Passion for Spanish wine


Its clients are not the workers who used to drop by for a glass of wine before earning the day’s pay on the vineyards, but both El Guitarrón and the rest of tabancos in Jerez still maintain that laid-back style that these traditional bars must have had when they first appeared in the 17th century.

Back then, male chauvinism was de rigueur and women were forbidden from entering in tabancos. Luckily, with the nostalgic rebirth of these old-style bars in the 21st century, women are not only welcome in them but some have even become their patrons.

It is the case of Mireia, a Catalan woman who fell in love with sherry and runs El Guitarron since 2012. As well as wines from the barrel —as is typical in tabancos— Mireia stocks over 60 different sherry selections covering the gamut of styles, from Finos and Manzanillas to the sweetest pours like Medium, Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel. Prices are very reasonable, with most copitas costing less than €2.

Wines by-the-glass include old rarities and VORS wines, something unusual even in the region. Some examples available on the wine list are Fino La Panesa (€4) from respected producer Emilio Hidalgo, Palo Cortado Antique de Fernando de Castilla (€7) or Apóstoles and Matusalem (€7.50), by Tío Pepe makers González Byass.

As well as the large array of wines, locally sourced tapas are also served at El Guitarrón: mojama (filleted salt-cured tuna), payoyo cheese and other specialities from nearby Sierra de Cádiz and Barbate can be ordered at the counter. El Guitarrón is a good place to venture into the world of sherry —it offers several menus with paired tapas and different house sherries plus a fancy one with six wines such as Díez Mérito Fino Imperial VORS or Wiliams & Humbert Dos Cortados paired with tapas for €27.

Next to the main room, usually housing temporary exhibitions by local artists, there is a pretty back patio presided by a giant clay amphora found under the ground during the building works. It is a pleasant spot to sit and enjoy the wines and live flamenco singing held twice a week. Y.O.A.


From our archive: a sherrylover’s guide to the region and its wines
A complete Sherry guide: our best articles about the region