Whether you’re a wine newbie or a proper sommelier, chances are you’ve heard of the Rioja wine region in Spain. It’s up there with Champagne, Bordeaux, and Napa Valley as one of the most famous wine regions in the world. Wines from the region are a go-to choice for many drinkers, but many don’t realize that they produce much more than just the robust reds we know and love. A cute new wine bar in King’s Cross, Bar Rioja, aims to highlight the region’s wine and showcase how diverse their wines can be.
Inside the intimate new space, tucked away in a courtyard, guests can enjoy some of the best wines that Spain has to offer. A menu of over 40 wines encompasses the region’s three zones – Alta, Alavesa, and Oriental – and offers up much more than just red wines. The selection also includes a number of white wines, rosados, and even a couple of traditionally-made sparkling wines.
Each wine is available in 75 or 125ml glasses (or by the bottle, obviously), so you can drink widely and learn all about the area. It’s educational – like a better version of Geography class! Plus, with half of the list priced at under £10 for a 125ml glass, it’s far more wallet-friendly than many of London’s wine bars can be.
To eat at Bar Rioja
Now, naturally, no wine-drinking session is complete without some food to nibble on. And, just like the wine list, the food offering nods to Rioja. Executive Chef Nacho del Campo has been inspired by the bars of the area’s capital, Logroño, which typically each specialise in one dish, served pincho style. Similarly, Bar Rioja serves up a selection of seasonal bite-sized dishes, each priced at just £2.50.
But if you’re a little bit hungrier, there’s also a menu of classic tapas dishes, cheeses, and charcuterie. These range from Patatas Bravas to Arroz Negro and even Suckling Pig From Segovia. Whether you’ve come hungry, or the wine has you feeling peckish, Bar Rioja has you more than sorted.
If you visit the delightful little wine bar on a warm evening, you might even be lucky enough to secure a table in the courtyard. Is there anything better than a bit of wine and a few nibbles, out in the fresh air, on a warm summer evening? (The answer is no. There isn’t anything better.)