Food & Drink

Basque force— San Sebastián


Finalist in the Nariz de Oro sommelier competition, San Sebastián-based Dani Corman is one of Spain’s finest noses. Local and Michelin-starred restaurants call upon his skills when they draw up their wine lists and order from the extensive stock of his distribution firm and shop.

Dani Corman, Nariz de Oro, Spain

Dani Corman sits back and relaxes in Bergara at a bar piled high with colourful, freshly turned out pintxos – the bite-sized Basque tapas that are the trademark of the city’s cuisine. “When it comes to San Sebastián it’s all about sourcing the finest ingredients and then working wonders with them,” he says, taking a bite out of a tortilla de anchoas, a warm and gooey Spanish omelette made with anchovies. It’s a Bergara speciality that has been on the menu for more than 20 years.

It is equally important, however, which wine you pair with the perfect…

Niche carving

Swiss cheese

In Swiss homes, aperitifs are often accompanied by rosettes of the semi-hard Tête de Moine cheese. The history of this sweet and tangy cheese dates back to the 12th century when it was produced by the monks of Bellelay Abbey. That’s where it got its memorable name, which translates as “monk’s head”. This is because when the rind is shaved off the remaining cheese resembles a monk’s tonsure. In the old days this was done with a knife; now it’s done with a Girolle.

The monks were ousted from the monastery in 1797 but the cheese survived and today enjoys a lofty culinary status under the protection of the French AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) label. “There are only seven dairies in the region that make Tête de Moine, and they produce 2,300 tonnes of this cheese a year that also gets exported. We make sure the taste is the same throughout the dairies and that the packaging is consistent,” says Marc-André Léchot of the Association of Tête de Moine Manufacturers. Made from unpasteurised milk, the cheese is matured on pine boards for at least three months. Once purchased it should be stored in a fridge under a cheese cover.

Three ways to enjoy Tête de Moine
  1. On its own Shave it on its Girolle and enjoy with a glass of wine.
  2. Salads Many people use it in salads for its delicate texture.
  3. As decoration Swiss households decorate platters with Tête de Moine’s flowery rosettes.

Address book

Bergara Bar

C General Artetxe 8
+ 34 943 275 026


C Zabaleta 53
+ 34 943 326 915 ardodenda.com

Andra Mari

C Zabaleta 42
+ 34 943 288 191

Tienda de Solbes

C/ Bermingham 25
+ 34 943 292 224

El Lagar

Calle Zabaleta 55
+34 943 320 329

Viento Sur

C Zurriola 4
+ 34 943 291 333


Calzada Vieja de Ategorrieta 3
+ 34 943 323 310

Mirador de Ulía

Paseo de Ulía 193
+ 34 943 272 707

Hidalgo 56

Paseo de Colón 56
+ 34 943 279 654


Compared with the more touristy attractions of the old town, Gros is a place for locals, younger ones in particular. The district is flanked by the Monte Ulía hillside to the east, the Cantabrian Sea to the north, the River Urumea to the west and the Egia neighbourhood to the south. Surfers brave the cold and flock to the beach, while the Kursaal Congress Centre on the seafront pulls in the public with its jazz festival, film seasons and theatre shows. Its extensive supply of pintxo places makes it the perfect barrio for a night spent bar-hopping.


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