well, I saw reference to orujo. Sadly, the efficiency of the otherwise admirable guardia civil has discouraged the widespread presence of orujo casero in restaurants-- but a nice orujo blanco does wonders for the digestion. It is perhaps the only spirit I have encountered which never troubled my sleep or impeded my conscious waking.

Drinking in Spain has its discipline in the kilometres consumed before we consume a drop, and in the profound unhappiness among our hosts should we drink too much. Spanish culture leans to an intolerance for being blotto, such as gets too much tolerance in North America.

@MichaelC The mix of coca-cola with red wine is called calimotxo-- in a large glass with ice and, if you're fancy, a slice of lemon. It is greatly beloved of 16-year old Spanish males, who are arbitors of fashion. Tinto de verano usually involves a lemon-flavoured soft drink, although someone will likely be along in a minute to correct me.

 

Roland49

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2023!
Also it’s worth noting that the vino tinto served with menu del día or menu peregrino is a very very joven and didn’t spend time in the barrel.
Oh, it depends. I had dinner with a fellow finnish peregrina in Triacastella. The gave a bottle of wine to each Pilgrim's meal. Red for my meal and a white accompany the salmon of the finnish girl.
The Red (typical Rioja Crianza) was barrel aged, a fine touch, not too much like many other cheap "Barrique" wines.

I had excellent wines in Pamplona (thanks to the Hospitalero in Casa Paderborn), in Logroño, Grañon, León, Villafranca, Triacastella, Sarria and SdC. In all other places the wines were good, not a real bad one on my CF!
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
A poor quality, inexpensive red, with a bit of Sprite/gas added often turns them into a lovely Sangia; add some cut up fruit pieces and voila! Great at home, too, for outdoor summer party/picnics.
My Sangria recipe - handed down within the family - is equal parts cheap red wine and freshly squeezed orange juice. Add lots of ice. Make it and you will understand why it is called "sangria" (blood). It is the peasant stuff, the real deal, made with the ingredients that were abundant and to hand. It is quite different to what is served in restaurants. Delicious and very refreshing.
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
Or coca cola, for a "tinto de verano!"

That’s kalimotxo! Also not a bad combo… took me back to uni days with Spanish Erasmus students 🤣

The Red (typical Rioja Crianza) was barrel aged

But the definition of crianza is aged 2 years and min 1 year in the barrel! You’re lucky if the place you eat served crianza on the menu peregrino!
 
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Roland49

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2023!
But the definition of crianza is aged 2 years and min 1 year in the barrel! You’re lucky if the place you eat served crianza on the menu peregrino!
I didn't assume that's common knowledge.

Yes, they did! 12€ for salmon steaks or beef including wine was a phenomenal value for the money.
On top a litter of kittens lurking around the tables to be fed 🐈 😍🐈‍⬛🐈🐈‍⬛
 
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theuglyamerican

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Arles
Norte
Primitivo
Baztanes
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
I am a wine geek. Walked a bunch of caminos but not the CF.

When you get to Santiago there is a very nice wine shop/bar in the market. All local Galician wines. Knowledgeable folks. Fun experience and some truly amazing wines.

There are many restaurants in the market that focus on local wines as well. One in particular owned by Ramon Barreiro.....but I cannot remember the name.
 

TrvlDad1

Covidyard Bob
Time of past OR future Camino
2017 Frances from Saria
2018 Finnisterre & Ingles
2019 Portuguese from Valenca
2020 Assisi(cancel.)
Funny (to me) story: When I lived in America, before coming to Australia, here were a few Australian red wines I loved. They were far better than anything I'd had "back home". When I met my Australian wife and moved to Australia, I was surprised to discover I couldn't find any of the brands I was familiar with. When I mentioned the names to an Australian friend, he told me "that's the rubbish we export!"
I've since learned that, mostly, he was correct. I have a list of several 12 tom 15 dollar a bottle wines that I know will deliver consistent enjoyment. And, in the end, isn't that what matters?
I sent my daughter to a school semester in Adelaide and the family she stayed with had a Friday night neighborhood wine bottling party. One picked up the bulk wine, one got a few bottles and corks, and they proceeded to drink most of it. Almost never got her to come home.
 
