As many of you will know, the oasis of wine in Mercado Barceló that was Territorio Era is no more.
These last fifteen months Era has been my second home (or at least my second office). In part because the food was always fantastic – at first thanks to Diego, with his unique callos a la tailandesa and his quality show-cooking; and then to Liliana, who prepared the best salmonetes I have ever tasted bar none. But mainly I went for the wine. On that score, without Era, and specifically David Trillo, its sommelier and driving force, this blog – and the life of this blogger – would have been a much poorer, lesser thing.
I have lost count of the number of times I have called in for a quick glass of mood restoring balm (Era is referenced in 75 posts on this blog, and I am sure the real number of visits is higher) and he never let me down. An amazing variety – 100 something sherries by the glass at one point-, and a lot of absolutely outstanding wines. Among the wines from the sherry region off the top of my head the Fino, Oloroso and Raya from la Barajuela, the UBEs from Carrascal, Miraflores and Maina, Fino Capataz, Encrucijado, the legendary El Cid, Amontillado Gran Barquero, Las Viñas de Callejuela (2015 and 2014), Precede, and some older wines (admittedly mostly brought to lunches) including a Panesa from 2010, a Manzanilla Sacristia AB from 2011, a quite magnificent Carta Blanca and a stately old Manzanilla la Pasada La Guita, to name just a few. But on top of those there were some fantastic champagnes and hard to get wines from Jura, the Loire, the Canary Islands and other far flung spots – and with a generous BYO policy (no fee) the possibilities of a given dinnertime were literally endless.
I met a lot of characters and made a lot of friends at that bar – I was there so often it was a pretty good place to find me of a lunchtime-, and there were also some really memorable occasions. Of the ones that made it onto the blog the Night of the Pitijopos (Volume II) back in January and Florpower Friday stand out, but there was also a fantastic dinner on a Sunday night (with the whole market closed around us), the start of a big night out with Erik and Laura of montillamorilesuk.com back in March, wine tastings with friends and colleagues and a large number of lunches that could best be described as “riotous”. Neither will I ever forget rocking up there one Saturday afternoon for a quick glass of wine only to find the place full of wine lovers in an advanced stage of “merriment”: the sensation of being the most sober person present was both unusual and unnerving.
But now David is moving on in order to find a better location (and the current plan is a place that, thankfully, is not so far from my real office). Wherever it is, however, I will be there, and you, dear reader, should be there too. Because if you really love wine it is your duty to get out and drink them, and in particular support guys like David, who go to enormous lengths to offer such a variety of high quality liquids. The world is a better place for establishments like his, it was a blessing to have Territorio Era so near over the last year and this blogger and many others are going to miss them greatly for the next few months.