If you know me, you know I love myself a little wine. Okay, not a little… a lot of wine! It’s not uncommon that I have a few bottles on hand for guests, and I never let anyone drink Yellowtail or Barefoot in front of me. (Sorry to the friends who try).
In my two months living in Bogota, I’ve quickly found my favorite wine shops and which stores offer the best wine sales on which days (hint: in a pinch, head to Carulla on Friday’s or Jumbo for great deals on imported vino).
My uncle asked me last week after a discussion about my favorite local shop: “And where do you buy milk?” To which I replied: “Oh, I don’t drink milk”. He chuckled and said, “You don’t know where to buy milk but, of course, you know all the wine shops.”
In fairness, I know where to buy milk… and I just prefer almond milk. ;)
Back to wine though…
Wine might not be Colombia’s greatest export (in fact, I’m pretty sure most Colombian wine isn’t very good at all…) but Colombian’s sure do love a glass or two of vino, especially from our neighbors in Chile and Argentina! Wine is very much a part of the food culture here and it’s not uncommon to enjoy a glass of sherry with lunch.
So, obviously when I hear about a wine tasting or other such event, I’m there within the hour.
Last week, my uncle and I decided to wait for Bogota’s ever-pleasant rush hour to die down after work by sharing a half bottle of wine at a nearby distributor: Vinos del Rio. It’s located on Calle 82 entre Cr. 10 y 9, just a block east of Zona T and Andino (the mall). The shop is large and spacious with community tables to sit and sample your new favorites and enjoy a small bite to eat at Gas. Tro. Teque. (lunch and dinner they offer delicious small plates to pair with your wine).
We popped in around 6pm, just before they were to begin their Thursday night wine tasting and pairing (we didn’t stay for that, but I’m definitely eager to check it out!).
The staff is extremely knowledgeable and after greeting us, immediately took us around the shop showing us everything they had on offer. We decided to share a half bottle of Carménère Reserve (at a very reasonable price). We paired it with some delicious goat cheese and bell pepper poppers and a Spanish ham tartine. But I ate them too fast and forgot to take pics!
Luckily, the handsome Spanish jamon iberico-slicing expert (Andres Arroyo) brought over a plate of my absolute favorite ham (jamon iberico) to nibble on as we finished the last of our bottle.
One of my favorite things about living in a big city like Bogota, is that you never know what’s going to happen next. One minute I was stuck in traffic on la septima (7th Ave), and the next I was sipping a glass of Chilean wine with some fantastically sliced jamon. It’s the little things like that, you know?
A few weeks ago a friend was telling how much he loved his city (Bogota). He said he loves the chaos. I see what he means now. Whether it’s the street performers juggling flames at the stoplight or escaping into a local shop for a quiet glass of wine while the city whirls around you outside, no two moments are the same. There’s always something exciting to experience or taste or see. That’s one of the reasons I love Bogota.