A Diamond in the Rough, Ibiza Brings the Party to Hippie Central
Normally the epicenter of long-haired men wearing Birkenstocks with socks, and women with more hair on their legs than a golden retriever, I was pleasantly surprised to find a inconspicuous and trendy Spanish wine bar in the heart of Northampton when I visited some family at home in Massachusetts recently.
Glancing across the straightforward menu at Ibiza Tapas and Wine Bar in the shadow of multicolored lighting, I was surprised to see mysterious wine cocktails–calimocho, tinto de verano–for just $6. For that, even a skeptic like me can give red wine and coke a try.
The wine list went on to categorize Ibiza’s offerings the wines based on flavor profile and body, essentially removing the guesswork for people who aren’t familiar with the complicated Spanish wine denominations that group wines based on the time spent in barrel.
In typical fashion, I still had trouble narrowing my choices down to a single glass, and luckily the service was as great as the wine. A sweet older gent happily let me taste 3 wines before I decided on Campo Viejo Crianza, a Tempranillo and Garnacha blend from Rioja.
At $8.50/glass, I thought the pricing was fair at Ibiza and the dark, dried fruit flavors in this bad boy were far from disappointing. Rustic, with a lingering oaky finish it was a great pick for slow sipping and catching up with friends.
I also tried their Conde de Albarei, and Albariño from the Rias Baixas region of Spain. Here, fresh tart apple flavors dominated, and grapefruit came through on the palate as well. A perfect match for seafood paella, this juice was like a girl who loves to go out and have fun, but never compromises on her morals.
Laura Loves: The mix of traditional and new age tapas on Ibiza’s food menu. Classic pork Albondigas, and patatas bravas meet their modern match with chorizo and chickpea ravioli or wine-braised lamb shank crostini.
Great service! They call it the hospitality industry for a reason, and the informed, friendly staff at Ibiza really added to the experience.
This NY Times article on Ibiza’s sister location in New Haven, CT.
Fun Facts: The city of Ibiza was originally founded in 654 BC.
Absolutely no poisonous plants or harmful animals call the party island home.