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Not only did we have glorious weather for the Tapas Fantasticas extravaganza in Brick Lane, but Spain go and win the European Cup for the first time in 44 years.

Who would dispute that things are looking good for Spain right now?

First of all, we had the tapas event. I don’t know how many people came in the end, but it was VERY busy, with queues stretching around the corner for much of the afternoon of both Saturday and Sunday. Once people were in, it seems that the combination of music, food and wine was managed very well. It was a great atmosphere and never descended into a desperate alcoholic binge session which is all too possible at such events. Ill put up a selection of photos on here in the next few days, and if you know where there are any more, please do let me know as I didn’t get a chance to snap all the different foods.

The visitors were an interesting combination of Rioja fans (mainly those who’ve been to Spain a lot and are already familiar with it) looking for something new, and those who really didn’t know much about Rioja and came for the fun. Hopefully both found what they were looking for. The questions & comments I heard most often, and are therefore obviously topics for future posts here, were:

  • “I never realised there were white/rosé Rioja wines”
  • “What’s the difference between the two reds (Crianza & Reserva)?”
  • “What grapes is this wine made from?”
  • “”So what food do you suggest having with this?”

Olly SmithDinastia Vivanco wines went down very well. We were extremely lucky to have the Vivanco wines selected by (the extremely talented, entertaining and all-round wine god) Olly Smith as his favourite White and Rosado (Rosé) at the event. It meant that all those who attended his seminar made their way over for a chat. If that included you, thanks for all the great feedback. (This is hard-working Olly getting ready for his presentation – love the jacket mate!)

After we had finally packed up on the Sunday, I took a few friends down to Barcelona Tapas Bars (no, we had not yet had our fill of tapas!) on nearby Middlesex Street, to watch the football on the big screens in the company of other Spanish supporters, and a few stray German fans, looking for atmosphere I guess).

The food and wine (and beers) were great, but to be honest it was only the football that mattered that night. I’m not usually a big fan, and I know very little about the game, but the Spanish were deserved winners on the night. Spanish wines and food have become very popular in the past few years, but maybe this success and greater profile for the country will help to get even more people to explore Spain and Spanish culture. Certainly it will enthuse the Spanish to promote their country even more, and maybe we British can learn to explore the country beyond the traditional haunts on the coast.

So, a good weekend!