Wine lovers visiting Madrid: I feel your pain!

by mary on March 10, 2010

See my Dec 2012 update to this post with my favorite wine spots and best wine bars in Madrid!

I get a ton of requests for wine resources from visitors to Madrid.  We originally offered sign-up classes on Monday nights to address that need partially but unfortunately no longer do.   Madrid is still a town sadly lacking in tasting opportunities and that even has very few good wine bars.

For wine lovers visiting Madrid there are a few vital stops I would recommend.

1.  The wine store Lavinia at Calle Ortega y Gasset 16.  It a modern, beautiful store, not inexpensive, but with a lovely restaurant and bar upstairs.  You can get a bottle in the store and drink it at store price upstairs.  Also there are autoservice Enomatic wine dispensers to try some really great Spanish wines.  You get a card at the register and charge it with some money and then you can help yourself to some tasting pours of some top wines…lots of fun and unique in Madrid!

2.  Casa Lucas at Cava Baja 30, near Plaza Mayor.  My favorite wine bar in Madrid.  Not only because the wine selection by the glass is excellent and the tapas outstanding, but especially because the service and the welcome is unfailingly warm and inviting.  These guys are awesome!  My favorite tapas are the Cariñena tosta, the Arroz cremoso, the carpaccio de pulpo and canelonis de curry….really unique and delciious food.  I tend to order wine by the bottle and they alwasy ahve new and great recommendations…but by the glass is great too.  Go early, they open at 8PM,  to get a seat if want to order food.  (Make sure you don’t confuse them with the famous Casa Lucio across the street…definetely not my favorite!)

3.  Taberneros at Calle Santiago 9, near Plaza Mayor:  Excellent wines and excellent tapas in a gorgeous setting, though the service is never what it is in Casa Lucas.  It has remained one of my favorites over the years…love the cecina, the scallops, the potatoes and eggs with truffles and many more.  Great selection of dessert wines by the glass…very hard to come by in Madrid.

4.  Mercado de San Miguel:  Newly added to my list.  It is not perfect and sometimes it can be closed for private events, but Pinkleton, the wine bar in the Mercado has some of the best wines in Madrid.  I love to go there with my friends…we usually order by the bottle, but the by-the-glass selection is excellent.  These guys know their stuff and can recommend a great bottle of wine for a good price.  Last time we didn’t spend more than 20€ a bottle.  If you like the bottle you can even buy one at a reduced price to go.  Grab a table and go around the market and get a few tapas to go with your wine.  The cheese stand is outstanding as is the olive stand.  My personal favorites are the Sorlut oysters at the oyster stand.  Lots of choices at different price ranges.  Love it…a great addition to central Madrid!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula November 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

GREAT tips! Thank you! We’re going to Madrid tomorrow and this list sounds perfect for us!


mary November 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Hope you enjoy! At a minimum do Casa Lucas and Mercado de San Miguel…my absolute favorites! Just got back from Madrid…still have to write up my new favs…but can recommend Mercado de San Anton for another cool market experience, Laredo and Arzabal fro more upscale tapas, and now Corte Ingles has opened a gourmet space on the top floor of Callao Corte Ingles, which is much more conveniently located by Sol. Have fun!


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