Monday, 27 June 2011

Rioja Tapas Fantasticas: what it says on the tin!

Here’s an investment in the future. Next June will be the third Rioja Tapas Fantasticas, a festival that celebrates all that is great and good about Spanish cuisine.

It is held in the shadow of Tower Bridge, in marked contrast to the ultra-modern More London development, which houses more glorified accountants than the London Business School. 

Sectioned off from the rest of the capital and squinting in the rare sunshine we felt as if we were in Spain. Everywhere we looked people supped on 50p samples of reserve, chewed on spicy chorizo or air guitared along to the Spanish guitarist on a stage in the centre.

We had a wonderful chorizo sandwich from the City’s Barcelona Tapas Bar y Restaurante (clever name, si?) and some demonically spicy patatas bravas from More Than Tapas. The highlight however, was the Faustinos gran reserve – which was heavy, complicated but surprisingly free of tannins, making it more drinkable than it had any right to be on a summer day. What is more, my claims that I had drunk it before we found to be correct: you'll find it on the top shelf of Costcutter's wine racks.

From that discovery onwards it all gets a little blurry, so you’ll have to experience the rest of it for yourself. Put it in your diary and Google it next spring. I raise my Rioja: here’s to SEO success and a spate of visitors around about June time next year.

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