The Fòrum Gastronòmic Girona
In the land of awesome, all-encompassing events in Spain, the Fòrum Gastronòmic (or Fórum Gastronómico if you’re in to that whole Castilian thing) ranks up towards the top. There are tons of smaller, local events all around Spain that promote local products–the Alimentària being an insanely impressive one in Catalonia. But, Fòrum Gastronòmic is yearly and it changes towns each year. This one was in Girona, that small, lovely town about an hour north of Barcelona.
Upon arrival, we were quite blown away. The sheer number of quality wines, foods, and other things related to what you imbibe were impressive. Many groups had gathered together to make their presence more known like our old friends from Empordà who had circled their wagons in one big hit of Catalonia’s most northern wine region. Needless to say, we were sidetracked there for some time as we chatted with this batch of folks we know all-too-well and tried their new wines such as the Tocat de l’Ala (literally “touched at the wing” but actually meaning a bit nuts) from Roig Parals and the Ull de Serp (eye of the serpent) from Arché Pagès–two promising wines that you’re going to see a good deal more of in the future. Then there were the new wines and labels of Vins de Taller including the fully white organic Baseia.
Wading our way through offers of jamón, manchego, and no end of awesome, we also tasted a number of the island wines, but more on that later. As a three day event, it was probably a bit much for most people to take in, especially as on the final day was when they brought out the big guns, namely Castell de Perelada presenting a vertical tasting of the fantastic Finca Garbet wine–the most expensive bottle in Empordà at 110€. While we weren’t some of the lucky ones to attend it, according to the Twitterz, we weren’t the only ones given that nearly all the sommeliers in the country seemed to be trying to attend that.
But, the best part of this forum was the no-bullshit approach to tasting. Smaller fairs have all taken an insane and misguided approach to tastings wherein you buy batches of tickets that are each supposed to be for a taste, but then, if a wine is more than 10€, they require more than one ticket for a taste. But, at this event, you simply paid 10€ to enter and picked up a glass at each winery to taste freely, to then give it back to them once finished. There were no drunks stumbling around and it had this wondrous air not often seen at these events no matter where in the world: professionalism.