I was recently out with a girlfriend to “grab a quick drink” after work. She was visiting and I was eager to show her around my favorite neighborhood of Valencia, Ruzafa. We met at Ubik Café, a hip, family-friendly cafe/bar/restaurant with book lined walls, friendly waitstaff, craft beers, cozy vibe, and generally busy with the buzz of friends chatting over coffee and snacks. Oh yeah, and wine for 2,50€ a glass. Sounds fun already, right?
After about 45 minutes, a bowl of olives, and a glass of Tempranillo, it was clear we just had so much more catching up to do. We ordered a glass of my favorite white, Verdejo, and continued on with our gossip and giggles. The time passed quickly, we made friends at a neighboring table, and two hours later, I realized I was late for a dinner where I was supposed to be (30 minutes ago!). Honestly? We were just having too much fun!
There is something different about drinking wine in Spain than anywhere else I have ever been. Maybe it’s the outdoor terraces… maybe it’s the romance of even just saying “drinking wine in Spain”… maybe it’s because it has always been a dream of mine to live here… regardless of what exactly makes it more fun, it simply just is. Here are six reasons why meeting for a “quick drink” in Spain is always a good time.
Why drinking wine in Spain is more fun (than pretty much anywhere else)
1. Drinking wine in Spain is more fun because it is never just a “quick drink”.
Meeting with friends in Spain usually has a flexible start time and very rarely an end time. Chatting with a girlfriend over wine is really about spending quality time with a friend. It is not about fitting in a quick moment to catch up, but it involves opening a bottle, knowing very well, the night could go late. And that’s exactly where you want it to go.
2. Drinking wine in Spain is more fun because of the ambiance.
Sunny lunches at the beach. Shady picnics in the park. Tiny pedestrian streets. Dimly lit outdoor terraces. Cozy cafe corners. There are unlimited settings to share wine with a friend or loved one. Each one different from the other, but each suitable for the drinking-wine-meeting of your choice.
3. Drinking wine in Spain is more fun because you can afford it.
The average amount I pay for a glass of wine in Spain? 2 euros. Seriously, I generally don’t enter an establishment if the listed glass price is over 3 euros. Not only is this affordable, but it also makes it easy to order the bottle. Or two. Oh yea, and it is often cheaper than paying the menu price for water.
4. Drinking wine in Spain is more fun because you don’t need to drive.
Each neighborhood is full of previously-mentioned cozy settings for enjoying a nice glass of Rioja. Simply walk downstairs, enjoy your wine and walk home. Headed to the city center? Hop on the bus into town and splurge for the 7 euro cab ride on your way home if its going to be a late night. Let’s be honest, that’s the amount you’d pay for a cheap glass in California.
5. Drinking wine in Spain is more fun because it is socially acceptable.
Wine on your lunch break with your boss? No problem. Opening a bottle with grandma? Of course. I love how it is usually included in the price for a lunch menu. Because of its popularity and socially-acceptedness, it is rare to see people abusing alcohol. Bonus points: you’re not generally sitting next to a belligerent 22-year-old as you enjoy a glass after work.
6. Drinking wine in Spain is more fun because it usually comes with free food.
Depending in which region you find yourself in Spain, you are generally served a small (free) tapa with each glass of wine. In Valencia, ask for peanuts or olives with your drink. In Granada, be prepared to be served up a complete meal for free while you enjoy a couple glasses with a friend. The salty snacks help to keep your thirst lingering just enough to order another glass and the tasty tapas help to keep you from getting too tipsy before dinner.
I didn’t even mention how amazing the wine tastes in Spain! But clearly, drinking wine in Spain is just more fun! Who wants to join me for a glass?