Thursday, December 26, 2013

the Spanish drink trough

Top: Lagar Cortina Sidra Natural | Amandi, Villaviciosa, Asturias
Bottom: Maeloc Sidra Dulce | Chantada, Lugo, Galicia

I am truly living the student life. I've gotten used to drinking a certain way, and although it was never by any means extravagant (I live in the sweet $15-18 spot), I was used to drinking wines across countries, always something to fit my mood. Living in Barcelona, well, you figure out quite fast that it's not so, because if you don't like Spanish wines, then you're out of luck. Although to be fair, the glory of European wine is in its diversity, but the funny thing is, as diverse and unique as the beverages from all these Spanish regions are, I still think there's a 'Spanish' style. And it's a lot more than its wine.

Wine is expensive here, despite what North Americans are lead to believe about Europe. Good wines, that is. Sure, sub 3€ wines can be incredibly drinkable, but if you're looking for something more - something with a bit more character - you're going to have to pay for the privilege. So as a poor student, we have to look elsewhere. Cider is a good option. One dry, one sweet, both with a distinct sense of place. Those pickled notes, those tart, bittersweet apple aromas, fantastic texture on the palate. Chilled down, absolutely delicious - so delicious I finished both bottles in one go.

One by one, I'm going to visit these places, see the vineyards, see the cellars, see the people and families behind these amazing drinks. I'm working on my application for a summer internship in one of the largest beer companies in the world, as well as finalizing my proposal for IESE Wine & Spirits Club. In both, it always comes down to my personal mandate of why I want to do this. It's far reaching (and probably day-dreaming), but my motivation to be in the business isn't so much the potential business opportunities as it is the responsibility of protecting the legacies and histories of these old wine regions and regional drinks. Globalization is fantastic, but it will be a very sad day indeed when we begin losing some of these utterly unique drinks because they don't fit the 'global palate'. Coming to Barcelona is the first step in realizing this dream. I think I'm up for the challenge.


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