One of our favorite places to enjoy craft tapas and drinks in Valencia like a local, is the Vinostrum Bodega. It’s a great mezcla (mix) of all those charming characteristics of a “local’s spot” that have you thinking “Wow! Valencia is delicious”. From friendly owners to fresh ingredients, unique hand-crafted beer and exquisite wines, you’ll find yourself eager to come back. Here’s why you gotta go and where to find them.
Craft Tapas and Drinks in Valencia
We’re going to get straight to our favorite here – Vinostrum’s one-of-a-kind cerveza (beer) Ojo de Calamar. Where do we even start…this is not a beer to just drink; it’s a beer to fall in love with. I know – sounds so dramatic, but go and taste it and you’ll see what I mean. It’s profile is golden, with a light touch of hops and vibrant tones of fresh Valencian Orange. True to what its name implies, an important ingredient is also a dash of sea salt and fresh local water. The lúpulo (hops) and levadura (yeast) can be seen settled in the bottom of the glass bottle. When ordered, Luis (the owner and craft creator) serves it in a large wine glass, first tipping the bottle back and forth gently to distribute these important ingredients. It’s best served a little bit at a time and doesn’t take a hard shake or crazy jostling around for the hops and yeast to mix properly. Just a slight swirl when you pour yourself a bit more and you’re set to continue savoring.
With such a great beer, how could one have the same kind of magical touch in creating wine too..? Luis does! He’s created an amazing red wine from the Rioja region that is now one of our favorites in Spain. Vinostrum is a heady, red wine that goes amazingly well with red meats, red sauces, cheeses, chocolates, and (well at least for us) just about anything or on its own. We’ve especially enjoyed it with homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Some of our friends have described it as quite dry. I love the slight spiciness it provokes in my mouth and its bold earthiness. For me, it’s all my favorite things about a Spanish wine.
What is also exciting about both of these products is that you can’t find them anywhere else. Luis sells them only here, in his bodega. Think this means that they’re super expensive? Not at all! The beer is a reasonable price of just over 3 Euros per bottle, which for a craft beer is a great price, especially if you’re coming from craft beer markets like Denver, our prior home. If you like great beer, you know this is a great deal. Wait till you taste it!
The bottle of Vinostrum wine is just under 4 Euros. Since it can only be bought in this bodega and is such a craft, delicious product, it’s great for taking to dinners – you can brag about how exclusive it is – and it makes for a nice gift. And I know…in the US and other countries you see a wine for 4 Euros or 4 USD and you think it can’t be good. But for those who travel and live in Spain, we know that’s not the case here. Fantastic wines go for between 2 – 5 Euros and even good ones can be found for 1 Euro. You get to the point where you find yourself debating if you should “splurge” by getting a 3.50 Euro bottle of wine. Welcome to life in Spain!
Mmmm, mmm good! With all this amazing liquid to drink it’s good to have food in your stomach too. That is, really good food, cause you don’t want to spoil the amazing tastes you’re already experiencing from the drinks. Tapas at Vinostrum Bodega vary according to what is in season and most fresh from the local market. Just how it should be. The only items they don’t make themselves are the high-end, renown seafoods of Pepus. This is the modern-day branded line of conserved seafoods by renown Catalan seafood brand Espinaler. This is a family business with a history of over 120 years preserving the best of seafood with all its freshness into sealed tins. I watched Luis the other day as he served up one of these canned products, the meat of a clam is what it looked like, into a martini glass. What a beautiful way to eat such a delicious creature!
Now getting to yummies made in-house…They have delicious potato chips that they sprinkle with their own house-made picante sauce. It’s the perfect saucy touch of spicy hotness, but not too hot and really tasty. We recently delighted in their Ensaladilla Murciana, their twist on Russian potato salad as done in the Spanish region of Murcia. It was sumptuous! Served up with a beautiful, festive flair of ground dried lavender sprinkles, the colorful sight of it matched its fantastic taste. It made me think of a miniature, savory birthday cake.
Then we also enjoyed two different kinds of their flatbread-style tapas. It looks a bit like pizza, but taste even better. They call it Coca. We savored a generous-sized piece of that day’s specials – Coca de Bacalao Ahumado and Coca de Sardina de Bota. The first one with Bacalao Ahumado was the best Bacalao I’ve ever tasted. Luis told me that one of his friends created the recipe, which results in this delicious paste of smoked-fish goodness. This chef-friend of his has been studying with a chef whose restaurant in Spain received a Michelin Star. Vinostrum Bodega really knows how to do it up when it comes to tapas and drinks in Valencia.
Like a Local
[mappress mapid=”9″]As in any place that we come to love, Eric and I love the owners of Vinostrum Bodega. They’re wonderful, friendly people who are doing what they love. Their passion for savoring great food, drink, and life comes through in so many ways. The environment of their bodega is welcoming and they love sharing about their products and what it means to them.
Okay, so now that we got you all excited, hungry and thirsty, for these amazing tapas and drinks in Valencia, here is how to find Vinostrum Bodega:
They’re located within the Mercado Mossén Sorell in Valencia’s popular Barrio del Carmen which is the old-town and historic district. It’s close to both the Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart. If you’re having a hard time finding it, try looking for the market under the Valencian name of the plaza next to the market: Plaça de Mossén Sorell. Vinostrum Bodega is just inside the market’s glass walls.