Dans Le Noir

Normally in the ‘Where In Madrid’ section I write up wine bars and shops where you can taste a selection of wines. This is a little different. Dans Le Noir is a restaurant with just two wines offered, but it is definitely a tasting experience. Because at Dans le Noir everything is served in the pitch black. You can see nothing. Your food and drink is served by blind waiters on whom you are totally reliant.

A two course meal with two glasses of wine costs 49€. You have no idea what you are eating and drinking before hand and have to guess by scent and taste alone. This is the ultimate blind tasting and it wasn’t easy.

SPOILER ALERT: if you plan on going to Dans le Noir in the near future then stop reading now as I’m about to disclose the wines they serve at the Madrid Branch.

Wine One

Served with our starter this wine was full on fruity and, although a dry wine, had that smooth easy to drink sweet effect you get from fruity wines. Light bodied, medium acidity. There was a discussion in our group whether this was a white or rose wine. It was similar to the ‘Barbie Juice’ Zinfandel rose wines they churn out in California. However I couldn’t detect any strawberry or raspberry usually associated with rose wine. Also the majority of Rose wines in Spain are dryer with higher acidity than this wine. The only place that makes fruity roses of this style is Navarra and I said as much.

So I decided to go with a guess of white wine. When we got back into the light one of our group still had a glass and we all looked and said ‘yes it’s a white wine!’ Turns out is was in fact a Navarra Rose made from Garnacha and Tempranillo. Mind you it was the palest Rose I’ve ever seen. Looked white to me. But I’d not have guessed Tempranillo.

Wine Two

Served with the main course of meat this wine was seriously oaky. It had a strong woody/earthy taste. There was good fruit underneath as well. However it was a light wine with none of the tannin effect you’d usually associate with red wines. It tasted like a fruity young red, but clearly it must have spent time in a barrel to get the oak effect. I was confused.

I did consider a barrel aged white wine, but these usually come from Rioja and are made from the Viura/macabeu grape. They taste very different to this wine, much more meaty and higher acidity.

It was in fact an oak aged white wine from Madrid. Who knew we made them here. I’ve lived in Madrid for over 10 years, been to many a local wine festival and it’s the first one I’ve seen. Made from the Malvar grape, which I’d consigned to the boring bin. Turns out it’s rather nice when barrel aged. I’ll have to buy this one as I loved it.

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