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ChrisGall

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
My favorite photo from the Rioja region, taken this past October. Just a couple of guys riding their vineyard. (Photo not blurry if you open it)
 

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Oliviao

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
that is a good topic, indeed! As you start from Navarra, I would suggest a few denominations

Navarra reds, try some in Pamplona with a few pinchos
Somontano, from nearby Aragon area, offers good assortment of Cariñena, Garnacha, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer local varietals, the most "French" of wine regions. You wil most likely find these in Pamplona, Estella area
Rioja needs no introduction, indeed. Nothing to add here
Burgos has part of Ribera del Duero red wines, very well known all over the world too
Palencia is near enough Rueda, home of good Verdejo whites
Leon is a surprise too! Try the Toro reds from nearby Zamora and, most importantly, the rosé local Prieto Picudo, great for some tapas and pinchos in Barrio Húmedo. Prieto Picudo wines can only be found in León, do not miss them!
Bierzo, inside the Leon province, deserves a special consideration by itself. Red Mencias, white Godellos are a must. In Ponferrada you will find good wineries, and Cacabelos is a good place too.
Valdeorras/Ribeira Sacra region is just west of Bierzo, wines are quite similar, but particularly mineral.
Galicia has two main denominations, in very general terms, Albariño, of course, and also Ribeiros, which may be a bit more inconsistent in quality, but when you find a nice white Ribeiro, they are BEAUTIFUL. In Santiago, Abastos 2.0 by the market offers extraordinary wines and food.


Plus, any other surprises you might find along the way, of course!
I second your comment about Abastos 2.0 - I would urge anyone who loves food/wine to head to the covered market and pull up a stool - you will not be disappointed!
 

Roland49

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2023!
Sandeman, along the river comes to mind.
I ate there on my last evening before travelling home in accompany of part of my CF Camino family. That was not intentional, but a nice surprise. Stumbled upon them as I strolled through the city.
At Sandesman's they served some of the dishes with sauces based on Portwine. Very yummy!
 
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Shirley1957

Slowly slowly…
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
Godillo white wine worth a try too in Galicia. We were introduced to it by Elly of Elly’s kitchen in Trabadelo (el puente peregrino) - she has great wine, great food (vegetarian) and great music!
 

Trekker One

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
C. F.2014,15,16 &19 Portuguese '17, Primitivo '18
As a amateur wine maker myself with 35 years experience. Enjoying and sharing a bottle of wine after a days walk is one of my Camino highlights.
I was always amazed at how inexpensive wine was in Spain. We would often buy 'no name' wine (corked, but no shrink top or label) for less than a Euro per bottle. Although I am sure those days are gone now.
Even the cheapest wine was always very potable stuff.
In the areas where the trail was surrounded by vinyards, I always looked forward to sharing wine at the end of day...got thirsty looking at all those vines!
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés(2008,09 14)
Del Norte (2011)
Portuguese(2015,2017)
Inglés 2015
Fisterre (2015 17)
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
Putside of la Rioja I found lots of good wines in Navarre, Cacabelos and Ribera del Douro. My favourite by far was the wines of Villafranca del Bierzo made from the Mencia grape. The history of this region is interesting. Apparently a few hundred years ago French immigrants settled in the valley just below OCebriero. They brought with them Cabernet Franc vines and over hundreds of years the slight changes to the fruit made by terroir resulted inna fruit different enough to gain its own designation. Thus the Mencia grape.
Not limiting myself to trying loval vintages I also discovered in Navarre a fruity liquor made from (black currants?) black berry type fruit. Its called Pacharan and I enjoy it quite a bit.
Then there are the whites from Galecia. I haven’t picked a favourite although Paco and Lola is available at my local liquor store and is a fine example of Albariño.
Stretching beyond the Spanish border the green wines of Portugal are refreshing if young and they only carry about 10% alcohol.
Enjoy!
Jim
 

Carl Remarx

Walking where you’re not
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning a a Camino de Carlos
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
Canedo Palace, just north of the Camino Frances near Ponferrada and Villafranca del Bierzo. Winery and food served. Drink the Xamprada(crisp pink bubbly). They also have rooms, about 90€/night right now.
 

