Vino & Co operate under the mission statement ‘wines of the future’, offering a collection of modern wines and strong, young wineries, using their unique experience to bring a huge range of fine wine to Ibiza. Located at Ctra San Jose, Vino & Co allow a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where tasting before you buy is encouraged. With that in mind they host a party in Sluiz on Saturday April 28 where you can ask anything you ever wanted to know about buying wine and taste a few into the bargain. Essentialibiza caught up with Jeroen from Vino & Co to get an insight into their operation and some advice on which wine we should be drinking…
What sparked your love for wine?
I can answer this by referring to my older brother, wine guru of the Netherlands and tasting 7,000 wines a year. With him I started drinking wine in my early twenties, when all my friends got boozed on beer. That doesn’t mean I don’t like beer, I love it, but that’s when I started drinking wine and developing a taste.
What makes your shop different from the numerous wine sellers on the island?
The most important thing, I’m from the north of Europe. Our strength is that we know that the taste of the English, Germans or Dutch differs from the taste of the Mediterranean, from the Spanish taste. We love our white wines and roses to be more fresh and thirst quenching. And with the reds, we think that wine is a product of grapes, instead of wood and spices. In our opinion wine must be accessible; the most important thing is that you like the taste of a wine. So at our place you don’t find the big Spanish names, but you’ll find younger bodegas that are willing to try new things, the wines (brands) of the future, so to say. And also, we offer the possibility to taste the wine. I can tell you that my wines are the best, but who cares. At our place you can come in and taste it. If you like it, perfect, if you don’t like it, we’ll open another bottle. That simple.
Is it possible to get a good wine for under €30 and what should we be looking for?
I think it’s very possible to drink marvelous between 5 and 20 euros. Top of the bill Spanish wines. 80% of our wines you’ll find are in this price range. My most expensive wine is €60 and that’s a renowned French burgundy. But all of our wines are high ranked within the international wine community, Parker, Johnson, Penin or also my brother, Harold Hamersma. Right now, look for wines from Galicia, the part of Spain just above Portugal, for top-quality wines. Amazing reds from Bierzo or the whites from Valdeorras. But don’t forget that also in other parts of Spain, the young generation of winemakers produce amazing wines. Spain is the most upcoming quality wine-producing country in Europe.
How helpful is having a brother that tastes over 7,000 wines a year on keeping up with the latest developments?
Very helpful. We share and taste a lot together. We speak to each other twice a week, but first we talk about wine, then about family. And we share a lot, new things I find, new insights from him and vice versa.
People in general are more health conscious these days, how much has that contributed to the rise in organically produced wines?
A lot. If you eat an apple from your own garden, in general, it tastes better than one purchased in a supermarket, although they’re not that round or spotless. But the taste is better. On an apple, you can wash away the chemicals from its peel, with a wine you can’t. Nobody wants to drink chemicals. So people ask more and more for organically produced, healthy wines. And even if not all our wines are produced organically, nearly all of our wines are ‘green wines’.
How does climate change affect wine production?
Even in the south of Holland they produce reasonable wines now and the wine-producing countries are looking for higher grounds. Let’s see what’s happening…
Do these environmental factors impact how you choose your stock?
No, I just take wines that taste good. We just buy wines that we like.
What the most important factor when considering which wines to sell?
Price-quality, that’s the utmost factor.
Do you have a favourite wine region?
Nowadays we prefer the northwestern part of Spain, but we don’t forget to look at other parts of the world.
Which do you prefer, red or white?
In summer, whites and roses and in winter the reds, but really, I don’t mind, a good glass of wine is a good glass of wine!
What is your favourite bottle of wine?
A bottle that never ends, ha-ha!
How important is the year of the harvest in determining a good wine?
It all depends on what the wine-maker makes of it. Sometimes they create wonderful wines in bad years. But in general one can say, a good winemaker doesn’t bring his wines to the market in a very bad year.
Ordering wine can sometimes be an intimidating experience, what can people expect when they come into your shop looking for a good wine?
It’s never, never, never intimidating. We never judge. The taste is the judge. We know we sell very good wines and whether you pick this or that, it’s your taste. There are no boundaries. Everybody has a different taste and that’s why we don’t divide the wines in our shop into regions like Rioja or Ribera del Duero, but into moments. Do you need a light wine for the beach, or do you need a full red to accompany your chuleton de buey? That’s more important.
You have a wine tasting in Sluiz on April 28, what can we expect from that?
A party! You can taste more than 100 wines and there’s food and music and a lot of nice people. We can talk a lot about wines, but the most important thing is to taste it. And this is the moment!