Wednesday, November 12, 2008


As I drove through Ronda around 6.00 this morning I espied a banner hanging from a bridge announcing that November 15 was ‘un día sin alcohol’. In days of yore this would have evocated a cry of outrage but today I just shrugged my shoulders.

Being in the media business all my life drink played a major part both of the working and after work day. I have friends who have fallen victim to alcoholism and some sadly perished but such a fate passed me by. I do believe that there is a gene that makes us addicted to alcohol or nicotine and mercifully I have neither. I have lost too many loved ones to the deadly weed too.

By the time I’d made it to the Bar Vecina for breakfast I was in a melancholy mood. On the bar around me were small empty glasses and just behind the counter bottles of anis and brandy – it had obviously been a morning for quick shots to keep out the cold and damp. I weakened for 10 seconds; thought of days gone by and quickly ordered my coffee.

Whilst spirits no longer play a role in my life and my beer is strictly non alcohol I do enjoy my wine, in moderation of course. Several years ago, my good friend Alex of this parish, sadly now departed first to France and then to wherever miserable buggers go, went to see the doctor at our health centre. He had been ordered off the drink by his heart specialist but insisted that could not possibly include wine. He raised the subject with the doctor, who whole heartedly agreed, then got busy writing – not a prescription, but a list of recommended good labels!

Later today I logged on to the Voto en Blanco website and read a piece by Rubén. It told of how three radio stations belonging to Vocento and two of Cope had been silenced by “el totalitarismo catalán”. As a result he was boycotting Catalan wine and other products. Naturally I was keen to show my solidarity with my media colleagues … but boycotting wine, ummm.

Luckily the article was accompanied by a map of the Catalan wine region. I realized that all the whites I drink are from Cádiz but what about the reds? Rioja, La Mancha, Ribera del Duero and Serranía de Ronda – phew, not a Catalan wine amongst them. That will keep me in good stead with my media brothers and sisters until New Year’s Eve - and Cava, which definitely is from Cataluña. Right to hell with the recession – it will have to be champagne!

(To read Rubén’s article - BOICOT ANTITOTALITARIO – click on the Voto en Blanco link on the right).

1 comment:

Justin Roberts said...

Hola Sancho.

You can get a great map of Iberian wine regions here:

At least then you'll know for sure! By the way. Cava can come from anywhere in Spain, so I think you might be OK.