Madrid & Darracott is a small boutique wine store in Calle Duque de Rivas, close to Plaza Mayor in Madrid. It was opened late last year, 2018, by Roque Madrid and Luke Darracott. Both had worked in promoting wines and the wine industry for many years and decided to open a shop to showcase their favourite wines. Every wine in the shop has been personally selected by them.
They do a variety of different wine tasting options. You can book a private group tasting via their website madriddarracott.com or pop into the shop at midday when they have their daily tastings and will have opened one bottle for customers to try. They also have evening wine tasting events that can be booked via Inside The Bottle Winetasting on meetup.com and cost 20€ per person. Information can also be found on their Facebook page: Madrid & Darracott
These evening tastings hold up to about 12 people and come in two formats. The first format is the theme nights selected by Luke and Roque. This will usually include four wines that follow a theme e.g. summer wines, Spain’s big red wines, wine’s of Valencia etc. These tastings usually start at 8.30pm. The second format is when a Spanish Bodega visits and show cases their wines. Again it will usually be at least four wines, often more. These tastings start earlier at 7:30pm as the visiting bodega will often be travelling back the same night over long distances.
Madrid & Darracott currently do about two evening tastings a month but the aim is to get up to one a week.
One of the main advantages of these tastings is that they are held in both Spanish and English. Luke is from the UK and Roque is from Spain, but they each speak both languages very well and can move between the two. The themed tastings will be done in English one week and then repeated in Spanish the following week. So if you don’t speak Spanish then go to the English tasting. If you’re learning Spanish then the Spanish tasting is a great way of increasing your vocabulary with people who can help you along. The visiting bodega tastings are usually held in Spanish as they will be presented by staff from the bodega. However Luke and Roque will be on hand to provide translations.
The second advantage is Luke and Roque themselves. Luke is a well known personality on the English speaking wine tasting scene in Madrid. He previously worked for Devour Madrid and has something of a following amongst Madrid based wine drinking Expats. This is because of his sheer enthusiasm for wine. He is like a kid in a candy store and just oozes love for the stuff. His tastings are always animated and fun as well as being informative. I have yet to see Roque in action at a wine tasting but I have visited the store to buy some wine when Roque was in situ. He is an incredibly nice guy, extremely approachable and intimately acquainted with each of the wines in his store. He’s clearly eager to share his knowledge with you and does so in a way that is easy to understand. Let him know your taste preferences and he will steer you to the right wine for you, so I advise you to hand yourself over to his expert care.
Finally an advantage for some but perhaps not for others. Roque has two dogs and on occasions one of them will be in the store. Don’t worry if you’re not a dog lover, as they are well behaved and stay behind the counter when non doggie customers are about. Personally I’m an inveterate dog lover and will be the first to encourage the dog to come out to play especially as Roque’s dogs are just so cute and lovable (look at that photo, how can anyone not want to cuddle him!). I can think of nothing better than sitting with a good glass of wine, being educated on the wine and getting to cuddle a fluffy dog at the same time. Sheer bliss!