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Oct 2, 2001 02:15 PM

Spanish Table Open in Berkeley

  • m

Just got a press release that the Spanish Table of Seattle has expanded to Berkeley. If you're not familiar, this is one of the leading purveyors of Spanish food and wine products, cookware, and Spanish/Portuguese novelty products. With 3,000 square feet of merchandising space, this is larger than the original store.

Anyone visited the store yet?

Open Tues-Sat. 10-6
1814 San Pablo, Berkeley
(510) 548-1383

This is two blocks from Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant and Acme...I can feel a Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto shopping trip coming on...

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  1. Well if I do go, what Spanish wines should I keep and eye out for?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      I'm sure Ms. Wong can answer that question better than I. I am definately a fan, but with limited knowledge. I have had good luck with some old vine Grenache (I think they spell it differently in Spain) that I've had from there lately. I'm writing because your question reminded me of something that may be of interest to Spanish wine lovers. Down here in Santa Cruz at a store called Shopper's Corner (they have a great wine selection), they took alot of small Bodega Spanish wines off the hands of Associated Wine Co. at a great price. It may not be worth coming down here just for that, but if you're a fan and in the area, it's worth stopping by. Delicious all around and mostly under $10! Ask for the wine buyer and he'll point them out to you. I think I'll open one right now. Yum, yum.

      1. re: Detlef Chef
        Melanie Wong

        Great find! Yes, a major Spanish importer dropped Associated as Calif. distributor and the wines were dumped somewhere. It was a great book of wines, there should be some super wines there. Grenache is called Garnacha in Spain. I'm also really fond of the Jumilla region wines which are based on Monastrell grapes (Mourvedre, mataro), and mostly under $10 retail.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          My friend Bruce was a rep for Asst. and used to sell the hell out of their Spanish book. (What little I know can be traced to drinking leftover samples afterhours.) His job fell victim to some corporate changes and their spanish sales in the bay area plummeted. Lo and behold, they had a bunch of product on their hands. The particular wine that I mentioned before was a 99 Vega Sindoa "El Chapparal". Great stuff for $5.99!

          1. re: Detlef Chef
            Melanie Wong

            El Chaparral has been a winner the last 3 vintages I've tasted, even at $9, and it's a barn-burner at $6.

            Any of the Riojas or Ribera del Dueros in stock? There were in the $20-$50 range, would love to find some at deep discount. Best years are 94, 95, 96 & 98.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I'll check it out and let you know

              1. re: Detlef Chef
                Melanie Wong

                Fwiw, the Vega Sindoa Chardonnay reminds me of decent quality Santa Cruz Mtn. fruit (tropical flavors and sizzling acidity) with a ton of new French oak for a third the price.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  It used to be a rule of thumb that red wines were the better bet among Spanish wines with garnacha and tempranillo grapes from Ribera del Duero and the Penedés leading the pack. Fortunately in recent years, attention has been paid to other varietals. If you happen to stumble across a chardonnay by Manuela de Naveran (Penedés region), snap it up. Also pay attention to any Mascaro brandies from the Penedés, especially the fabulous Don Narciso (made in the French rather than the solera style of Andalucia). The Minerva and Rene Barbier chardonnays are also solid. Many of Spain's really fine wines don't reach the export market.

    2. Thanks for the tip, Melanie! First chance, I'm there!
      I was just drooling over some recipes in G. Hirigoyan's The Basque Kitchen.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ann Leneave
        Melanie Wong

        Report back soon!

        I made Hirigoyan's basque mussels from the recipe printed in the Chron a couple years ago. Patrick Martin, owner/chef of The Charcuterie had high praise and asked me for the recipe. They were especially fine with the Basque white wine, Txacoli (think that's the right spelling), very aromatic, minerally and crisp.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Hmmm..Sounds great! Yet another wine to search for.
          My calendar tells me not to attempt a Berkeley trip till next week, so you may make it before me. A stop at Tokyo Fish or Monterey Fish mkts., Acme for Rustic baguettes and rush home with the Spanish Table finds,.....can't wait!

      2. Melanie's posting helped me decide what I was doing this afternoon - I went for a little walk and checked out the new Spanish Table store!

        They have been open for a few weeks. They are still setting up and labeling shelves and unpacking. They don't have wines yet - the city of Berkeley is "working" on their request for this. They weren't sure of the timing on this - ie a few weeks or more than a month.

        But if you need anything Spanish food related (and Portugese too), this is the place! Peppers (canned and dried), olives, nuts, chocolates, churro mix, rice, beans, grains, books - both travel and cookbooks galore, cookware and utensils, music. Tons of paella pans of all sizes.

        They are planning on selling jamon, churizo, cheeses at some point as well - don't know if that's tied up with the wine permit or not.

        I ended up getting some olives stuffed with piquillo peppers, 3 kinds of dried peppers/paprika and a bar of dark chocolate with almonds. Guess I'll have to pick up a book on tapas and spanish cooking and portugese and maybe the one on the Canary Island descendents from Louisiana.....

        Their newsletter lists their email as and a website as well at


        1 Reply
        1. re: Celery
          Melanie Wong

          Every intrepid, Celery! Thanks for the first hand report.

          I've made some super appetizers with piquillo peppers, time to dust off the recipes again.