Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing

It's not like I expected the heavens to open up and hosts of seraphim and cherubim to descend, placing a golden crown upon my brow. Although that would have been nice.

It's not like I expected a mighty sceptre to be placed in my hands and a satin sash tied about my person by no less than the King of Spain himself. Although that would have been nice too.

It's not like I expected a t-shirt that said "I did the Sherry Triangle and All I Got Was a Lousy T-shirt" slipped over my head. But I would probably have settled for that.

Just about anything would have sufficed ...

This weekend, marked by a visit to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Señor Gato Gringo and I made good on a vow we made back in December: to complete Cádiz' Triple Crown of bodegas before we left Spain. Now I suspect that there are equally laudable goals a visitor to Spain can set for him or herself - although truthfully, no examples spring immediately to mind - but surely this is one that merits some sort of official recognition. Perhaps if Franco were still alive ...

As I expounded upon oh so many months ago, for sherry to be sherry it must be fermented and fortified in one of these three towns in Cádiz: Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar and El Puerto de Santa María. Of the three, Sanlúcar is probably best known for my not-very-secret vice - its manzanilla: a fino wine rendered slightly salty by the winds which blow off the sea estuary of the Guadalquivir river. Needless to say, on Saturday Señor G.G. and I made a sizeable dent first in Pedro Romero's sampling room and then in its shop. How we haven't been banned for life from any of Spain's bodegas defies logic and good business sense.

Having now toured many of Cádiz' bodegas in English, Spanish and more recently, as a self-guided Sherry savant, I can safely say that a Bodega Tour Guide is a career opportunity I would like to explore further. In fact, I would be a Bodega Tour Guide Extraordinario. Wouldn't my family be proud! Didn't the bodega-istas (I just made that word up) at the Pedro Romero bodega invite me to autograph one of their sherry barrels? Well not so much invite, but allow me to scribble my name in a darkened corner. In secret. Well not so much allow because no one was actually around to stop me ... but I'm confident that my signature is still there.

In fact, it is only mode
sty that prevents me from stating that I believe myself to be the Most Knowledgeable Person in the Entire World on the Subject of Spain's Sherries. I am a resource that demands to be exploited!

As
the Most Knowledgeable Person in the Entire World on the Subject of Spain's Sherries and a future Bodega Tour Guide Extraordinario, I would insist that there be some sort of acknowledgment for completing the Sherry Triangle. I mean, Pythagoras had busts chiseled in his honour for his lousy triangle. And I bet survivors of the Bermuda Triangle get to appear on the Tonight Show. In fact, this will be my first order of business. Just after the sampling.

11 comments:

cog said...

tell me you've careered around the weaving, narrow streets of Arcos de la Frontera, peering over the wall and down down down at the olive groves before finding existential bliss in questioning what to have at the Cafe Superman...

Bluestreak said...

great voice gatita

La Gatita Gringa said...

Damn! Missed Cafe Superman ... should I go back to Arcos?? Only thing more fun than driving through Arcos' narrow streets was navigating the town of Casares.

and ...
Thanks Bluestreak!

cog said...

It's been, alas, ten years since I saw Arcos, the pueblo blanco of my dream, and I don't know if the Cafe Superman still exists, its darkness and glacial service, its local olives on paper plates, the casual indifference of its oddly arranged decor.

Even if it is no longer, it's surely worth another trip to Arcos to find out.

La Gatita Gringa said...

Cog, do you remember where it was? Near the castle? Either of the main churches?

cog said...

We stayed at El Convento, which is in the Old Town, and the cafe would have been in easy walking distance from there, along one of the side streets. Seems like it was toward the cliffside, but again, it's been a while.

Sorry I can't be more specific, just a place we found on a leisurely stroll.

Anonymous said...

El Meson 'Superman' still exists (just back from there) and still an excellent place to eat !!

Luc

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