Passion for Spanish wine


It is said to be the best flamenco club in the world. The magnetism of its stage helped to launch the artistic careers of legendary figures such as Antonio Gades, Diego El Cigala or José Mercé, but for wine lovers, El Corral de La Morería is the place that keeps alive the history and legacy of Andalusian wines with an impressive and well-kept collection of old wines.

Best of all, El Corral de la Morería does not guard them as if they were in a museum -any mortal aficionado, just like you or me, can enjoy these jewels of wine archaeology in their restaurant, located in Las Vistillas district in the centre of Madrid. As Luis Vida, journalist and great connoisseur of these wines, says, "this is the end of the world party because we are drinking what no longer exists".

In this family business, Juan Manuel Del Rey, winner of the 2017 National Gastronomy Award for the best dining management, manages the day-to-day of El Corral de la Morería, alongside chef David García in the kitchen and Santi Carrillo, who hails from Córdoba, as sommelier. Del Rey’s mother, the dancer and choreographer Blanca Del Rey, is in charge of the artistic direction and his brother Armando controls the tablao. "Our goal is to make people happy and at Corral de la Morería we combine three elements [gastronomy, wine and show] that make us unique," Del Rey explained to Amaya Cervera in this piece about old sherries.

There are two different options to enjoy El Corral de la Morería: the seasonal cuisine in the Tablao that can be combined with the flamenco show, and two menus -Temporada y Evolución (€65) and Raíces (€49)- in Corral de la Morería fine-dining restaurant, with seating capacity for only eight people. The quality of the food far outweighs the price (the restaurant has one Michelin star) and the talent of the Basque chef, who trained with Martín Berasategui, stands out in dishes such as the oyster with amontillado in green sauce, the spicy squid noodles with broth, the roasted pigeon or the delicious and original version of intxaursalsa, a Basque recipe with walnuts that García transforms into a spongy dessert.

Both in the tablao and in the almost private restaurant, diners have at their disposal more than 400 brands of wines from Andalusia and 300 from other regions. There are also three pairing combinations: Harmony 9 wines (€35), Harmony Premium 9 wines (€65) and Harmony Super Premium 9 wines (€110). The choice in the latter is overwhelming and truly unique: In our visit, which coincided with Sherry Week, we drank among others a manzanilla La Gitana bottled in 1965, an Oloroso Pedro Domecq La Raza bottled in 1970 and two wines from La Inglesa, an estate in the Sierra de Montilla that has butts and soleras established in the 19th century such as the Fino Pasado or the extreme and immense Amontillado La Inglesa Sacristía Bota 0, a special saca for El Corral de la Morería with a beautiful story behind which Santi Carrillo, a passionate connoisseur of Andalusian wines, recounts with genuine tenderness.

Del Rey and Carrillo put a lot of emphasis on the storage and service of the wines, which they taste before being presented to their guests. Some are served by the glass with a Coravin, but old bottles are filled with argon gas and corked so that the needle of the Coravin works in optimum conditions. All the care of the world to enhance the wine experience in a unique place where the magic of flamenco and haute cuisine coexist. Y.O.A.