On Saturday, after a long, and rather arduous day of perusing FITUR, a gigantic tourism fair in Madrid, we decided to give Luis Alonso-Lasheras a last minute call to see if he was available to provide us a personal tour of is his wine shop, Vinarium. And despite the pressing needs of his very young children to have their Dad honor a very needed playground date, Luis was sweet enough to magically fit an hour into his busy schedule (Thanks Luis!!)
Vinarium is a wine shop I have dreamed of having in my future home. And although I may not don the pipe and smoking jacket dictated by the store’s floor to ceiling mahogany wood construction, I could absolutely envision myself in a big leather chair reading The Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones, while drinking a glass ofÂ Albariño and listening to music by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Cozy, inviting and elegant, it’s tough not to immediately get swept away by its warm design. (photo taken from Vinarium website)
However, it is Luis himself who truly draws you into the fold of his store. A internet geek by trade, wine was more of a familiar appreciation having grown up a stone’s throw away from the Golden Mile in Ribera del Duero – an internationally respected Spanish wine region. Hence when Luis chats about wine, you glean more of his love and appreciation for its inherent beauty, rather than someone who enjoys the dissection of wine into its smallest parts.
Vinarium is a two story establishment, carrying a wide range of Spanish wines, but with an emphasize on Galicia. The store is said to have one of largest collections of Galician wines in Madrid; in part, because the very first Vinarium was established in Ourense, Galicia. Organized by region, Luis also carries wines from countries such as Chile, ArgentinaÂ and France, in addition to some more potent spirits such as whiskey, aguardente and orujo.
And if you’re one to enjoy a little food and wine on a relaxing Saturday, at 12:30pm Luis hosts tastings that pair wine with everything from traditional Galician empanadas to Idiazabal cheese. Definitely worth a trip if you’re in town. Plus, unlike most wine shops in Spain, Luis has a good command of English, allowing you to ask as many questions about Spanish wine as you so desire.
As for ways in which Luis can make his wine shop even better, I would humbly ask for him to update his website. There are several pages still under construction, and a blog that needs a little attention and love. Granted, our man is busy with both his website called, Pop Madrid, as well as his general wine blog called Blog de Vino, where he chats about Vinarium events as well, but I’d love his store shop to provide eager tourists and Madrileños even more reasons to swing by for a visit. Otherwise, meander around his website and check out the wines you might like to enjoy.
Address: c/ Capitán Haya, 22 – 28020 Madrid
Email: info at vinarium.es
Telephone: (+34) 91 417 97 68