De Vinos is a wine bar in the Malasaña neighbourhood and a new discovery for me, although it felt so familiar that I couldn’t believe I’d never been before.
Going there last week with a friend who has been in Spain as long as I have triggered a full-on nostalgia trip. We reminisced about the places we used to go way back in the early 90s; how exotic they had seemed to us all those years ago, when we were learning to love Madrid one bar at a time.
Because you see, although there are now many places in Madrid that do a perfectly acceptable imitation of a “typical Spanish” bar, it is getting harder to find the real thing. Chains abound, with generic accoutrements that may fool many, but leave the discerning feeling cheated.
De Vinos, in contrast, is for real – from the finely sliced “mojama” drizzled with fruity virgin olive oil and sprinkled with fried salted almonds, down to the hooks under the bar to hang your coat on.
The extensive wine list moves away from the ubiquitous Riojas and Ribeiros, with offerings from places as diverse as Tenerife, Mallorca and la Sierra de Gredos. Some eco wines too. I recommend you accompany your drinks with something from their exquisitely curated menu of cured meat, cheeses and seafood. The inclusion of hummus seems incongruous, but at least there’s something for vegans!
In brief, a great place to sample some national wines and traditional Spanish produce.