Carl Remarx

Walking where you’re not
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning a a Camino de Carlos
Yeah, I’m a bit of a fan and I’ll admit that being in wine country is one of the motivations about doing the CF next spring.

Obviously we cut right through Rioja country and I’m a major fan of Galician Albariño. Nice.

My question is: are there any particular wine bars and/or local varieties of real note along the route? I know I can get a glass of house red almost anywhere in Spain but I’m talking about places that provide a whole host of interesting local sips.

And are there any other wine buffs out there?
Also, when looking for a wine bar, use the Spanish word “enoteca” in your search, as it pulls in more local, less advertised bars. Also, look for vermuteria(vermouth bar). Take joy in whatever’s in your glass.
 
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LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
I haven’t picked a favourite although Paco and Lola is available at my local liquor store and is a fine example of Albariño.

It’s good that you mention Paco y Lola… I stayed at a nearby hotel (Quinta de San Amaro), which is gorgeous - set over multiple buildings/small villas, very cozy, and they converted an horreo into a yoga/meditation or reading room. Great restaurant with fantastic food, and a pool(!) and guests at the hotel also get a free tour of Paco y Lola.

The winery is very new, only founded in the 21st century, as a cooperative of local winemakers. They try to create the image of young/fun with the polka dot design, I was a bit disappointed that the names Paco y Lola were just plucked randomly as 2 Spanish sounding names which are easy to pronounce and snappy. So…. Not the names of the children of the founders or the great grandparents or sth along that line…

Anw, I quite like their Follas Novas, on the dry side but very crisp and refreshing. Or, going in the other direction, the Prime or the 2016 vintage which is more full bodied, made from grapes from their oldest vineyards. I didn’t like the other wines in the middle between the 2 opposites above.

They also supplied Albariño to British supermarkets but without the Paco y Lola brand, and so I think it will be the varieties I don’t like!!
 

David61

Active Member
I am not a wine "buff" by any means but remember a great little moment on Camino. I booked a small hotel with "menu del dia" ordered my meal and vino tinto,my preference. A short while later the waiter returned with a bottle of white, very chilled and covered in condensation. He explained that the local "vino tinto" was not good and he recommended this. He was 100% right!!
 

ginniek

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
frances 2017
that is a good topic, indeed! As you start from Navarra, I would suggest a few denominations

Navarra reds, try some in Pamplona with a few pinchos
Somontano, from nearby Aragon area, offers good assortment of Cariñena, Garnacha, Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer local varietals, the most "French" of wine regions. You wil most likely find these in Pamplona, Estella area
Rioja needs no introduction, indeed. Nothing to add here
Burgos has part of Ribera del Duero red wines, very well known all over the world too
Palencia is near enough Rueda, home of good Verdejo whites
Leon is a surprise too! Try the Toro reds from nearby Zamora and, most importantly, the rosé local Prieto Picudo, great for some tapas and pinchos in Barrio Húmedo. Prieto Picudo wines can only be found in León, do not miss them!
Bierzo, inside the Leon province, deserves a special consideration by itself. Red Mencias, white Godellos are a must. In Ponferrada you will find good wineries, and Cacabelos is a good place too.
Valdeorras/Ribeira Sacra region is just west of Bierzo, wines are quite similar, but particularly mineral.
Galicia has two main denominations, in very general terms, Albariño, of course, and also Ribeiros, which may be a bit more inconsistent in quality, but when you find a nice white Ribeiro, they are BEAUTIFUL. In Santiago, Abastos 2.0 by the market offers extraordinary wines and food.


Plus, any other surprises you might find along the way, of course!
Great information. Thanks. I can't wait to use in in 2023.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022 and 2023
Thanks for the replies.

