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The Barcelona hotel for wine lovers | 17-07-2015

You can savor Spain’s famous Rioja wines without ever leaving chic Barcelona, yet feel like you’re in the heart of Spanish wine country. Hotel Praktik Vinoteca is a boutique wine themed hotel located in the heart of the Eixample district, steps away from fantastic restaurants, wine bars, the Passeig de Gracia and Rambla Catalunya. Praktik Vinoteca The lobby is a fun space to relax with a glass of wine With the motto “In wine we trust,” I knew I’d love the Hotel Praktik Vinoteca before I even landed in Barcelona. I arrived to trade my passport for a glass of Cava (the Spanish version of Champagne), which I slowly sipped in the lounge while my check-in was completed. Normally, I want to rush up to my room to drop off my bags and freshen up. But I was hardly in a rush, as I sank into the comfy chairs with my Cava and took in the bottles of wine and wine-themed decor. Praktik Vinoteca My room at Praktik Vinoteca The hotel has just 64 rooms, which are bright and decorated in a minimalist style with wooden headboards and Spanish wine art. I found my room to be very comfortable, though a tad on the small side. The hotel is, after all, located in a 100-year old building so small is to be expected. As a self-professed Goldie Locks of hotel beds, I can tell you that I had a fabulous night’s sleep in that bed. My favorite guest amenity at Hotel Praktik Vinoteca is that they have an on-site sommelier who does complimentary wine tastings for guests. I’m not up on my Spanish wine knowledge, so sitting down to get schooled was a real treat! I thought that it was also really great that the hotel doesn’t have any wines over €30, which fits with their vision to provide value luxury for guests. Praktik Vinoteca Wine tasting at Praktik Vinoteca We tried four different Spanish wines, each from different wine regions. I opted to do a tasting of all reds since I much prefer them to whites. The Vitaran, which is aged for 15 months in second and third year French oak barrels, was my favorite of the tasting. It was unique with notes of banana – a tasting note I hadn’t ever detected in any wine I’ve had before. We also tried a Ribera del Duero, which is a great drinking wine that really doesn’t need food paired with it to take the edge off. The Castillo de Mendoza, perhaps aptly named, made me want a big, juicy steak to eat while sipping it. The Priorat, with it notes of chocolate and black pepper, would have been my favorite before I tasted the Vitaran. Being a small boutique hotel, there isn’t necessary a lot to do in the hotel itself outside of enjoying the lobby bar and the garden when the weather is warm enough. So I thought it was really fantastic that the hotels provide a map with eight of the El Born and Eixample districts’ best wine bars, gourmet grocers and top restaurants. You’ll just have to stay at the hotel to get the inside scoop, but I will tell you about one of my favorites. Vila Viniteca Cheese tasting at Vila Viniteca Tucked on to a street that I’d never have stumbled upon had I not had a specific destination in mind, Praktik recommends Vila Viniteca. Described as “one of the most select and internationally renowned gourmet shops,” I was definitely not disappointed. The shop actually takes up three separate buildings on three corners of Carrer dels Agullers and offers cheese tastings with wine pairings. They have over 350 different types of handmade cheese and since my knowledge pretty much consists of Manchego, I was more than happy to let my friend Lauren (the lovely owner of Devour Spain food tours) and the experts at Vila Viniteca surprise me. We opted for three cheeses each for our tasting and all that were selected were delicious. My favorite, not surprisingly, was a red wine cheese. We Recommend Eating My Way through Gràcia with Devour Barcelona Back at the Hotel Praktik Viniteca, I had to skip out on breakfast because I was about to spend four hours Devouring Barcelona on a food tour. I did pop in to have a look at the breakfast offerings and there were plenty of sausages, decadent pastries and pa amb tomaquet (the famous Catalan bread with tomato) along with fresh squeezed juices, coffees, tea and much more. Without a doubt, I’d stay at this fabulous boutique hotel again!

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