- Published: 24 July 2009 24 July 2009
The first bar that I always see on entering the Calle San Jeronimo is the Ganbara where one can ogle and let the eyes pop and the mouth dampen to the sight of fresh pintxos such as grated egg with mayonnaise, king prawns and anchovy, alongside such delicacies as truffles and rather odd looking brains that turn out to be the roe of something weird. This is a great bar to get into early and watch the pros preparing the pintxos and then picking them off as soon as they touch the bar. You’ll know when it’s time to move on… when standing room has vanished and the bar is stuffed full of pintxo aficionados gorging themselves!
Txapula – The skewers at the Txapula bar on the Calle Calbeton are outstanding and this remains one of my most memorable feasting joints in ....
...San Sebastian. Simply rock in and the barman (same one each year) will
hand you a plate. Then you select a range of skewers such as calamari
and peppers, bread-crumbed mussels or oyster mushrooms with king
prawn. The ever accommodating barman will then relieve you of the
plate and send them off to be grilled. In the meantime you order your
first glass of Muga Rioja (€1.80 – cheap even with sterling being
massacred by the euro!) and wait for the call. When it comes it is
time to order another glass of Muga as the results are so alarmingly
good, they’ll create a thirst. The skewers sizzle and the tastes is a
melody to run rings around the pleasure centres of the mind.
Other great pintxos from this bar are the Bacalou (salt cod) which is truly scrumptious. Also the jamon iberico (acorn fed ham) with foi gras and mango are tasty enough to make an icicle perspire!
If when done at the Txapula Bar you feel like slowing down (or speeding up) on the pintxos then go back on yourself towards the C. San Jeronimo and turn right walking past the Ganbara and to the end where you do a left on to de Agosto. Here you will stumble upon a little square and on the left a popular bar called Casa Gandarias. This was a high scorer for us as the pintxos were excellent and the wine list among the best in the bars in San Sebastian. The adjoining restaurant is also very good if you feeling like pew-ing down!
In the Casa Gandarias the barmen guard a great steel cooling cabinet
with the armory of wines to accompany the pintxos. We sampled quite a
few here including the Vega Sicilia (€15 per glass but wonderfully rich
with cherry and pruney complexity – long long long in the mouth) and
Emilio Moro (€3 – something of an affordable legend in Ribera del Duero
– dark red fruits and wonderful aromas that keep one sniffing for ages)
that offers outstanding quality and value. There were others that I
cannot momentarily remember as they listed them by variety rather than
An aperitif by the coliseum
As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.
Artichoke pasta and very fine Pigato
Britain’s lamentable exit
On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.
I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!
Soave: volcanic wines with elegance and longevity
Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.
An American In Paris; Tanisha Townsend (@GirlMeetsGlass) discusses podcasts, Paris wine bars, & what she's drinking at the moment
Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.
Wine tasting in Galicia: The pilgrims search for Albarino
The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.
Interview: (Re)Defining the Entre-Deux-Mers, climate change & tasting with Stephane Dupuch
Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch.