The first thing I noticed was the blackboard listing a Georgian natural wine by the glass. I was surprised but excited. Georgian wine was the last thing I expected to see in a posh Spanish tapas bar in London
It was only a sultry Monday evening but La Fabrica was packed and I was lucky to get a table. Alhambra beer in tall glasses and a selection of tapas – roasted asparagus in a creamy, garlicky sauce, a salad of cherry tomatoes, beet root, baby green leaves and goats cheese, sliced ham, bread with crushed tomato and ham, grilled pork & pineapple, grilled octopus with two different sauces and rice with black squid ink were ordered and consumed with relish. The pork, octopus and the rice were simply outstanding.
“I am intrigued by your Georgian wine” I told the waiter. “I am David. Would you like to taste it?” he asked. I hesitated but he insisted. He poured me a glass of the naturally made Saperavi imported by Les Caves de Pyrene. It was lighter than any Saperavi I have had but was soft and rounded and lovely. I nodded, told him I will be in Georgia this September, put the beer aside and ordered a bottle of the Saperavi.
Later, David came back with three more bottles of natural wine – two from Australia and one from Italy, for me to taste. We talked about Georgian qvevri and Valencian tinajas. He poured me a small glass of each wine using a Coravin and waited for my comments. The wines were excellent and David’s attention and generosity in a busy restaurant astonished me.
Fried aubergines – tempura style with honey and excellent churros with hot chocolate were next. David came back with a bottle of Malaga Moscatel and pored me a glass. “I am from Malaga” he said. The wine was aromatic, sweet and lovely.
‘What a great place’ I thought as I walked home that night. Was it really that good? Well, I’ll want to be back at La Fabrica to eat David’s wonderful tapas and drink his cool natural wines every time I am in London!
45, Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3EF, Tel: 0207272020