Barcelona is a city known for their festive wine and tapas traditions. The origin of tapas lies in the placing of a small plate or lid over a glass of wine when served in neighborhood bodegas. Many speculate this was an attempt to ensure a modicum of sobriety among imbibers. Others state that this practice “keeps the fruit flies away”. Barcelona has a wealth of wine bars and a few have spectacular views, astonishingly large cellars, unique interiors, and international family portfolios.
For a breathtaking view of the Barcelona harbor atop a historic museum, 1881 – the Restaurant of the Museu d’Història de Catalunya – is a worthy choice. Sit on the terrace and watch the ships sail in the harbor while sipping a sparkling Rioja, a sherry, or a Cava from their wines by-the-glass list. Prior to your visit you should consider viewing the museum, which occupies an old general trading house. This museum richly details the history of Barcelona and its region, Catalonia.
Monvinic Wine Bar is generally hailed a superior choice for personal and business events. With over 15,000 bottles accessible from your table’s iPad menu, you will find both affordable and incredibly expensive rare wines in the wine library. Selections by the glass change each day and count over 70.
‘I haven’t been to every wine bar in the world but Monvinic in Barcelona is certainly the best I’ve been to in recent memory’ – Jay McInerney, The Wall Street Journal.
The Bankers Bar is a classy bar housed in an old bank vault in the Mandarin Oriental hotel on the fashion street, Passeig de Gràcia. The walls feature the fronts of actual private safe deposit boxes. This sophisticated bar is an excellent choice following a massage or facial at the hotel’s luxurious signature spa. The mixologist can recommend a top regional wine, one of their special Banker’s Martinis, and a selection of exceptional tapas.
The Torres family is the first family of wine in Spain. Torres’ extensive wineries and vineyards can be found in most regions of Spain, Chile, and California. The family exports to 140 countries. At the Torres-only wine bar in Barcelona, located on the Passeig de Gràcia, the wine bar and restaurant features wines from each country and winegrowing region. Their signature wine, La Plana, is one of the most prestigious red wines in the world. The Perpetual is their special Priorat area blend.
For an added twist, travel to Barcelona on Sant Jordi Day. Each April, the town gets decked out for Catalonia’s version of Valentines Day. Sant Jordi, the Catalan name for St. George, is the patron saint of Catalonia. The women receive red roses – a 15th century tradition – with red symbolizing dragon blood in the legend of St. George who freed the princess from the dragon. The men get gifts of a special book. With over 4 million roses and 800,000 books sold each year, Catalonians take their traditions seriously. The festivity is marked by an excess of street vendors on the crowded La Rambla Boulevard and with citywide banners. Toast your sweetheart with a special glass of Cava, Rioja, or Priorat wine. Salud!
1881 Restaurant of the Museu d’Hist òria de Catalunya
Phone: +34 93 221 00 50,
Located in upper levels of the Museum of History of Catalonia
Pl. de Pau Vila, 3 (Palau de Mar) 08003 Barcelona
Monvinic Wine Bar
Phone: +34 93 272 61 87
Diputaci ò 249, 08007 Barcelona
The Bankers Bar
Phone: +34 93 151 87 82
Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
La Vinoteca Torres
Phone: +34 90 252 05 22
Passeig de Gràcia 78, 08008 Barcelona
Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 151 88 88
Passeig de Gràcia 38-40, 08007 Barcelona
Expensive to Moderate:
Hotel Montecarlo on La Rambla
Phone: +34 93 412 04 04
La Rambla 124, Barcelona