Wine and Cava lovers shouldn’t miss this exhibition!
When we discovered that the Catalan Wine and Cava tasting event was setting up mere blocks from our apartment in Barcelona, we suddenly had a very busy weekend ahead of us. It was the first day of La Merce festival and now sixty-six wineries, among twelve designations of origin of Catalan wine, were setting up for the weekend on Passeig Lluís Companys near the Arc de Triomf.
Over the next two days, we finished up our work for the week, made sure the cats had what they needed, and attended a few fun things at the festival. It had been an exciting two days, but the weekend was here, and it was time for cava.
After going to a parade that morning, we walked the two blocks from our apartment to the entrance and bought our tickets and wine glasses.
For hours we scoured booth after booth for new and delicious cava.
Occasionally a wine would catch our attention and had to be dealt with but mainly we were cava hunting. The had developed a way to price their products by a ticket system. We had purchased fifty tickets at the entrance and the various cava makers would charge 2-5 tickets for a glass, depending on price essentially. There were a couple of rare glasses going for 6 tickets each, so of course we had to see what those were about. Mimi worked her way through the rose’ cava’s and I went by recommendations based on whatever was the driest.
We spent the day tasting until we reached a point that we needed a break, or else bad things were going to happen.
The festival was located at the edge of a park, so we decided to go for a walk to work off some of the alcohol. What we hadn’t realized was that there were dozens of food trucks set up in the park. For two people in need of something in their stomach to soak up some alcohol, this was like walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
We walked around for a while, checking out all of the food trucks that were scattered throughout the area, until we found a few different things that we wanted to share. Everything you could imagine was available, so we got a variety of our favorites. We found a bench to sit on while we devoured it the way that only two people who have been binge drinking all day can. Only, this was much better than going through the drive through at 2AM.
We decided to walk past the festival again and grab one more glass each, and maybe a bottle or two, of our favorite cava to take back on our walk home. After all, two blocks is a long way to go without refreshments. All was right with the world as we wandered home in our cava enhanced contentment, and there was still tomorrow.
We made plans to go to the festival a little earlier the next day because the Fire Run was that night and we wanted to see that.
We picked up more tickets and worked our way through the booths we hadn’t tried yet and revisited a few of our favorites. Knowing the food trucks were close by we grabbed a quick lunch and went back to the festivities, making sure that we had closely examined everything and purchased the proper bottles of cava to take home.
We knew before the festival that we liked cava. What we hadn’t known was how much of a variety there is and that we liked almost all of it. Of course, we enjoy the traditional champagne of Epernay, but cava is far less expensive. With no offense meant to the French, it’s just as delicious and offers the same variety of flavors. The cava of Spain should not be underestimated.
INFO: You ‘rent’ a glass for €5 (you have until 8pm to turn it back in for some money back, or you can keep it) and purchase tickets for food and drink: €6 for 5 tickets; €13 for 12 tickets; €20 for 22 tickets.