In every corner of Spain today you can find excellent wines, and this is good and bad news. The downside is that too often you are expected to drink only the local wine and praise it as if it was the soccer team where your seven year old son plays.I have decided to resist this chauvinistic trend and this summer I have tried new wines making sure first that they did not come from the region where I was enjoying my holidays.

In Galicia I drank “El Médico”, a wine from El Bierzo, León, that was a marvelous surprise. This is a top wine made with modest and yet delicate “prieto picudo” grapes (“tight and pointy” grapes?), used for many years to make a simple, non pretentious and almost anonymous wine, sometimes mixed with mencia grapes. “El Médico” lives up to its name (“the doctor”). We drank it during a summer lunch in Monterroso, Lugo, and its healing power accompanied us afterwards during a soothing walk along the Ulla river.

In Mallorca I have tried Joaquín Rebolledo’s Mencia 2010, a young and inexpensive wine from Valdeorras, Orense. This wine is a wonderful example of passion and dedication to the Mencia grape. We tasted it in almost total darkness, sitting under a pomegranate tree in the scented garden planted by my sister Mónica. The wine resisted well competition from other wondrous aromas of the carthusian summer night.