Celebrate Rioja and grab a free tapa with every glass

This June, to celebrate the sixth annual Rioja Tapas Fantasticas festival (15-16 June), a selection of the finest Spanish restaurants in London and the UK will be bringing a Spanish-style tapas experience to the capital.

The tapas tradition in Spain dates back hundreds of years to when bartenders used to cover customers’ wine glasses with a piece of bread, called a tapa (or ‘lid’), to keep out flies. Fast forward to the present day, and tapas have evolved into an enormously diverse spectrum of gastronomic treats, all designed to be shared. The tradition of providing a free tapa with drinks still continues in many tapas bars across Spain, and from 1-16 June, Wines from Rioja will bring this same tradition to London and the UK.

It’s so simple – just order a glass of delicious Rioja in one of the stunning eateries taking part in the Rioja Tapas Fantasticas festival and you will receive a complimentary tapa with your tipple, bringing the Rioja lifestyle to the capital just in time for summer.

London and UK restaurants taking part in this amazing offer are all three branches of Barcelona Tapas Bar y Restaurante (Botolph Street, Lime Street and Lordship Lane), Bar Tozino, Bellota Bar y Tapas, Boqueria, Camino Monumento, Cigala, El Cantara Soho, Hispania, Ibérica Canary Wharf, Iberica Marylebone, José, La Viña, and Number 22. Don’t forget to tweet @TapasFantastica with your favourite Rioja-and-tapas combination using the hashtag #riojatapas. You can even upload pictures of your tapas-and-tipple experience to the Tapas Fantasticas Facebook page.

The Rioja region is one of the gastronomic draws of northern Spain, its food and wines offering an explosion of flavours that are a testament to the combination of both time-honoured and modern traditions and the quality behind its produce. Rioja Tapas Fantasticas brings together some of London’s top tapas restaurants, along with bodegas from across the Rioja region, which will serve a vast array of red, white and rosé wines in a two-day Spanish celebration in Potters Fields Park, beside Tower Bridge.

There is no better way to start the early-summer evenings than with a relaxing glass of Rioja matched with authentic tapas – and shared with friends. ¡Salud!