Spanish sommelier Ferran Centelles can still recall the first aroma he recognized in a glass of wine – rose petals in a bottle of Muscat from Penedes. Since then, he’s gone on to identify and recommend many, many more, as a sommelier at the molecular gastronomy powerhouse elBulli, and now as a teacher at Barcelona school Outlook Wine, international wine judge and Spanish wine specialist for top critic Jancis Robinson.
“Barcelona is a great wine destination for its very well-trained professionals,” says Centelles of his hometown. “There are quite a few good places for wine with moderate prices, compared with other big cities. And as Barcelona is a very important market, you can find a huge diversity and top Spanish producers.”
Here, the man once named best sommelier in Spain, recommends five food-and-wine stops in the city.
“Best wine bar in town – and probably worldwide. This is a compulsory visit. The sommelier time is an authentic dream team. Very knowledgeable people. There’s an electronic wine list. They have an impressive wine library. Very top local food. It is like a wine cultural centre. It is impossible not to excited when coming in.” 249 Diputacio, monvinic.com/en
“This is a great wine retailer and shop downtown. Next door is one of the most exciting gourmet shops from the same company where you can taste great food and wine. They are not open in the night, but it’s a great gourmet experience.” 7 Agullers, vilaviniteca.es
“It offers new wave Catalan food. Extremely good value. Best young up-and-coming chef in town. Modern cooking. I think it’s the best-priced lunch menu in town at €20 [$29]. Dinner is around €50. The wine selection is very personal with lots of natural and intriguing wine.” 230 Provenca, gresca.net
L’Anima del Vi
“It’s a very tiny, natural-oriented wine bar for natural-wine lovers [made without sulphur]. There is a very good cold meats selection and great atmosphere. It is relaxed, wine-focused and you feel at home.” 8 Vigatans, lanimadelvi.com
“This is a one-star Michelin restaurant inside one of the most fashionable hotels in Barcelona. The restaurant is designed by the Roca brothers from El Celler de Can Roca. Moo has a reputation of always having a great sommelier team. It’s a great experience.” 265 Rosello, hotelomm.es
This interview has been edited and condensed.