Agnes Nemeth blind tasting at Wines and Copas, Barcelona

The absolute blind tasting

A unique experience at Wines & Copas in Barcelona

There is a wine shop & bar in the centre of Barcelona, where even wine experts can be tricked and fooled. Deprived of the most important sensation, seeing, we can easily get clueless. Have you been to a blind tasting with covered bottles? Have already tasted from black glasses? This will be something different, more intense, more surprising.

Grab it like a crab!

Last Thursday I had the chance to participate at the blind tasting of Wines & Copas, a regular event offered by the team. I saw photos earlier, thus I know that I will be blindfolded, my only concern was the language – Pep, the “Master of the ceremony” spoke Spanish, and I am far from speaking fluent Spanish, yet I could understand him easily.
I used to be the editor in chief of a market leading print wine magazine, and during those 12 years I held blind panel tastings monthly, which makes 144 tastings. We paid extra attention to cover even the capsules on the neck of the bottles, and to disguise the shape of the bottles. At consumer events we often played wine recognition games with our readers, and the black glasses were popular to trick them, so I can consider myself experienced, when it comes to blind tastings. Yet, this blindfold method was a completely new sensation.

We were all sitting silently, waiting for Pep to pour the wines. I didn’t know when he comes to me, I wanted to be ready, holding my hand like a crab, so that I can easily hold the glass when I am served – so I was concentrating, trying to locate where he is by the distance of the sound of pouring. Then came the question: smell the wine, and raise your hand if you think it is white. Or rosé. Or red. Then we could taste and the same questions were repeated. And I was mistaken right with the first wine. Probably my rationality played a role (a white must come first), and also the wine was super tricky. But I was wrong, so with the rest four of the tasting I concentrated even more. I could give answers for the other four, but I must admit, they were not easy – there was a red with really not “red-like” nose. And it is partially because of the new, blind-like situation, but mainly due to the smart wine selection – Pep picked wines which can really confuse!
More events at Wines & Copas

The weirdo rosé

I won’t tell you all the wines – in case Pep wants to use them again –, just the one, which fooled me. This rosé comes from Terra Alta wine region, a 5500-hectare region in the South-West of Catalonia (Tarragona province). The estate is called Celler Cal Minyo, a small, an artisan winery with vineyards at high altitude (400–500 metres). La Minyona rosé was born at the feet of “Parc Natural dels Ports”. It started with a complex nose reminiscent of a white wine aged on the lees – for me –, yet it turned out that it is a true “rosado” made of 100% Garnacha. The “lees part” was right: the wine was fermented in stainless steel and aged in the tank on the lees for 6 months. Probably the rich aromas from the lees misled me, I will never know…

A meeting place

The shop has an excellent location, they offer more than 1000 wines, many of them by the glass, but what makes this place really attractive, is the team. Adrián and Abel, two passionate wine nerds left their “normal job” in 2018 to make their dreams come true and opened a wine shop. Later Pep, a seasoned sommelier joined the team and now a Hungarian young lady, Andrea is part of the team as well. Their friendly attitude determines the atmosphere of the place: weather you sit on the terrace, inside at one of the tables or on the cosy couch, you will feel relaxed in seconds. The guys really care about the customers and offer them what they are looking for, even if the wish is unconscious. It is clear and visible, that they love this place and adore their job.
The tasting area of the shop is available to hire, which is great news for us – for the guests who want to learn with SparklingSpain, but don’t have the time to spend a half day in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, a one hour tasting at Wines & Copas can be ideal and easy to fit into the schedule.

Great selection of bubbles

The webshop has a wide range of sparkling wines and the shop itself offers even more. The star Corpinnat producers are represented: Gramona, Llopart, Júlia Bernet, Recaredo, Sabate i Coca, Torelló, but you can also find cavas from small houses with outstanding quality like Maria Rigol Ordi and Rimarts. If you are interested in the Classic Penedés appellation (not cava, nor corpinnat), AT Roca is a good choice. Pet Nat (called método ancestral here) is obligatory nowadays, Wines and Copas has two references.

Wines & Copas

Address: Carrer de la Creu Coberta, 103, Sants-Montjuïc, 08014 Barcelona
How to get there: just get on L1 Metro line at Plaça de Catalunya, ride five stops towards the direction of Hospital de Bellvitge, and get off at Hostafrancs station. When you come up, look around and you will see the sign of the shop.
Opening hours:
– Monday–Thursday: 10.00–14.00 and 17.00–22.00
– Friday and Saturday: 10.00–14.00 and 17.00–23.00
– Sunday: 11.30–15.00 and 18.00–22.00