Saturday, February 1, 2014

San Sebastian (Spain, day 9 & 10)

San Sebastian was the first place on our trip where we experienced rain.  Oh and extreme high tides and seas.  When we arrived in the city the first thing we say was the closure of the sea front roads and walkways and the bridge that you see below due to high seas.  



We weren't too worried as we really came here for the food and wine.  After all it's the middle of winter and way too cold for the beach.  On the plus side the cold and wet weather meant we had the place almost to ourselves and could get in to any restaurant we wanted - including Azark... more on that later.  We spent our first evening doing a wine tasting with San Sebastian Food before heading out for some pinchos.   This was a great way to start the evening and we learnt a lot more about Spanish wine and several grape varieties I've never hear of.  I'll be blogging details of the tasting over at agirlandaglass.com in the coming weeks.  

As we were so close to Rioja we decided to drive up and visit a few wineries on our first full day in town.  We visited two completely different, but both fantastic, wineries.  First up was Muga Bodega - a family run business over 200 years old.  Not only do they still make wines with very traditional methods but they also have their own master hooper on site and still make all their own barrels.  They made over 1700 last year alone.  We came, we toured, we tasted and we enjoyed.  You could see the history and passion.





Bia Gorri was a complete contrast, but again beautiful and enjoyable.  At only 11 years old the winery is modern in both architecture and style of wine.  Quite the contrast to Muga.  After touring the facility and seeing how they use gravity to make the wine, we enjoyed a tasting paired with lunch.  







We were not done eating or drinking for the day though.  That night we went to dinner at Azark.  Hands down this was the best degustation I've ever done.  The food was amazing.  The wine was great.  And the staff were welcoming and relaxed.  This is an absolute must visit if you're a foodie and in the area.  I don't care who you have to bribe to get in... do it!  (I only posted some of photos.  If you want to see pics of everything we ate you can here).




Our last day in San Sebastian was filled with more rain and just a few glimmers of sunshine.  We spent the day wandering the streets in between downpours and bar hopping for more pinchos (pinxtos). 









All in all the visit here was great - a little too short and a lot too wet.  If I get the opportunity I'll definitely come back.

Want to read all my posts on Spain?  You can find them here.