In 1982, I went with a large film crew to Madrid.
We were all put up at the Regent Hotel, close to the Spanish Parliament and the Prada Museum.
As was customary with our international company, my colleague, Yasar, and I were invited to dinner by the Madrid bureau manager. Her name was Blanca Nova. She brought along a UPI journalist assigned to the bureau, she was American.
We went to Blanca’s favourite, expensive, restaurant. She asked us to pick the wine. Eventually, we chose a wine that was not very expensive. The waiter poured a taste for Yasar and I. It was awful and we said so. She chose another a bit more expensive. We gave it the same score, awful. Finally, she asked for the most expensive red wine on the list. (That is to say apart from the specials)
When it came and we tasted it, it was acceptable, but not as good as one might expect for an expensive wine.
For several years before, and elsewhere in Spain, I had sampled Spanish wines, much cheaper, that were first class. On holiday in Spain, we used to drink a St. Miguel white, a very cheap wine, and Rioja, which was comparatively expensive but a very nice wine. I had to put the experience in the restaurant down to one of those occasions when wine is not going to taste good at all, however much one pays for it.
Later that year, I sent a postcard to Blanca Nova to tell her that I had found some good Spanish wines while on holiday. I did not want her to think I had something against the Spanish.
Next chapter: Chapter 98: Eating out in Estartit