Ledger's has an impressive Belgian and Belgian-style beer selection. Don't remember having been very impressed by their wine selection, but it's a short drive from the motherlode at Spanish Table, so easy to combine on one shopping trip. Vintage Berkeley also stocks a high percentage of Spanish stuff with occasional bottles you won't find elsewhere.
1399 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702
2113 Vine St, Berkeley, CA 94709
Almost forgot, I went by Odd Lots a month or two back and picked up five random bottles of Spanish reds, all different. They ranged from "eh" to "not overly bad". None was over $9. Selection changes pretty fast, so further guidance is impossible. The guy who runs the place is real helpful though; he tried to steer me away from all five of them but I was on a mission.
Definitely worth a shot if you're at the Spanish Table since it's just a mile or so norther on San Pablo.
Place linking is still broken for me, but here's the address if
someone else wants to add a placemark:
1025 San Pablo Avenue
(between Buchanan St & Marin Ave)
Albany, CA 94706
The Spanish Table is about as good as it gets. One reason you're not seeing a
lot of white activity there is because there really isn't a lot of Spanish white. And
for the most part, what there is is mostly fermented garbage. And that's in Spain.
Spain is a deeply red country. Most whites are carbonated and sold as cava (which
can be very, very good) or fortified into vermut. Txakoli's a bit of an oddball; I'm not
sure I've ever seen it available in Spain outside the Basque country. The other
drinkable white is albariño from Galicia, which is the standard good Spanish white.
But in neither case is there really much depth to the style. If you've found something
you like, you might be best to just stick with it; there's unlikely to be anything better.
Now, if you're really looking for a traditional Spanish summertime drink, you can't
do better than a kalimotxo. Take a bottle of cheap but hearty red. Chill it. Put a couple
of ice cubes into an 8oz glass. Fill half with the wine, half with coke. Stir, add a lemon
twist. Guzzle. Repeat. Mmmmm!
re: Chuckles the Clone
re: Chuckles the Clone
Chuckles, this post is factually incorrect is so many ways . . . .
>>> . . . there really isn't a lot of Spanish white. And for the most part, what there is is mostly fermented garbage. >> Most whites are carbonated and sold as cava <<<
CAVA is a méthode champenoise / méthode traditionelle sparkling wine, produced in the same, time-honored techniques employed at Chandon, Schramsberg, Korbel, etc. These are NOT "carbonated"; indeed, it is illegal to sell carbonated wines under the name CAVA.
I realize that. I guess I was unclear. I meant carbonated as an adjective, not a noun.
Rather than that, I was hoping someone would pick up on the "fermented garbage"
part of my note. Having lived, worked, visited family, eaten, and most of all drank
("drinked"?) in Spain for a considerable part of the past decade and a half, I don't
come to that characterization lightly. I can count the really great whites I've
had there on my left thumb. I was vaguely hoping that maybe all the good stuff
gets exported and someone could lead me to something worth finishing.