While I was walking round Gràcia looking for markets and restaurants, I came across Bodega E. Marin, a fantastic old bodega. In Spain these are wine shops/cellars, which may also sell groceries, but the focus is on wine.
Through the front door of this bodega there are a couple of counters on either side and small stools for customers to sit and sip a glass of wine.
On the left hand side, just past the counter there are shelves crammed full of every spirit ever distilled. I counted 12 types of tequila on one section of shelf alone. Botas (wine skins) and Torres Artesanal Potato Chips hang from the shelves, hiding the precious liquors.
Below the drink there’s a fan siting on top of a cigarette machine. To the right sits a glass fronted refrigerator containing bar snacks (tapas) – patates braves, croquetes, anxoves, músculs, etc. On the front door to the bodegas, among many hand written signs for drinks, I noticed entrepans (between bread) – sandwiches (in a baguette) of llom, truita de patates, fuet, formatge, etc. – all priced between €3 – €4. Beyond the fridge there’s a full size espresso machine and almost to the roof you will see huge wine barrels.
No space is left unused – there are even bottles hanging from the ceiling!
Directly above the counter there are more wine barrels – these are not for display – there are taps (right) connected to the barrels to dispense wine. Not so many years ago these bodegas contained more barrels than bottles. You can go in and order a glass of wine, port or sherry straight from the cask. Not many tourists realise that people bring in their own bottles and jugs to be filled up. In the days before mass production this was normal.
I had a carajillo de cognac to keep me going for the rest of the afternoon – it cost me €1.65. Expect to pay between €1 – €2 for a glass of local wine from the barrel. No doubt they sell a great vermut de la cassa. Bottles of wine, cava and spirits will be cheaper here than most supermarkets.
Bodega E. Marin is at: Milà i Fontanals 72, 08012, Gracia, Barcelona.
I noticed a review of Bodega E. Marin where someone suggested keeping it quiet and not telling anyone, so that it would remain unspoiled. Years ago, I lived on Carrer de Milans and we had a fantastic bodega on the corner – it was twice as big as E. Marin and also served as a corner shop selling ham, cheese, potatoes, etc. Back then one could buy water in recycled 10 litre glass bottles and the bodegas stocked them. Once you’d paid a deposit the water cost peanuts. I occasionally bought a litre of port from the barrel – I think it cost 125 pesetas (about €0.75). Sadly that bodega is long gone and they are disappearing fast, so do frequent the old bodegas and do tell all your friends!
Yes well, my local ‘grog shop’ surely looks very ordinary in comparison . . . bright and full of bottles and casks available ay every other liquor store in Australia . . . no coffee, no tasty food titbits and no wine by the glass . . . no mystery whatsoever – utterly predictable and boring! Decades ago there were a few similar places in Sydney but ‘modernity’ has robbed us of choice and individualism. Oh how I would love to walk down to a similar outlet with my own bottle or carafe and buy something special my purse would love also . . . lucky you: enjoy 🙂 !
Thanks Eha – they really do have character and once upon a time were a way of life.
Though I have to say, I visited an amazing bar in the outback (around 1980), made of corrugated iron, that was full of stuffed and pickled lizards, insects, birds, mammals, fish, etc. It seemed like a cross between Mad Max and Dickens. I’ve never seen anything quite like it!
I believe you and it probably is still there . . . but (hanging head in shame) whereas I know most of Europe backwards I have never been to the Outback . . . I don’t think Perth>Sydney on the train across the Nullarbor counts 😦 !
There’s a lot of nothing for miles, in the outback, just like the Nullarbor, but then there’s the occasional oasis, like that bar and Coober Pedy.
gotta bring your foods and travel to radio for next season…… may we? xx
**Simon Peter Tyszko* *www.theculture.net * *www.phlight.org * *Isotopica episodes on Resonance FM* *twitter*
On Sat, 11 Aug 2018 at 00:30, Mad Dog TV Dinners wrote:
> Mad Dog posted: ” While I was walking round Gràcia looking for markets and > restaurants, I came across Bodega E. Marin, a fantastic old bodega. In > Spain these are wine shops/cellars, which may also sell groceries, but the > focus is on wine. Through the front door ” >
That sounds like a great idea!
What a treasure trove. You must most definitely shout out about this place from the rooftops. As you say, they are disappearing too quickly to be replaced by large commercial supermarkets with no heart and soul. It is imperative to support these little local businesses.
The same goes for the Zincs in Paris – why on earth do people take out all the old bits in a bar and replace them with chrome and plastic so they all look the same – soulless!
Lucky you, MD, to have found this obvious treasure trove. And yes, you are right, they are disappearing so fast, shame! We did find a couple of those, of all places, in Florence (and we did not tell anybody about them 🙂 ) Here of course we do not have any kind of nice place to go to, sit and enjoy a glass of wine (which is frightfully expensive) – Kerala alcohol laws are very …….!!!
Thanks Carina – shame about the alcohol prices, but no doubt Kerala has some unique and unspoiled shops that make up for it.
What an a amazing place, it’s great that there are still places like this. We’ve got a similar one that stocks just about everything in the world and if they haven’t, “they’ll get it by Thursday”!
How fantastic! You’ve reminded me of a little shop off Escudellers that’s long gone. It was tiny with a high ceiling, so they had shelves to the roof and tins in piles round the floor. I think they only had standing room for 3 people at a time and you know how queuing and chatting works in Spain…
Oh yes…nothing is done in a hurry!
Bodega E. Marin looks far more interesting than our government monopoly liquor stores. I could get lost and inebriated in this place. How do the hang the bottles from the ceiling?
Hi Ron – I’m sure you love it – especially the prices! I’m not sure how the bottles are supported, but I think they are display only, so he might have them glued in.
Oh, how fun!
Thanks Michelle – great fun!
Love the traditional old businesses like this…I hope it continues for many years. There is a spice shop in Boston that stills sells spices like they did almost a century ago.
Me too! It’s not the only one, but they are disappearing fast.