Feria de la Manzanilla (in Sevilla)

feria de la manzanilla
The plan for yesterday was to take the bus to Sanlúcar de Barrameda to visit their Feria de la Manzanilla for the first time. Unfortunately the bus service to Sanlúcar was less than feriante friendly with one bus at 10 am and the next not until 2 pm and when I mentioned this on Twitter my friend and sherry expert Annie Manson said that, knowing me, I’d end up creating my own Feria de la Manzanilla here. So that’s what I did.  🙂

Sanlúcar de Barrameda is located at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river where it meets the Altantic and, along with Jerez and El Puerto de Santa María, forms the famous Sherry Triangle in the Cádiz province. It is also home to the oldest horse races in Spain, which take place just before sunset along the beach during the month of August. Another Sanlúcar event I have yet to witness. But I digress…

My companion yesterday was Peter Tatford Seville Concierge and at one stop Eduardo Blanco Different Spain also briefly joined us. Since my idea was to recreate being in Sanlúcar the obvious place to start was Restaurante Barbiana which not only features wines and seafood from there but also makes the best tortillitas de camarones I’ve ever had outside Sanlúcar. We started with a nice plate of jamón Ibérico de Bellota paired with a manzanilla fina from Bodegas Barbiana, served at a perfectly chilled 1ºC. For our tortillita I chose an amontillado to go with it which worked very nicely.

Then we went on to La Moneda, which was where we ment up with Eduardo. There we tried two different manzanillas (Solear and La Gitana) with fried salmonetes (which I was told came from Sanlúcar) and a very nice soupy rice with gambas, clams and monkfish.

For our third stop we taxied over to Taberna Chani in Nervión to try their manzanilla en rama from Bodegas Baron, which we paired with fabulous fried boquerones (also from Sanlúcar) and some grilled Almadraba tuna cheeks.

And then we were done. I have to say that although the food and wine were all very pleasant the whole Feria de la Manzanilla in Sevilla thing didn’t feel as successful as my recent impromptu World Sherry Day event because I didn’t feel like I’d actually learned anything new. Although I asked lots of questions about the different wines, and about which foods they would go best with, the response at these bars wasn’t as friendly or enthusiastic as I found last week. I mean, I know you can get palo cortado from Sanlúcar, and also some good dessert wines, but these weren’t suggested to me even though I’d told everyone I was trying to learn more about Sanlúcar wines. Bit of a shame, but ah well…