Postcards from Spain: Day Uno

By / Magazine / September 20th, 2010 / Like

Jerez, the heart of Sherry, is my home for a few days while I nose around in Bodegas, sip Oloroso on patios and in tasting rooms, and siesta in my room at Hotel Bellas Artes overlooking the Cathedral. I will share my food and wine adventures with you daily so that you can travel with me vicariously.

It took a plane, train and rented automobile to get here, but at last I was able to dump my suitcase and burst into the sunshine in search of a table. Jerez has a main pedestrian area just a five-minute walk away from my hotel. It has restaurants every few feet with tables that spill out into the street like rice across the kitchen floor. I chose Restaurant/Bar Arenal because of its view of the fountain and carousel in Plaza del Arenal. It was a mistake.

Although I wasn’t hungry when I sat down, I saw others picking at plates so I ordered a bottle of Cadiz wine, 2009 Antonio Barbadillo Castillo de San Diego, made from Palomino grapes (the same ones used for Sherry), the fish soup and shrimps in garlic thinking that the seafood was bound to be fresh as the ocean was close by. Unfortunate choices all.

The wine, although tasty, was a flabby little number because of its lack of acidity; the soup was a salty tomato broth with slices of frozen fish fillets; and the garlic shrimp were as fresh as the freezer. But the view of the fountain and the families milling around the plaza made me forget all about the mediocre fare as I am basking in Spanish sunshine, breathing Spanish air and sipping wine in a town with walls a thousand years old. How could I possibly complain? Next time, however, I’ll stick to tapas at recommended eateries and drink Sherry with every course. When in Jerez… 

Wish you were here.

Photos at my blog


Brenda McMillan is thrilled by new sights, sounds, aromas and flavours, and old buildings, barrels and friends. She travels at the drop of a corkscrew and is always "just back" from somewhere.

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