The Mercado Central is surrounded by tapas bars and restaurants. I crossed the main street to a little buzzy joint on the corner.  Locals feasting like bees around the hive is a good sign, so in I headed. 

tapas in valencia with local wine

The two servers were clearly operating with both sides of their brains handing plates and drinks over to half a dozen people simultaneously.  The first thing I had to do was order a glass of this local vino tinto.

Fussion 2011 by Emilio Clemente

A perfectly refreshing glass of Fussion 2011 by Emilio Clemente sealed my fate as another was to follow.  The wine is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and bobal.  Being young (joven) it has a light and fruity character with a very good acidity and very easy sweet soft tannin. 

seafood tapas in valencia

Perfect for a plate of large anchovy fillets in vinegar and oil.  Red wines like this meld well with seafood and I struggled on to order beautiful fried prawns.   What a great lunch!

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Climate change podcast

Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


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.



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!


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.


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.


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.


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