Sunday, August 9, 2009

Spain Day 12 Carmen the Wine Merchant

Imagine…

It’s very hot. So hot that you really just want to sit in the shade and nap. But instead you have dragged your family two hours across Catalonia to experience the capital of pottery on market day. You trudge through the market trying to summon enthusiasm for shiny red peppers, arrays of espadrilles and endless tables of olives, nuts and live chickens.

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Siesta begins in half an hour and if you don’t see some pottery soon you won’t be seeing any at all … but it’s so HOT - you dash into the first shop that looks like it has AC…no pottery! Wailing quietly to yourself stifling the panic that comes from knowing your two children and husband are just about to revolt. Turn, eyes downcast, apology on your lips; and your husband who heretofore looked like he was enduring a forced march now looks happy.

We stumbled into a wine merchant’s lair! The walls are stacked with casks and the shelves are lined with bottles. Putting two and two together we quickly step to the counter. Carmen the gregarious shopkeeper offers information, recipes, and drink.

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But first we taste. The wine samples are poured directly from the barrels. We start with rose’s and choose a slightly dry one with an effervescent finish. Gazpacho, chorizo, shellfish. All will go well with this wine, not that we need any excuse.

The sangria is so dark it’s almost black. It’s thick and rich and has been fortified with other liqueurs. One taste and we’re hooked. Carmen tells us what fruit to add and how long to let it soak. We select antique bottles she fills directly from the vat.

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Carmen sealing our Rose and Sangria with red wax. A gallon of decent wine costs 8 euro.

3 comments:

Mustang Sally said...

No pottery, though? Bummer. Glad to see everyone made it back OK from the carseat fiasco. How long are you staying?

Carla said...

We're here for two more weeks so we're being leisurely about seeing things. We've been to Barcelona three times and still haven't seen any of Gaudi's big works. Going back today.

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