“Brussels sprout wine, anyone?” Memories of my childhood flashed through my mind when we heard that Manacor was hosting a wine and tapas festival … featuring home-made wines. My dad used to make his own wine, from almost anything he could find on a market fruit and veg stall. His demijohns of murky liquid would sit fermenting in our family home’s warm airing cupboard and, on more than one occasion, the liquid erupted from its glass container all over mum’s freshly laundered linen. Thankfully, I was too young to drink the stuff.
Nothing but the grape
But the home-made wine we tried last weekend was rather good, and made from grapes (what else, here on Mallorca?); not a drop of parsnip or rhubarb wine was to be tasted. The first-ever Wine Festival & Tapas Night took place in Plaza Rector Rubí, between the town’s imposing church and the highly recommended El Palau café, and was part of the town’s annual Sant Jaume festivities.
For a ticket costing 5 euros, members of the public could choose two of the excellent tapas on offer for the occasion at El Palau and taste as much wine as they liked, without further charge. The hobby winemakers were stationed at 11 tables in the square outside the café, bottles at the ready. We were pleasantly surprised not just at the quality of the wines, but also the attention and detail that had gone into bottling and labelling wines that are not produced for commercial gain. These bottles of wine would not have looked out of place on the shelves of a wine store or supermarket. Some of the winemakers had come from as far as Alcúdia and Binissalem.
El Palau café (Manacor’s best, in our opinion) prepared trays of nine varieties of tapas, which were displayed on the counter so that we could make our choice. It was difficult to choose only two and, because they were so tasty, we went back and paid to have some more.
We thought this inaugural Mostra de Vins Casolans (home-made wine show) was a great success – and are already looking forward to next year’s Sant Jaume festivities in Manacor. I may just invite my Dad over to Mallorca to come too …