My first exposure to “budget” wine was Old Tawny Eldorado, served at ambient temperature in the delightful surroundings of Campsie Cemetery. Such was the culture at the time it is very possible that the wine was older than me, making it to age 12 without having laid the foundations for lifetime of alcohol related problems meant the person concerned was filed under “for the watching”.
Obviously I have moved on since those carefree days and I have moved on so much I have arrived at a destination that would have horrified the teenage me. I have become fond of yer vermouth. Yup, the stuff you would only drink at a party when everything else, including hair spray and brass cleaner had been tanned.
A short stroll from Pl. Espanya on Creu Coberta and right next to the Hostafrancs stop on the tourist bus is Bodega Monumental.
It has recently been renovated and is very posh on the inside, barmen in white tunics an that give it quite an extravagant feel. That said don’t be fooled. Despite the surroundings it’s not mad expensive. Bodegas are traditionally where the locals pitch up with their own bottles and get them filled with cheap plonk so in keeping with that tradition the swally is good, and more importantly cheap. Here’s a photie showing the selection and the price of the drink.
So, here is the recco, if you do the bus tour get off at the Creu Coberta stop and head into this place, they do a load of yer normal tapas and at reasonable prices, take the time to get a few vermouths down you and then head back on the bus, suitably fed and watered. The vermouth is served with ice, a dod of orange and a wee scoosh of soda. If there is a better non-beer swally on a warm afternoon I’ve yet to find it. I am painfully aware that most readers will be horrified at the last statement and assume that I have a wardrobe comprising tight, ribbed tops and a selection of arseless leather chaps. I’m sure the breeze I could feel in the place was the draught from generations of my family spinning in their graves.
For those of you who are staying in apartments them I strongly suggest you buy a litre of the vermouth for a whopping 2.15€ so that the following mornings breakfast is taken care of. Well, yer on your holidays, pre-breakfast swallying is not only allowed but, in many ways, compulsory.