Are there any particular city/town bars that specialize in introducing a whole host of regional wares on the CF (especially post-Covid, as the other thread is quite old).
I noticed several wine bars in Logroño, and a few in Burgos. I love good wine and planned (last summer when I walked) to visit wineries, but honestly, every bar I went to had great local wine for 1-2 euros. Maybe in April-May 23 when I finish the Frances I will have time to visit some wineries.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022 and 2023
As a amateur wine maker myself with 35 years experience. Enjoying and sharing a bottle of wine after a days walk is one of my Camino highlights.
I was always amazed at how inexpensive wine was in Spain. We would often buy 'no name' wine (corked, but no shrink top or label) for less than a Euro per bottle. Although I am sure those days are gone now.
Even the cheapest wine was always very potable stuff.
In the areas where the trail was surrounded by vinyards, I always looked forward to sharing wine at the end of day...got thirsty looking at all those vines!
On my camino in 2022 I was amazed at how low cost good wine is. Living in Northern CA where it is very expensive, I wondered about how they were able to do it - how different is the model from the much newer, California wine growing and selling.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
On my camino in 2022 I was amazed at how low cost good wine is. Living in Northern CA where it is very expensive, I wondered about how they were able to do it - how different is the model from the much newer, California wine growing and selling.
I asked this question of a wine merchant in Toronto, although in the context of Ontario and BC wines, which are not cheap when one is thinking of medium or high quality wine. He pointed out two reasons while confessing that they were an over-generalization; 1) in Spain and France the vineyards are often inherited while in North America they are frequently purchased in recent years, and often heavily mortgaged; European vineyards also benefit from Common Agricultural Policy support; transport and shipping costs on a compact continent are much less than on a larger continent, and these costs will continue to rise in North America. He said that the second reason was that Canadian governments relied on alcohol taxes for revenue to pay for services, while European governments rely more on VAT and general taxation for their revenue. Accordingly, in Spain you will pay more at the till for many things, and your income tax will be a bigger chunk of your revenue, but your wine will be inexpensive.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
My affair
Bierzo reds are really nice, and I find Galician reds to be satisfyingly rustic...and paired with Galician cheese? *chef's kiss*

Question...has anyone ever shipped wine back to the U.S.? Is it terribly expensive?
Seriously, don’t do it. I used to have a cupboard full of local wines and spirits which, where they came from, were pure nectar; but at home would strip the varnish from my furniture. It’s all about ‘terroir’ - drink it where it comes from.

Happily Mrs Henrythedog’s family would drink pure poison if you added enough lemonade and a couple of cherries on a cocktail stick. Problem solved.

When in Rome …
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2022 and 2023
I asked this question of a wine merchant in Toronto, although in the context of Ontario and BC wines, which are not cheap when one is thinking of medium or high quality wine. He pointed out two reasons while confessing that they were an over-generalization; 1) in Spain and France the vineyards are often inherited while in North America they are frequently purchased in recent years, and often heavily mortgaged; European vineyards also benefit from Common Agricultural Policy support; transport and shipping costs on a compact continent are much less than on a larger continent, and these costs will continue to rise in North America. He said that the second reason was that Canadian governments relied on alcohol taxes for revenue to pay for services, while European governments rely more on VAT and general taxation for their revenue. Accordingly, in Spain you will pay more at the till for many things, and your income tax will be a bigger chunk of your revenue, but your wine will be inexpensive.
I had thought about the first reason - especially as wine growing and drinking is comparatively so much more recent in the U.S. (and Canada, I guess). Glad to get a fuller answer, thanks! Did you ever see the documentary film Mondovino? It came out in the 1990s. A young U.S. sommelier goes to France and Italy try to better understand how wine growing was being globalized on several levels - and how also sheer hype was key in raising prices (remember the super Tuscans at $100 a bottle?). Fabulous doc. I think it can be found on the streaming services. The US wine trade, Robert Parker and his magazine, were all FURIOUS when it came out.
 

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