Vila Viniteca is 85 years old. You wouldn’t know it to look at it though. The modern shop front was refurbished in 2005 by the current owners Eva & Quim Vila. Grandchildren of the founders who opened the place as a simple grocery shop.
Now Vila Viniteca is one of the must visit food shops in Barcelona. Oenophiles because there are simply no better wine purveyors than these guys with 8,000 (let me write that out in words as if I were filling a cheque: eight thousand) bottles on their books. Villa Viniteca exclusively represent 200 cellars around the world. Their bodega sends my head spinning – bottles from floor to ceiling and more between.
Meanwhile whatever you need to go with your wine is across the street. An epicure’s dream under one roof. You will find the best of everything here including a cheese room. Fran, the affable young man who deals with charcuterie and cheese gives me a wedge of Santa Maria sheep’s cheese to try, then looks at me expectantly.
“Now wait.” He commands and he shoots off returning with a ceramic bowl. He cuts more wedges and spoons something on them. “Now try it.” He tells me, his eyes sparkling.
The Greek made preserve is amplifying the taste of the cheese.
Next I turn my attention to the jamón. “So these jamóns.” I start. “How can I tell which one is acorn fed Iberic ham and which one is a regular pig and which one has only been let out on to the acorn fields for the last 3 months of its life.”
Unfazed, Fran begins to explain the different categories which depend on the breed of the pig and what it was fed resulting in the leg sporting a black (Free range Iberic pig fed on acorns), red, green & white label.
All along Fran feeds us small slivers for us to taste what he is explaining.
You can buy these things to take home. Even better, you can sit down and let them curate plates of beautiful ingredients for you. From 3 seasonal cheese for (8.95) up to 8 cheeses (23.50). There is a selection of 300 you can pick from.
Or you can opt for canned food: sardines (3.80) to large clams (39). Or a plate of Joselito chorizo (4.50) or Llonganissa de Vic (5.5).
It can be washed down with glass of wine, cava, or beer. Let them recommend something for you. Everyone in here is an expert in something. Talk to them and learn from them. The coffee comes from Cafes El Magnifico . Of course.