It is easy to pass by Viñoteca Bagos without noticing that what lies beneath the door is a little gem of a place built to enjoy good wines. Located in a basement in central Pontevedra, in northwestern Spain, the front door of the restaurant is discreet and is the access to a staircase leading to a wide open-space dining room.
White is the dominant colour, except for a glass wall protecting a fragment of the old city walls. The wine list is, of course, white and will not disappoint punters looking for wines beyond the commercial brands; Bagos is a good place to discover small and off-the-beaten track producers.
It’s worth following the advice of sommeliers and owners Fernando and Adrián, who serve a strong selection of wines from Galicia but also from many regions in Spain and beyond like Douro, Dao, Nahe, Champagne or Bordeaux, among others.
Pablo is the third partner and runs the kitchen. His menu is not large but features seasonal products such as the fine boneless sardines over a slice of bread (€6) or tuna with spinach and tomato dust (€10). The guys at Bagos are big cheese fans and the house’s platter (five cheeses to choose from, €16) are thoroughly recommended.
Their cuisine is simple but effective and well presented with Asian influences in some of the dishes (oxtail dim-sum or salmon and guacamole temaki), a welcome novelty which is appreciated by adventurous locals willing to try exotic dishes beyond the local cuisine.
Their premises are large and airy and it’s something that Fernando appreciates. They moved here two years ago. “A lot of people criticized us because we didn’t use to serve beer in our old bar. It wasn’t snobbery; the space was so tiny that we didn’t even have room for the beer barrel”, he recalls.
Serving beer is not a problem now, but what they really like is the ability to organize tastings, which are very popular. It’s easy to understand why: Rías Baixas producers like Rodri Mendez (Forjas del Salnés), Eulogio Zárate, Alberto Nanclares and from other regions such as Fernando Algueira (Ribeira Sacra), José Luis Mateo (Quinta da Muradella, Monterrei), Ricardo Pérez Palacios (Bierzo) or Roberto Oliván (Tentenublo, Rioja) have been to Bagos to explain their projects. Y.O.A.