This week I had the chance of spending time in Seville. Thanks to the hospitality of friends that are true aficionados and know everything about the fiesta, I watched a very good bullfight from the best seats in the ring, those of the Real Maestranza. Before, my friend had introduced me to the complexities of bullfighting today, in a memorable lunch where we drank Contino Reserva 1998, a Rioja I have already written about with passion before.

As I enjoyed the company and the wine, I was told that most bulls in Spain today, with some exceptions, are bred so they can endure a full corrida, running and dancing along. They are supossed to engage in the fight beyond the initial moments. The animals are expected to be somewhat predictable and fully participate in a ritual that experts compare to opera or ballet, a sort of dialogue that can be full of beauty. Some bullfitghters have oficio (technical expertise) others (yet only a few of them) have personality and class. But most of the matadors do not want bulls that create terror and awe and are thus difficult to understand. Well, the wine we drank had exactly the qualities of the perfect bull that most bullfighters demand today. It not only shows strength when you taste it, but it keeps on displaying its noble qualities until the end of the meal, so you can have a long conversation with it and with your friends. It’s then up to you to talk with more than oficio, the somewhat boring knowledge of facts and tricks.