Tag: barcelona

Interview with Sommelière Isabelle Brunet


“…every wine lover can and has to take care of his/her proper education and opinion”

Whether you know it or you don’t, but as a wine enthusiast you’ve probably had contact one way or the other with the renowned French sommelière Isabelle Brunet. Educated at the “school of life“, her way finally led her to Spain where she soon started working for and with Ferran Adrià at his famous restaurant “El Bulli”. But she didn’t stop there and kept going with new promising projects. Today, you can meet her at Monvínic, a place 100% dedicated to the experience offered by a glass of good wine in Barcelona.

1. On your website (www.isabellebrunet.com) you call yourself “not qualified sommelière”. What do you mean by that? 

When I say “sans diplôme” in French…I refer to the school of life! My adolescent years are marked by my parents in a homble village in the South of Chinon. First, Christophe, my brother and sommelier qualified in La Loire infected me with wine. In 1994 in London, Christophe started to travel the world and they offered me his position. It was known already that London was and still is the platform for the wines of the world. This is how I attended all the tastings and travels offered to me during the following 5 years. All with a nice environment of sommeliers & vignerons. Before I came to Spain, I travelled around visiting vineyards as a present to myself.

2. You’re from France but have been living in Spain for quite a while now. Champagne or cava?

Neither. It depends on which Champagne or Cava we’re talking about.

One can’t generalise, let’s try not to compare an industrial Champagne produced by a commercial brand with an artisanal Cava elaborated in a fresher region than usual with low yields and a long ageing on the lees.

Some of my favourites don’t even come from the official DO Cava. I prefer sparklings with a wine character, with a bit of positive oxidation.

How can I know – as a beginner – if a sparkling is good or not? Having in mind points of guides and critics, DOs,…

I want to use this opportunity to say that every wine lover can and has to take care of his/her proper education and opinion. At the beginning, guides with their evaluations can be helpful to get to know names, regions and types. It may seem hard but all depends on our effort and concentration we apply.

With my humble experience of 20 years, I’ve learnt to give my opinion without grading the wine immediately. Rather enjoy the moment and live the emotion transmitted by the wine. That’s also what I tell my team of sommeliers and the customers frequenting Monvínic.

How can I find the Cava of my taste?

Tasting a lot until you find a vigneron style you like and start to know your own taste. Also, we won’t stay with the same cava always. The diversity of styles and tastes are is enlightening.

How do I know if the Sommelier understands my needs?

First of all, if s/he has listened more than s/he’s talked.

If s/he looked to find a humble and constructive dialogue.

Then, how the sommelier manages the information and my preferences.

If the recommendations come from a place of heart and not a commercial place based on trends or his/her tastes.

Do you have a favourite food pairing with a sparkling? Want to share it with us?

With only a few euros you can get a 20-year-old Champagne paired with fresh pasta al dente and white truffles.

Also, a Sumoll Espumoso Brut Nature with a 3-year-old “Papada” on the grill.

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, Isabelle!



Food markets in Barcelona


Each city is defined by its gastronomy. Not only by its restaurants and shops offering quality, local cuisine, but also by other buildings laden with food products: markets.

Barcelona have strongly popular food markets, among those who inspire recipes and which are connected with the city life. For example, the Boqueria market on Las Ramblas, a true symbol of the city and always full of tourists.

In fact, the pilgrimage of people is such that the owners of market stalls are demanding some restrictions on daily visits. The market owes its success to its long history and offers classic facilities along with a very close and popular atmosphere. It is also the place par excellence to which the most reputed chefs go to buy the food involved in developing their dishes.

On the other hand, the Santa Caterina market, in La Ribera district, close to El Born, is another clear example of this gastronomic and social life of the city. It highlights by its architecture, the tile roof and the light and colours it offers with outstanding images of fruits and vegetables. We can find stalls with fish, meat, delicatessen and we can even buy good wine in Barcelona.

Also the Mercat de Sant Antoni is another attraction among the city’s markets. It is currently under remodelation works, scheduled to end in late 2016, although the stalls and bars can be visited in the temporary market located just next. There you can enjoy some of the best tapas in the city, and live the intense atmosphere of the neighborhood, for now still preserved.

In the Eixample, being a large district, there are several food markets. We emphasize the Mercat de la Concepció, which includes countless food stalls and also features different activities, all around gastronomy.

 TAGS:Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005

Viña Ardanza Reserva 2005: a wine red with DO Rioja which blend contains tempranillo and garnacha of 2005 and with an alcohol proof of 13.5º. 



 TAGS:La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2004La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2004

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2004: a red wine of the Rioja DO with a blend based on graciano and tempranillo of 2004 and with 12.5º of alcohol content. 



Places to drink wine in Barcelona


Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city, full of art, architecture, fashion, design and places to lunch or dinner. To get a drink, those traditional bars join the new and trendy ones, which hide truly good gastronomy. If you are planning your holidays in Barcelona and want to drink some good wines, we recommend some places that will surprise you.

Bar Nostàlgic. In the very Eixample, we find a bar that is already a reference, where you’ll find Catalan wines, in addition to several other appellations. It also highlights their spritz and whiskey list.

Monvínic. This great wine center offers wine experiences in a perfect environment, to enjoy wine culture with a whopping 3.000 different references from different places of the world. There is also a library, a wine cellar and a remarkable restaurant.

Viblioteca. The name (which plays with the catalan words vi -wine- and biblioteca -library-) says it all, because it is place for wine lovers, thanks to their greatly interesting and innovative wines. Currently they have 150 wines in their great library and a delicate and delicious menu.

Cata 1.81. Here we can enjoy renovated and classic dishes and wines, in bottle or by the glass, with innovations that change every week.

Onofre. In a small place near Via Laietana in Barcelona, you can find quality dishes always accompanied by wines chosen from specific appellations. They have a shop selling such products.

Quimet y Quimet. It is one of the classic wine cellars of Barcelona. In the popular neighborhood of Poble Sec, offers tapas and a variety of wines. It has seen several generations of customers.

Casa Mariol Wine Bar. It is a wine cellar that has its own place with outstanding wines from the Ebro region, and several other appellations. You must try their tapas, cocas and cakes.

Have you had the opportunity to visit any of these places? Are you planning to visit Barcelona? If so, these references are a must: don’t miss the opportunity! 


 TAGS:Pintia 2008Pintia 2008

Pintia 2008 is a red wine Toro made with tempranillo and tinta de Toro of 2008 and with an alcoholic strength of 14.5º. 



 TAGS:Numanthia 2005Numanthia 2005

Numanthia 2005 is  a red wine with Toro DO with a blend based on tempranillo and tinta de Toro of 2005 and 14.50º of alcohol.