Tuesday, September 10, 2013

making it feel like home

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You know what's funny about this city? It totally lives up to its reputation as being super relaxed, super slow, super lazy. I got here August 18, and for the rest of the month, the streets were empty. I was thinking how strange it was, to be able to walk around with nary a soul around - we see more people out at night in Toronto. And then September hits, the people get back from vacation, and the city finally begins feeling like a real, working city. Overnight, literally - streets were packed. Just like that. I've been really enjoying cocktails here. Gin tonics every bit as good as advertised. Even these non artisanal bars - the Cafe Zurich - offer their unique twist on it. This particular twist intended to get you head over heels smashed. You think that's the drink? That was a pour of GIN.
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We finally had our cleaning lady come in this Monday. Four guys, and although we're all old enough to clean up after ourselves and otherwise not be slobs, things accumulate. Our place looked sparkling after she was done, but there was still something missing ... things that didn't quite make it feel like home. So I went out the morning to IKEA again, to pick up a few final items. Pillows, kitchen utensils, a proper knife ...
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And with still no (proper) wine stems in the house, had to make do with this thing as I opened the first bottle bought here. Went out to Vila Viniteca for a look, and left amazed. They do rosados so well in this country, and this one, the 2011 Pardas Sumoll from Penedès was sublime. Richly aromatic, but structured on the palate. Bone dry with very fine tannins. A fresh and truly delicious, complex wine.
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But today, after our seminar at school on how to write your CV's (let's not get started), needed to get some fresh air and something to pick me up. Shopping for wine stems! Went out to the city's largest (and best?) shopping mall, L'Illa. Didn't find anything, so walked back to El Corte Inglés, but along the way, saw the display for Zara Home. Very nicely shaped stems at 4.99€ a pop, but wanted to take my chance. Patience is a virtue well rewarded. I found a tiny wine shop called Plaisirs du Vin. And I actually asked to buy their stems. Beautiful Riedels they use for tasting, at a discount. A very happy man. And she poured me a taste of a grenache from Priorat - stunning. Tight and tannic, yet so floral and balanced at 14.5% abv. Lots of exciting and new wines will pass through these stems and I can't wait. 
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But tonight, needed to stay home and have rice. Just good, simple jasmine rice, fried with eggs and a splash of soy sauce. Now Barcelona feels like home.
DF

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