LifestylePersona April, 25th 2017 by



AJ Linn

Although matters are undoubtedly improving, your average Spaniard has about as much idea about beer as he does about tea. A beer is a caña, brand never specified, as most bars and restaurants are ‘tied-houses’ and only have one brand available. You need to visit Britain, Germany, Austria and most Eastern European countries to realise that a beer culture depends on variety.

The year-on-year fall in wine consumption in France and Spain, the world’s foremost wine-producing countries, has been going on for more than a decade and appears unstoppable*. But why? The usual explanation is that the young have no interest in wine. It is considered to be for older people and you need to know what to order.

Finding myself the other day with a group of young would-be chefs from Marbella ‘s Bellmar cooking school, we were discussing this topic. As expected, several of them were interested in wine, but rarely got the opportunity to order it. As one of them explained, ‘When I go to a bar with a group and everyone orders a caña, how am I going to order a glass of wine? I will be asked what sort of wine and possibly whether Rioja or Ribera del Duero. Much less hassle to order a beer.’ Peer pressure, and in this way our incipient wine lover never gets to drink it.

The answer of course is to have wine on draught, the same as beer. Again northern Europe is leading and draught wine in bars is a common sight. It keeps better, is cheaper, less complicated (being labelled simply Dry White, Semi-dry, Young red, Matured red, etc,) and as easy to order as asking for a caña. It also gets people back to the most elegant habit in the civilised world, taking a glass of wine,

*A report published a few days ago suggests that, for the first time as long as anyone can remember, Spain’s national consumption may be on the rise again.


AJ Linn


AJ Linn

Andrew Linn left England 40 years ago to relocate to Spain, having been involved in businesses such as wine shipping and publishing. He currently writes regularly and professionally on wine, food, flamenco, and the Spanish way of life for various publications, and has a regular column in a Spanish newspaper. Andrew is involved in charity work relating to abandoned and mistreated animals.

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