All posts, Food and drink

A Rioja Revelation – yours for a fiver

Granada isn’t all about the Alhambra, it’s also about dust and grime – especially when searching around junk shops. We’re no strangers to these places – see here and here – and it’s always nice to pick up a bargain, which we did this week.

Some of our readers may be aware of the UK TV programme ‘Antiques Roadshow’ where people carrying Sainsbury’s shopping bags in places like Windsor turn up with all manner of garbage only for experts to tell them to go away – unless they have something of interest and/or value.

One of us was a particular fan of the show as they once lived a few doors from the presenter, Fiona Bruce, in Greenwich, (who lived above a junk shop). Like a besotted school boy they’d admire her powder blue work outfits while waiting for the always-late 0814 to Cannon Street.

This week our piece of garbage was spotted next to a stack of those glass plates that go in the bottom of microwaves, was a 20-bottle wine rack. It had a battered charm and was, we were told, from a house in Granada and about fifty years old. So not an antique by any stretch of the imagination but we needed one for our 19 bottles of fizzy water and one bottle of wine. Perhaps this was our opportunity to finally start a ‘wine cellar’ next to the linen bin.


Piece of garbage

Our eyes were caught by two bottles of rioja wine resting in it. They looked interesting, one especially. Our knowledge of wine is pretty poor but we took a punt on a deal: first ‘sin vino‘ (without the wine) and then ‘con vino‘. The junk shop’s owner – who looked like a drugs lord and who could possibly get you killed in an instant – refused our offer. ‘But we have bought loads of garbage from here…’

Following a cafe con leche next door and thinking that a bottle of any drinkable wine from a supermarket would cost at least 5€, we decided this paint-spattered and creaky object should remain attached to its bottles. So 30€ it was to the two idiot foreigners at the back. We left, pressing the notes into his hand hoping no-one noticed. And wrapped in those silver sheets people put over their car steering wheels so they don’t get too hot in the sun, the bottles were brought home like newborn twins (although not identical).

Should, reader, you be a wine buff, the two bottles are a Cirsion Bodegas Roda – 2000 and a 2005 Pujanza ‘Norte’. The first has a dribble of something down the label, maybe pig’s blood, while the latter looks like it could have been plucked off a shop shelf that day.


Hiding in the shadows

We did a Google search and also tweeted to Master of Wine, Tim Atkin, who replied that we’d done well – for both bottles with the latter from ‘an amazing vineyard.’ Check his 2019 Rioja Special Report here, (and his Ribera del Duero here) – and check him out on Twitter (@Timatkin).

Following more research we discovered the Cirsion bottle is worth around 150€ and the Pujanza Norte around 50€ – although at the time of writing (2017) one website for a shop in London was selling a bottle for £208! We looked lovingly at the twins, cooing just a little.

Suddenly, all those hours spent in junk shops, in fear of being crushed by falling crucifixes, stuffed animals and furniture, seemed worth it – albeit for something that would last about an hour.


Sitting pretty on our table

Not in a million years would we be able to afford wine like this, unless we won El Gordo. The debate is ongoing as to when we should drink them. When Arsenal next win the league or when Fiona Bruce pays us a visit are leading the pack. Or perhaps when the next day of the week has a ‘Y’ in it.


Fiona Bruce waiting for the 0814 to Cannon Street (cancelled)

Lucky idiot foreigners, we guess.

Related posts:

Day of wine and roses

Granada junk shops

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About con jamón spain

All about Granada, Órgiva, La Alpujarras, Las Alpujarras, Andalucia, Spain – tapas, history, local guides and more.


3 thoughts on “A Rioja Revelation – yours for a fiver

  1. So, how did it taste?!

    Posted by sew2pro | February 11, 2017, 5:28 pm
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