Bodegas JM Martínez Verdú

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With the arrival of June and (hopefully!) a long hot summer, we can also look forward to this year’s Música entre Vinos in Jumilla, organised by La Ruta del Vino de Jumilla.

What exactly is Música entre Vinos?  Not surprisingly it involves both music and wine: most events will start with a tour of the bodega, followed by a concert – and you will of course have the opportunity to try the bodega’s best wines accompanied by a variety of local tapas. When I say tapas, I mean a lot of food, so do come with an empty stomach! I don’t eat meat, but I still manage to find plenty of food that I can enjoy. Tickets cost a reasonable 20€, the same as last year, and can be bought either direct from the bodega or from Los Chilines wine-shop at 69 Avenida Levante in Jumilla.

The organisers have made sure that there is something to suit everybody’s musical tastes with a wide variety of music from pop to flamenco, plus a bit of jazz.

Enjoying last year's event in Bodegas Viña Elena

The opening concert will be at 12.00 on Sunday June 2 in Bodegas Viña Elena, and has already sold out. The music will be provided by the “Banda de Música Asociación Musical Julián Santos”, one of Jumilla’s two local bands. Bodegas Viña Elena is a family-owned bodega, 17km from Jumilla, which was founded in 1948 by Elena’s grandfather.

The second event will start at 20.00 on Saturday June 8 in Bodegas Luzón, which is about 3km from Jumilla on the road to Calasparra. The legendary Jumillano group “Magic Bus” will be entertaining everyone with their pop-rock music. Although I don’t have any favourites, I have to say that last year’s event was one of the best organised –  and we particularly liked the welcoming drink and tapas before we even started on the tour! Unfortunately we will have to miss this year’s event as my niece is getting married in Sunderland on the same day: sometimes family has to come first!

On Saturday 15 June the concert will be hosted by Casa Canales delicatessen in the centre of Jumilla. As there won’t be a bodega tour the evening will start at 21.30, with the extraordinary duet “Alex & Cristobal” delighting us with their great versions of pop, rock and blues. This is another concert that we will be sorry to miss, as we don’t return from the UK until 17 June.

On Sunday 16 June at 12.00 “Cantos Jazz Fusión” will be in concert at Bodegas Casa de la Ermita, situated in El Carche 11.5 km from Jumilla. This talented trio will be interpreting the music of Frank Zappa, the Beatles and Miles Davis amongst others in what they describe as “Jazz Ambiental”. It will definitely be a great afternoon out for jazz fans!

We are looking forward to the event organised by Los Chilines wine shop at 21.30 on Friday 21 June, especially as we will have already missed three superb concerts. “Antuan Muñoz y Banda” will be playing Flamenco fusion music at Salones Pio XII, in an idyllic setting overlooking the town of Jumilla. Their musical style is best described as flamenco mixed with rumba, reggae, rock, pop, funky: a veritable cocktail of rhythms and styles.  Prepare to be amazed!

Bodegas Xenysel is another family-run bodega, which is based in the countryside between Jumilla and Yecla.  “Sazón Bolero”, a quintet formed of four Murciano musicians and a Jumillano singer, will be performing traditional boleros at the bodega at 20.00 on Saturday 22 June. We always get a warm welcome here, and we enjoy the concerts outside in the beautiful countryside, so we are hoping some kind person will offer us a lift there!


Concert in Bodegas Xenysel

The last event of the month will be held in Bodegas San Isidro (BSI) at 20.00 on Saturday 29 June. “Potato Head Jazz Band” will be playing “Hot Jazz”, also known as Dixieland. Their music will transport us to the New Orleans of the 20s and their show promises be a combination of music and good humour with audience participation – I can’t wait! The good news is that this bodega is close to where we live, so we can walk there easily and then stagger home afterwards.

If, unusually, you don’t enjoy good music and good wine, these aren’t the only events in Jumilla this month. The tourist office is offering free guided visits on Sundays throughout June.

On 2 and 9 June there will be guided walks to the Castle and the Old Town, starting at 10.00 from the tourist office. You are advised to book in advance as places are limited.

On 23 June the theme of the walk is religious art and again it will start from the tourist office at 10.00.

Finally on 30 June the walk will be along an urban route, leaving at 10.00 from Teatro Vico.

The walks will be conducted in Spanish, so if you think that may be too challenging for your linguistic abilities, why not book a free Walkers Tour of Jumilla in English? Send me a message via the Contact page if you would like further details.

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So what is your favourite kind of music? Some people find that question easy to answer.  My friend Wendy’s husband Con is a jazz fanatic, with too many albums for me to count them all: I’m not sure whether we are talking 100s here or even 1,000s!  My father loved classical music and would sit listening to his records in the dining room whenever my brothers and I had “Top of the Pops” on in the living room. 

