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Drinking from the Porrón

The Porrón, a staple of Spanish wine culture and a unique drinking vessel that looks like a cross between a carafe and watering can. The neck is narrow like a bottle of wine, and the bottom wide, like that of a decanter, fitted with a long and skinny spout.

Many who encounter the porrón for the first time ask themselves: “Is this thing a decanter I have never before seen?” or “Is this something the kids are doing these days?”

Where does it come from?

The porrón is a traditional wine pitcher found throughout Spain. While the exact history of the porrón is difficult to pinpoint, it’s origins are in the regions of Aragon and Catalonia. The home to the oldest known porrón, made between the 14th and 15th centuries, is Tarragona. We know it is clear the porrón has been a part of the Spanish wine culture for hundreds of years.

Porrón pitcher on a table

People sitting around a table can be seen passing around the porrón, taking turns guzzling from it, oftentimes with wine dribbling down their smiling faces. It’s recipient grabs it around the neck and brings the spout up to their mouth wide open. In a quick movement, they tilt back the porrón; a continuous stream of wine pours out of the spout, and if skilled enough, into their open mouth.

It may sound easy, but in actuality, it takes time to master. The point is to not let the lips come into contact with the porrón, and of course for the wine to coast into your mouth. Oftentimes, using the porrón will result in a spray of wine to the face, or the table seated behind you.

How to drink from a porrón:

  1. Pour the wine into the porrón.
  2. Bring the tip of the porrón as close to your lips as you can without making contact. Tilt it forward slowly, until the stream flows into your mouth.
  3. Gradually extend the porrón higher for a longer flow.
  4. For experts only: Extend your arm completely to achieve an incredibly thin and high stream.
  5. To stop the flow, gradually lower the porrón.
  6. With a quick movement of your wrist tilt the spout up to stop the steam.

On every full-day tour at Spanish Trails, you are guaranteed an opportunity to try the porrón during your three-course Catalan lunch (included in every full-day tour apart from Kayaks and Coves of Costa Brava). The next time you take a tour from Barcelona, come experience the true Spanish wine culture with Spanish Trails.

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