I like wine. Yes, I can`t deny it. I also know I am not the only one. So, if you are a bit like me, you will enjoy this post very much.
In every country I have traveled, what I want to do is to soak in their culture, talk to locals, visit museums, walk around and see how the people are dressed, go inside a bookshop and see what are the bestsellers and top 5 book advices, watch national cinema and read the newspapers, watch television (that’s a great way to learn about the culture of that particular country!), eat in local restaurants (not this McDonalds kind of place) and learn about their gastronomy (or lack of it), drink coffee or tea and learn about how the people prefer to enjoy their warm drinks, seating, on the go, straight or with many different options… Also alcoholic drinks, beers, wines and spirits are also part of the culture.
These are just examples about how to learn about culture. Wine is just one of them, but for me, it’s a very enjoyable one.
As a Spaniard from the north of Spain, from a medium sized city called Burgos from the region Castille y Leon, roasted lamb (‘cordero asado’) , black pudding (‘morcilla’) and wine from the wine region of Ribera del Duero are the things I grew up with.
As I said, I love wine, red (tinto) and white (blanco) are my favourites, not so keen in the rosé (rosado) and sparkling wine (vino espumoso).
There are so many wine regions and appellations (‘denominación de origen’) in Spain! From the extremely well known Rioja in the north, with their best known Tempranillo grape (‘uva’) used in the tintos. Valdepeñas in the south, Jumilla, Toro or Jerez (Sherry) to mention just a few. And what about the white wines like Verdejo or Albariño!
And then, once you have your glass of vino in hand, there is the smell, the colour, the texture, the taste…
Enology (‘enología’) is a science, the science of wine making, a sommelier (‘sumiller’) is the wine waiter and a wine taster (‘catador’) is the professional taster. They know everything there is to know about wine. But we, common people, wine drinkers (always with moderation!) also have some practical knowledge about wine, sometimes we just need the words to say that the smell of our wine is fruity (‘afrutado’) or spicy (‘especiado’), or the flavour is thick (‘espeso’)… And what about the defects? When our vino is acidic (‘acido’) or plonk (‘peleón’).
Words, and more words… the language.
The wine, so important for certain cultures that we have proverbs about it: Con pan y con vino se anda el camino (With bread and wine, one walks the path) or Al pan pan, y al vino vino (to call a spade a spade).
Spanish wine intertwined with Spanish culture, culture and wine through language.
And this is just an aperitif. If you enjoyed reading this, you will probably enjoy much more what is going to happen in some cities around Europe, Glasgow being the first one of the list.
So make a note in your appointment book: Glasgow, the 20th of February. Three hours of learning about Spanish wine and vocabulary to talk about it, appellations, including a tasting (‘cata’) of different Spanish wines, and we will also talk about different options of wine vacations since there are many wineries (‘bodegas’) offering really good plans for all of you lovers of all things Spanish! The workshop will be carried out in English mainly but there will be chances to practice some Spanish speaking and listening as well.
You can get more information here: http://spanishworkshops.net or go ahead and book the tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spanish-wine-workshop-tickets-15011053465
If you are into this way of learning Spanish culture and language, I suggest you subscribe in the newsletter below or in the workshops page to get updates about the cities where these workshops will be hold.
Hope to see you there! 🙂