Only a few and in no particular order …
- The red and gold colours of the tempranillo leaves at vintage can change dramatically quickly
- Those who work in wineries can be genuinely passionate about their employer – it is like a proper family affair
- I really love older Rioja wines – but is this style being lost?
- You can get excellent lunches for little money – go for the daily “menu”
- I really like Spanish coffee styles, particularly “cortado” (and not just because it makes me think of Palo Cortado sherry every time I order it)
- There are more amazing different cuts of pork than any foreigner could ever imagine – and they all go well with Rioja wines
- Rioja tourism is always going to suffer if the bodies of La Rioja and Alava do not do even more together – I just reaised I have to have two completely separate lists of wineries to check opening times and directions. Why? The international tourist won’t understand
- I really hate bars with smoking
- It can actually be quite wet and cold during vintage time in Rioja
- Rioja and Logroño are a little short of things for visiting families to do during inclement weather
- Spaniards may be sensible with alcohol during the week (“Continental Drinking Culture” and all that) but at weekends be prepared to be woken by homeward bound revellers any time between 3 and 6 am!
- Spanish bars seem obsessed by 1980′s pop music
- In Logroño, drive like you assume the vehicle in front of you is likely to jam on its breaks AT ANY SECOND in order to double-park, THEN turn on 4-way flashers
Some of these will inspire subsequent posts here and I will try and remember to add links as and when I do