This is Highly Recommend, a column dedicated to our very opinionated editors’ favorite things to eat, drink, and buy.
When I walked into La Graciosa, a bare bones, one-year-old wine bar in Barcelona, I was already thirsty from all the day-drinking I’d been doing (I was on VACATION, okay?). One of the owners, who’d been unpacking a limitless supply of boxes (boxes EVERYWHERE), was happy to oblige, and pointed us a bottle of Spanish natural wine to try. “But what can we have by the glass?” I asked. He looked confused. You can have whatever you want!
He opened me a bottle of light and bubbly red called Eroica Ancestral with a bandaid-sized, bubble-lettered label I could have printed off at home circa 2004. But it tasted like 2019. It was effervescent and barely acidic (a good friend to anchovies), made by a winemaker and somm in the city, Nuria Renom. (A digression: We ended up meeting Nuria the next night at Bar Brutal where she works, another natural wine spot with a full menu. What a delight! The Barcelona wine world is small.) My colleague Emily Schultz went a few months after me and had a funky, skin contact wine. I’m not sure how long this everything-by-the-glass business model will last, but even if it doesn’t...
La Graciosa is a friendly, wine-nerdy place. There’s a bookshelf of cool wines to drink or buy, a bar lit by hanging green globe lamps, a few tables and big wine barrels-as-tables, and a cozy, secret-feeling backyard. They have crispy breads and the aforementioned anchovies. It’s in a cool neighborhood too, Gràcia, and steps away from La Vermuteria del Tano, a tiny treasure of a corner bar with fragrant, delicious house vermouth from a big barrel I wanted to wrap in bubble wrap and take home. But my suitcase was already full.
I had purchased a bottle of La Graciosa’s Eroica Ancestral, which I opened a few weeks ago back in New York. It was a wonderful flashback no Facebook memory could compete with, like receiving a delayed postcard from wine-drunk vacation me. Oh hello, old friend. Until we meet again in Barcelona.
Go there: La Graciosa
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit