As the third largest wine producing country in the world, Spain produces a lot of excellent wines at reasonable prices. A great way to learn about the different regions and grape varietals is through experience; in other words, tasting lots of Spanish wine. There are plenty of places in Valencia to enjoy a glass or two of Spanish wine, but it can be a challenge to find the good ones. During our past year in Valencia, we have amassed a list of bars/restaurants where we can reliably find good quality wines.
This was not an easy task. The type of wine bars that we are used to in the United States, where you can get wine samplers or tastes from enormous lists of wines by the glass, do not exist here. However, wine is served everywhere and wines by the glass typically only run between €2 to €3 per glass. So when you can find a place with a good selection of wines by the glass, you can sample several styles at a reasonable price. Many of the bodegas here are both bars and wine shops, with a large selection of wines by the bottle that can be opened on premises for a small fee. With a group of friends, it is easy and affordable to put together a wine tasting. Be advised that 99% of the wine available is Spanish. You might find a smattering of French, Italian, and German wine. Maybe a bit from Chile, but very little else.
Now, there are hundreds of bars in Valencia serving wine and many call themselves wine bars, so how did we choose the ones on our list? We had the following requirements:
- Multiple options for wines by the glass or a large selection of bottles that can be opened on premises at reasonable prices.
- A casual bar atmosphere, where you could feel comfortable ordering wine and tapas without a full sit-down meal.
- We had to be able to easily figure out how to get a glass of wine. Some bodegas claim themselves as “wine bars” but we saw no wine lists or signs advertising wine by the glass. I suspect these are more likely only selling bottles to take away.
- Adherence to logical business hours. This might have been the toughest obstacle. Several places looked great online, but if we visited more than once during posted hours and they were closed, we’re probably not going back. We include business hours below, but check before you go. Businesses tend to change their hours frequently. During the summer, anything goes.
With those caveats in mind, these are the wine bars in Valencia that we enjoy:
Wine Bars in the Ciutat Vella (Old City)
Vinostrum Bodega is tucked into the corner of a small market called the Mercado De Mossen Sorell. The bodega is a family business run by sommelier Luis Alberto Palomar Stasny and his wife Amparo. Daughter Lidia is the chef, studying the culinary arts here in Valencia. Together, they are a friendly and welcoming bunch that love to talk about their food and wine.
Most of the bottles in the shop are for purchase to take away only. They offer about a dozen interesting wines by the glass selected by Luis. There is no list, so ask what they have open that day. The small menu of tapas are artful, and delicious. Lidia has found creative ways to turn quality conserved seafood into surprising dishes, like a “Tartar” de sardinillas that combines chopped sardines with sweet, salty, and tangy components. The Valencian tomato with ventresca (tuna belly) is not only the prettiest that I’ve seen, but one of the tastiest.
Vinostrum is a good spot for daytime wine, open from 10:00 to 3:00 pm Monday through Saturday (closed on Sundays). The only evenings they are open are Thursday and Friday from 6:00 – 8:30 pm. They follow the same hours as the market they reside in.
Plaça de Mossén Sorell
Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 3:00pm, Thursday – Friday 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Tinto Fino Ultramarino
This Italian-Spanish fusion restaurant has a large selection of over 50 wines from Italy and Spain available by the glass. Tinto Fino publishes their wine list online, so you can check it out beforehand. Most wines by the glass range from €2 to €4, although there are a few special Italian wines at higher prices. Some of the wines on the list are unique to Spain. This is a good place to try local wines from Valencia, with over a dozen wines from D.O. Valencia, Utiel-Requena, and Alicante poured by the glass.
We like the cozy bar area in the front for a few glasses of the Muruve Roble from the D.O. Toro, our favorite vino tinto here. To pair with our wine, we often go for the Angus Carpaccio or the Tartar de Ternera, both of which are incredibly fresh.
Tinto Fino Ultramarino
Calle Corregeria 38 b
Every day 1:30pm – 5:00pm, 7:00pm – 1:00am
Taberna La Sénia
This charming little restaurant changes their wines every three months to keep things interesting for their customers. They offer about a dozen wines by the glass. The kitchen and restaurant are small, but you won’t find a cozier spot for a glass of wine and a tapa. You can also sit at one of the tables outside to relax in the charm of Valencia’s old town.
They get their fresh seasonal products from the nearby Central Mercado from which they make an interesting selection of tapas. Owners Julia and David opened Taberna La Sénia nine years ago. They both speak excellent English, making it easy to talk about the food and ask for wine recommendations. Julia mentioned that they were famous for their pâté casero, so we gave it a try. A creamy chicken liver pâté based on an old Tuscan recipe from her home city of Florence, it was delicious with our wine.
Taberna La Sénia
Carrer de la Sénia, 2
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 7:30pm – midnight
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12:30pm – midnight
Located next to the touristy but beautiful Plaza de Ayuntamiento, Beher is the retail shop and restaurant of the Jamón Ibérico producer Bernardo Hernández. It is a great place to taste different levels of jamón, but they also have a very nice wine selection.
There are about two dozen wines by the bottle, and a dozen or so available by the glass. The Ramon Bilbao Edicion Limitada from Rioja and the Emilio Moro Crianza from Ribera del Duero are both tempranillos that are good complements to a plate of Ibérico pork products. At the front of the shop there are high top tables for lounging about, drinking great wines and snacking on excellent jamón. Beher is open all day everyday, making them one of our most dependable spots for a good glass of wine. Read more about Beher in our blog post Tasting Jamón Ibérico in Valencia.
Plaza del ayuntamiento, 16
Monday – Sunday 8:30am – 11:30pm
Wine Bars Outside of the Ciutat Vella
Bodega Albarizas has just about everything we were looking for in a wine bar. It is a friendly, casual bar atmosphere with a variety of wines by the glass along with bottles that can be opened on premises for a few euros. The proprietor Alba puts a lot of care into her wine selection and is excited to talk about them. She speaks very little English so be prepared to practice your Spanglish. See our recent post on Bodega Albarizas for more information.
C/Antonio Suárez 29 bajo 2 Izq, 46021 Valencia, Spain
Monday – Thursday 7:00pm – midnight
Friday – Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm, 7:00pm – midnight
La Majada Quesos
La Majada Quesos is a cheese shop and bar with over 150 artisanal cheeses from around the world; and where there is cheese, there is wine. They have a wine cellar stocked with bottles that can be taken home or opened in the bar for a €6 corkage fee. There are a handful of dry wines (red, white, cava) by the glass. Most interesting are the 15 different sweet wines by the glass that make heavenly pairings with the right cheeses. On a recent visit, we asked our server to put together a cheese plate to match the Tokaji 5 Putt and he came back with an delectable selection that married fantastically with the wine. To read more about their quesos, check out Exploring Spanish Cheeses at La Majada Quesos.
La Majada Quesos
C/ Félix Pizcueta, 15
Monday – Saturday 11:00am – midnight, Closed Sundays
Mercatbar and Restaurante Vuelve Carolina
Both of these tapas bars are from Quique Dacosta, chef of Michelin starred restaurants El Poblet and Quique Dacosta. While they present more like restaurants, each has a very large bar that is perfect for sitting to enjoy a glass of wine and a tapa. Each place has its own distinct feel, but we combine them together because they have the same wine special: a copa de vino and tapa for €3.75. Choose among a selection of white or red wines and pair it with a tapa from a designated menu. These are also two of the few places where you can taste a variey of Sherry wines. They usually have six different styles available by the glass costing between €2 and €4.
Mercatbar opened in 2010 as Quique Dacosta’s first restaurant in Valencia. In contrast to his fine dining restaurants, this relaxed food market styled bar serves classic tapas and traditional dishes from around the world, with a creative twist to make each unique. We are fascinated by sitting at the bar and watching the staff prep food right in front of us. There are over 40 wines by the bottle, eight available by the glass. There are also over a dozen Spanish and French sparkling wines by the bottle, if you are looking for something bubbly.
Calle Joaquín Costa, 27
1:30pm – 4:30pm, 8:30pm – 11:30pm
Closed Mondays lunch and Sundays
Vuelve Carolina was Dacosta’s second restaurant in Valencia, opening in 2011 near the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Vuelve Carolina serves more innovative tapas in an eclectic open atmosphere. There are nine Spanish wines by the glass, as well as a handful of sweet dessert wines. Manuela Romeralo, the award winning sommelier of all three Valencia restaurants, has put together an outstanding and large collection of wines by the bottle with Spanish and international wines.
Restaurante Vuelve Carolina
Calle de Correos
Monday – Saturday 1:30pm – 4:30pm, 8:30pm – 11:30pm
El Ultramarinos Agustin Rico
The big windows and open atmosphere invite you into this corner wine shop and bar along the busy Gran Via Germanías. They have a large menu of wines by the bottle at very good prices. There is no corkage fee; the price you see is the price you pay no matter where you drink it. There are also wines by the glass but there is no list. Just ask what they have available.
The cooler case full of meats and cheeses is sure to make you hungry. You can get raciones of jamon, sausages, and cheeses. The bocadillos and montaditos also look pretty tasty.
El Ultramarinos Agustin Rico
Gran Via Germanías 17
Monday – Saturday 8:45 am – 3:45 pm, 5:30 pm – midnight
Located in the Cabanyal district near the beach, Casa Montaña is definitely off the beaten path but worth the trip. One of the oldest bodegas in Valencia, they began providing bulk wine to merchant ships in 1836. You couldn’t ask for a more traditional wine bar atmosphere, with wine barrels stacked along the walls. Bring a plastic liter bottle along to fill with their vermut or brandy from one of the barrels behind the bar. Casa Montaña is famous for it’s extensive collection of wines by the bottle, but you can also choose from the dozen or so wines of the week listed on the chalkboards around the bar. And the tapas? Well, we’ve already said quite a bit about the outstanding tapas in our previous blog post Old School Tapas in Valencia at Casa Montaña.
C/ José Benlliure, 69
Monday to Friday 1:00pm – 4:00pm, 8:00pm – 11:30pm
Saturday 12:30pm – 4:00pm, 8:00pm – 11:30pm
Sunday and Holidays 12:30pm – 4:00pm