|Tree-like columns inside the cathedral|
Fast-forward to this school year, when my longtime blogger friend Mike began working as a language assistant in the city. We both had made plans to meet up at some point this year, whether in Santiago or La Rioja, but when December rolled around and I had an extra-long holiday weekend, I jumped at the chance to buy train tickets and headed out east.
|Typical Castilian balconied homes|
A city founded on the Camino de Santiago
|Arrow for the Camino|
|Camino tapas mural|
|Camino stamps mural|
Wineries and pinchos
When I lived down south in Jaén I really enjoyed getting to visit an olive oil factory (almazara), which really tied together my experiences living among olive groves and tasting all the different denominaciones de origen, or protected regional varieties. So visiting a winery was top on my hitlist for my brief trip to Logroño.
Touring the bodegas or wine cellars gave me a deeper understanding not only of what La Rioja is all about, but also a greater appreciation for wine and winemaking. The hour-long visit (which cost 9€) first took us underground to check out the great oaken casks that historically stored the wine before bottling. The lovely aroma that filled this hall was a soft basso continuo of earthy wooden notes and rich garnet sweetness: like a wine-based potpourri.
|Mushroom pincho at Soriano|
Pinchos may have originated to the north in the Basque Country (where they’re spelled pintxos in the Basque language), but here in Logroño they were much, much cheaper. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t beat the food in San Sebastián—I still fantasize about the foie gras I had there—but the pinchos scene in Logroño felt much more relaxed, local, and affordable.
Have you ever gone out for pinchos on Calle Laurel before? What’s your favorite wine region in Spain? Share your thoughts below in the discussion thread!
For more pictures, check out my album on Flickr.