Showing my age now (!) - I still love listening to music from the 60s, plus some light classical music, in memory of my Dad.  However, since moving to Spain, I have also got into flamenco in a big way.  I don’t think it is a case of which music I prefer, it’s more a matter of what mood I am in, and I am sure that many other people feel the same way.

I have pasted some links below to videos on youtube that were taken at the recent Música entre Vinos concerts, with music varying from flamenco to jazz via swing.  Needless to say, I enjoyed all these concerts even though the music was very different. 

I’d love you to tell me which is your favourite video - and why.  (Scroll to the end of this post for the comments box.)

Casa de la Ermita, where Orquesta Brass Ensemble played

  Click here to play video: Orquesta Brass Ensemble

With friends, waiting to hear Al Golpe at Bodegas JM Martínez Verdú

Click here to play video: Al Golpe 

Bodegas Alceño - Jumilla Black Band

 Click here to play video: Jumilla Black Band

John and I waiting for vino at Bodegas BSI

Bodegas Viña Elena

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Música entre Vinos was a brilliantly conceived idea from the Ruta del Vino Jumilla and is now in its fourth season.   Put simply, during the summer months a series of concerts are held in local Bodegas, where you can also taste wines from the Bodega accompanied by local dishes.  We had already enjoyed five of the first six events (we applied too late for the sixth one!) and were looking forward to the other four that we have booked.

We popped into Los Chilines wine shop for a word with José María on Friday.  He told us that tickets were still available for the Música entre Vinos events at Bodegas Viña Campanero next weekend and Bodegas Pedro Luis Martinez the following weekend, however only a couple are left for the closing event at Bodegas Bleda on 30th July.  This year’s events have proved extremely popular and most have sold out well in advance.

Even more astonishing was the news that La Gran Cata, which is being held on 29th July, has already sold out.  Apparently there were 400 applications for the 250 tickets – luckily we had reserved tickets last week for ourselves and our friends Lesley and John!

On Saturday night we headed to Bodegas JM Martínez Verdú, hoping that the event would be as good as the one we attended there last year.  It was rather worrying when we drove through a downpour, as we suspected that the concert was going to be held outside.  We arrived to find our friend Fina looking anxiously at the sky.  She reassured us that our four reserved tickets were there, while muttering to us that she was nervous about the weather.

Inside the bodega

Fortunately the weather was on our side and we enjoyed a wonderful evening.  I have to say that the whole event exceeded our expectations: it was very well organised; the wine flowed; the food was absolutely delicious; the music was from the superb Flamenco group Al Golpe and we enjoyed watching Flamenco dancers too – and finally there was a wonderful atmosphere with so many people having a good time. 

The evening started with a tour of the bodega for those people who hadn’t visited it before.  The rest of us showed our tickets to get a wine glass and shortly afterwards the efficient, smiling staff wandered around with bottles of chilled white and rosado wines to top up our glasses.  That was a good start to the evening and it got even better when plates of food appeared.  The catering was provided by one of our favourite bars in Jumilla, Bar Paraiso. (When visitors want to taste authentic Spanish food in a typical Spanish bar, that’s where we take them, for the excellent value 8€ menú del día!)  

John, waiting with our friends Lesley and John, for the wine to appear!

We enjoyed some tiny empanadas (savoury pasties), what appeared to be mini sausage rolls (though I gave them a miss as I don’t eat meat) and the most delicious seafood vol au vents I have ever tasted.  I don’t know how many of the tiny vol au vents I ate, but every time they offered me another one I willingly accepted.  Yummy!

We then moved into the garden further down the road for the actual concert by Al Golpe.  Three coach-loads of British residents from Torrevieja on the coast had ventured inland for this event.  They had been  persuaded to come along by their Spanish teacher Begonia, who coincidentally is teaching Spanish to Lesley’s son Nick, who has just moved to Los Alcazares.

Once the concert started, the evening became very lively.  Al Golpe are a talented group of three young musicians from Jumilla.  I will give a link to a video that I took at the concert, but believe me they sound even better live, with an appreciative Spanish (and English!) audience.  To add to the experience there were a couple of lovely Flamenco dancers who, or so we were told, were the daughters of José María, the owner of the Bodega.

Flamenco dancers

While we were enjoying the concert, some good red wine was served (look out for Xenys, Xenysel or Calzás on the label, if you want to try their wines) and even more delicious food.  We had to smile when we overheard an English woman saying “they are bringing round bread and jam!”   Excuse me, Madam, it is a local delicacy of fried goat’s cheese topped with jam made from Monastrell grapes – and absolutely delicious.

Plate after plate of jámon, cold meats, cheese and tapas were brought round and, just when we thought we were full, they produced desserts!  Tiny dishes of lemon sorbet to refresh our palates were followed by arroz con leche, tarta moka and fresh fruit kebabs.

We all agreed that this was the best event so far, but we are going to three more this month so I will be reporting back on them over the next couple of weeks.

Video of Al Golpe

 

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