Barcelona's Wine Buying Guide
No Barcelona guide to wine buying would be complete without mentioning the stalwart Vila Viniteca. Opposite the shop is their deli, which is one of the best in the city and whose cheese counter brings tears to my eyes. However, it’s the wine operation that takes the crown. They stock all the big names of Spain (Vega Sicila, Alvario Palacios, Pingus and co.), alongside some of my favourite bodegas of Catalunya (Tomás Cusiné, Alfredo Arribas, Bàrbara Forés, the list goes on…) and a top selection of international producers. If you’ve got the budget for Grand Cru Burgundy or Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux, this is also the place for you. In November each year, they host a Fiesta del Vino Joven in the surrounding streets, pouring Beaujolais Nouveau and other winemakers’ young wines. vilaviniteca.es
While the shop itself is diminutive, you can view the full range online and order in advance for collection. What I love about this place, apart from an amazing selection of producers seldom seen in Barcelona, is that while they’re known for their array of natural wines, they are very clearly signposted as such on the site and in shop! The level of information provided is second-to-none, from soil types, ageing and grape varieties to SO2 levels and residual sugar. You can also click on links to the country of origin or sub-region to read more about them. Watch out for Albariños from Tricó and Aligoté from Confuron. Both bargains, both delicious! cuvee3000.com
They have an in-store dog. Need I say more? Monvínicstore is the shop connected to Barcelona’s ultimate wine bar, Monvínic, located next door (more on that another day). Staffed by the ever-smiling Delia and Christian, this incredible store boasts temperature controlled storage and a massive array of bottles, a large proportion of which are international. What makes their range great is a combination of cult, must-drink producers (López de Heredia, Envínate, Ar.Pe.Pe) and small, artisanal operations providing innovation and excitement (Quinta da Muradella, Marc Isart, Vinos en Voz Baja). Last year they started serving food and wines by the glass, so if you fancy sipping a glass while petting a very cute dog, get on down there. monvinicstore.com
Located on Carrer Comercial, on the same square as the Born Centre Cultural, Magatzem Escolà are wine and spirits specialists also selling to restaurants and bars. The have a superb tasting space below ground, including full bar, where they regularly host cocktail masterclasses, premium spirits tastings and events. Their collection of wines includes a well-stocked international section, so if you’re craving a break from Spain (imagine!), you can grab a Pouilly-Fuissé or a Marlborough Pinot Noir from top-grade producers. They seem to stock every spirit imaginable, so liquor-lovers can indulge too. Enomatics contain a selection of wines to sample; just ask for a rechargeable card from the cash register. escoladist.com
One of my locals, this welcoming store is run by Victor: a passionate, chatty and knowledgeable oenophile. They have a small tasting space toward the back of the shop where they run regular get-togethers. Their focus is on Catalan and French wines, with many organic, biodynamic or natural. Wines from Celler del Cesc in Tarragona (labelled Tanca els Ulls) show this little-known region at its best and, if you’re a natural fan, Foresta will be right up your street. For foodies they stock the La Guinelle Banyuls vinegars. And if you’re local, they do free home delivery within Eixample! lavinicola.cat
Owned and run by the inimitable José Moliner, whose grandfather opened the shop in 1952, this classic neighbourhood bodega gives an authentic taste of Barcelona life. It’s the perfect spot to indulge in the Catalan ritual of ‘fer el vermut’ (the end of the day wind-down drink, snack and chat), with house vermouth taken straight from the barrel into an icy glass. Ahh… Venture into the back and you’ll find a cosy bar with an ever-changing, creative by-the-glass list. Grab some jamon and soak up the atmosphere. Special mention to Misty, José’s partner, an Irish belle who has spruced the place up, while ensuring it still appeals to the old-timers. Wine can be bought as ‘granel’- in bulk from the barrels at the front, or from their incredible selection of mainly Spanish products, including plenty of Cavas. bodegamaestrazgo.com
Decántalo are based in Barcelona so delivery within the city is a steal. Mostly Spanish (albeit with an interesting French and expanding Italian collection), so if you’re looking to expand your repertoire, from Montsant to Madrid to Manzanilla, they’ve got it all. Italian specialists, Vinissimus‘ selection is truly impressive, with top producers at excellent prices. They also have a wide range of Spanish and other international wines. And if you’ve got a craving for Chablis, Sancerre or Arbois, Vinatis offer great value delivery to Spain and bargains galore.