Considering that approximately 95% of the approaching one million words that I’ve written about wine in Cork Talk over the sixteen+ years I’ve been writing the column has been specifically about Spanish wine, I don’t think that I’m turning traitor by writing, this week, about imported wines! I hope you agree.


Indeed it wouldn’t surprise me at all if you like to occasionally step off the Spanish piste and taste some wines from different countries, as indeed I do. Please, don’t misunderstand me – my love affair with Spanish wines continues. There is such a wealth of super wine made in this country that it almost seems greedy to try wines from other countries too.


But it’s nice to see what the opposition are up to sometimes! And yes, of course, there are excellent wines being made all over the world. The problem is that, if resident in Spain, one rarely has the opportunity to taste them here. Spain, essentially just doesn’t do ‘foreign’ wines!


Yes, it’s true that some wines from different countries can be found here, but I’m not always sure they are so well chosen and also, given that sales are relatively slow, I’m not sure either if the international wines we are able to buy are in their best condition, and are truly representative. I’m also a little worried about the prices of these wines!


Well no worries – there is now a new Wine Club established in Valencia city with the ability to deliver all over the Valencia Community, and beyond, to satisfy a need which is common to many of us. www.thewineplace.es, having being started simply by a group of friends who craved some international wines, is spreading its wings!


It’s founder, Mark O’Neill, is actually in the wine business, here in Spain. His company, Verde Marte SL, is involved in various wine making projects all over Spain (more on this interesting company in another Cork Talk!). Mark and his friends therefore have access to many Spanish wines but, like ourselves, they also crave some international variety.


Their initial thoughts, no doubt over a glass or two of wine, developed into a hobby idea where they sourced wines from different countries for their own consumption. Without realising it, initially, this was a nascent wine business in embryonic form. No doubt over more glasses of wine, this time internationally produced, the idea took shape, morphing into a new and exciting Wine Club www.thewineplace.es.


Following my article on fellow Irishman, Kevin McAlindon, Caballero del Vino, Mark called me to ask if I was interested in hearing about his fledgling business. Of course I was as I knew it would be of interest to Cork Talk readers too, for the above reasons!


Mark heads a team of four, all of whom have a passion for wine as well as qualifications, experience and expertise. Their contacts in the wine world provide them with plenty of opportunity to source quality (they only deal in quality wines) from all parts of the globe. To give an example their current, Autumn, selection includes wines from countries as diverse as: France (including Champagne), Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Italy, Germany, South Africa and Argentina!


What’s more, the above selection includes classic grape varieties known to, and loved by, us all, but also some varieties that are perhaps less well known, and certainly less available here in Spain – Cinsault, Malbec, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Riesling, for example!


And how does it work? Well there is a quarterly selection of a dozen wines – above gives some detail of the Autumn selection, and of course there’ll be a Winter Selection available soon, if not already. Each selection is comprised of different wines of course, so over a year’s membership you are sure to have tasted a considerable number of different countries’ wines, different grape varieties and blends as well as different styles of wine. Sounds great doesn’t it!


And if you read Cork Talk next week you’ll see just how good the wines are too. I tasted three of the Autumn Selection and was delighted – read my comments next week!


Contact Colin: colin@colinharknessonwine.com and www.colinharknessonwine.com and also via Twitter @colinonwine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *