‘What grows together, goes together

is a common refrain used by sommeliers and chefs when pairing wine with food, but why stop there?

Spain de Vino has developed a selection of themed tastings – carefully pairing wines and regions with music, art, literature and even contemporary culture. These are a great way to discover and learn about Spain and wine simultaneously.

The Spanish guitar – Rioja

If it were possible for the sound of an instrument to distil the spirit of a people, then surely the Spanish guitar does just that. Indeed, the opening phrase of the Adagio from the Concierto de Aranjuez arguably says as much about the Spanish disposition as any historian or commentator has ever managed. Having fallen into a steady decline from its high point in the 17th Century, Spanish music found a new voice in the wave of musical nationalism that swept across Europe from the middle of the romantic period into the last century. In Spain it gave rise to a golden generation of composers in Isaac Albéniz, Manuel de Falla, Joaquín Rodrigo and Enrique Granados. At the same time that Spanish music was finding its voice on the world stage, Spanish viticulture was transforming a near disaster into its own international success story: Rioja. In this talk participants can enjoy listening to and learning about guitar pieces from the country’s foremost composers, whilst tasting the wines that turned adversity into triumph. Enjoy the musical expression of Spain in partnership with it’s viticultural tradition.

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Sorolla and Jerez

During his lifetime, the Spanish impressionist may never have enjoyed the same fame and prestige abroad as he did at home, but as a spate of recent international exhibitions can attest, his title as Spain’s best-kept secret appears to be well and truly in the past. A painter of ‘unashamedly beautiful’ pictures, Sorolla’s eye was invariably drawn to nature and agriculture which proved to be the themes that he returned to most often. During one such project he painted a series of canvases dedicated to the 1914 vendimia (grape harvest) in Jerez. In this talk, held at the artists former home and now museum, participants will have a chance to enjoy and learn about what is arguably Spain’s greatest wine: Sherry, as well as seeing first hand the work of her foremost impressionist.

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La Mancha – the world of Don Quijote

Wine is central to many an escapade of Don Quijote, whose adventures have captivated readers for more than four hundred years, becoming the biggest selling novel of all time. From participating in the the largest sea battle that has ever been fought, to time in prison, the life of the author Miguel de Cervantes – soldier, sailor, spy, tax-collector and writer, was every bit as colourful and eventful as his most famous creation. In this talk, held in Cervantes’s hometown of Alcalá de Henares, participants will learn about the life and times of the ‘father of modern literature’ whilst tasting wines from along the route that the world’s favourite knight errant wandered, which today includes some of Europe’s most up and coming regions. Wines selected include La Mancha, Valdepeñas, D.O Madrid and Manchuela.

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The New Spain – New Wave

The face of actor Javier Bardem adorned the front cover of Time Magazine in 2004 under the title ‘Spain Rocks’. The lead article went on to proclaim the remarkable resurgence of the country in ‘the arts and architecture, business and foreign affairs, food and sports…´ Indeed, the Spain of today is unrecognisable from the one that General Franco left behind in 1975. From ‘la transición’ in the aftermath of the dictator’s death, up to the present day, participants will be guided through the key cultural and political events that have shaped modern Spain: a failed coup d’état in 1981, the cultural explosion known as ‘la movida‘ that brought film director Pedro Almodovar to world attention, and the bloody history of E.T.A – are just some of the topics that will be covered. But as Spain reinvented itself as a country, so too did it’s wine industry. Over the same period, new wave wine-making united science and technology with noble varieties to create distinctive and contemporary wines. In this talk, we bring together the story of how Spain was transformed with wines that have become the incarnation of its new identity. Wines selected include Rias Baixas, Valdeorras, Ribera del Duero, Priorat and Campo de Borja.

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