Thursday, 8 May 2014

Cadiz and Jerez

Strange place, Cadiz. It has the feeling of having been a backwater ever since the King of Spain's beard was singed there. Long and thin, the old town lies at the very end.

The streets are narrow and sometimes gloomy but it has an undeniable atmosphere and some rather beautiful parts.

 We were on a quest for the wines of the Condado de Huelva, an even more remote area beyond Cadiz towards the Portuguese frontier. We called in on Bodega Magerit which seemed to be the best wine shop in town. There was hardly a Condado de Huelva to be seen. Perhaps they agreed with our initial impression of these wines made from the (white) Zulema grape in an old fashioned oxydised style?

In our experience the regions of Spain are notoriously secretive about their treasures. Optimists that we are, we are sure there are some discoveries to be made in the far South West of the country. We will have to make another trip one day, this time going beyond Cadiz and actually entering the Condado de Huelva.

Jerez was our next stop and we hadn't reckoned with the sheer impossibility of finding a wine shop as opposed to ones selling Sherry. This really is a one trick pony of a town and proud of it. The great Sherry houses have the place sewn up. 

Even some of the hotels are in old Bodegas.

In town they sell Sherry Cosmetics. Admittedly cosmetics made from grape seeds are becoming big business now but this was the first we has seen of it. 

Walking around town trying to find a wine shop we came on a very handsome covered market' Jerez is a prosperous place thanks to guess what even if sales are not what they used to be and there are terrific bargains to be had.

In the end, the only wine we could find was in supermarkets and guess what, there was a small selection of Condado de Huelva wines. We bought 100% Zalema and a blend of Zalema and Moscatel. The latter was much improved by the combination.


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