La Vinya del Senyor – Barcelona, Spain

Every time I go to Barcelona, I print out a paper list of my favorite places in the city.  The majority of the time that I’m there, I am showing a few other people around, so it helps to be a little type “A” and have the printed list in my back pocket – complete with days/hours of operation as well as phone numbers.  One of the bars that has been on the list since its inception is La Vinya del Senyor in “El Born” or the “Barri Gòtic” of Barcelona.  La V del S is one of the reasons that Barcelona is as great as it is.

The wine bar is located across from the Santa Maria del Mar Cathedral and sits on the very quaint Plaça Santa Maria.  Tables are outside and offer great people watching and wine sipping al fresco.  However, due to the time of the year of my travels, I’ve spent most of my time there bellied up to the bar inside.  The people watching there is the best and the cozy atmosphere makes a nice contrast to the cool marble bar that produces some delicious wines and rustic, no frills meat and cheese tapas.  The wine card itself is nearly twice the size of the Magna Carta and way more interesting.  Wines from around the world are available.  However, if you’re like me, you’ll probably be fine with the 10-15 wines in the “featured” selection that is appended to the full menu.  Wines from around the world are offered as well as several gems from Spain.

Spanish wine is underrated and really unknown to most connoisseurs.   Luckily, La Vinya del Senyor does a great job of highlighting some good wines that pair especially well with the tapas on order.  Granted, it’s not your typical tapas bar fare.  They offer good mixes of cured meats, cheeses and “Topnotch Scroggin.”  Gotta love that.

Funny names aside, this is a wine bar not to be missed in Barcelona.  The staff behind the bar is friendly and, like many places in Spain, forgiving and appreciative of those who at least make an honest effort to order in Spanish.  What I should say is, the stare from behind the bar is not quite as icy as the one served up at el Tempranillo.   In fact, on my last visit I managed to get a couple of smiles.  Of course, that could have just been them reciprocating the expression that was plastered all over my face.  La Vinya del Senyor does that to me.