For an ardent wine devotee such as myself, stepping into Vino & Co for the first time is like entering Aladdin’s cave. Run with vigour and passion by the ebullient Jeroen Hamersma and his daughter Rosa, it is their obvious passion for what they have created here which makes Vino & Co such an exceptional place. The concept was born from Jeroen’s hobby, great wine, and inspired by his brother Harold, Holland’s most renowned wine critic, he has succeeded in creating his dream, a place where true wine lovers can find gems and treasures to delight their palate.
Working closely with smaller, high quality bodegas, and eschewing the well known brands so familiar on every wine list on the island, 75% of their wines come from Spain, often from wineries which are forward thinking in an environmental sense, and Vino & Co are helping to bring these wineries to the attention of a new wave of wine lovers. Indeed, laughs Jeroen, even his brother is always amazed by the new wines that he manages to find, and this is a man who tastes more than 8,000 wines every year! Vino & Co do their utmost to represent the taste of the Northern European and modern wine lover.
A veritable treasure trove of sumptuous wines, this is the go to place for every well respected restaurant and the most knowledgeable sommeliers on the island to source the perfect wines to complement their menus. However, Jeroen explains, they are not aiming to take over the whole wine list of these restaurants, rather to offer something very different to their list, of course he understands that the easily recognisable brands must still be included, but by including exquisitely different references, Vino & Co are able to really excite and delight the palate. This benefits the restaurants in question, because more and more high class venues are relying on Vino & Co for their high quality wines, knowledge and passion and outstanding service. Wine lovers are becoming more and more adventurous and educated about wine and these days, big brands can quite easily bore an educated palate.
However, as I discover on my visit, Vino & Co offer much, much more than wine alone. For example, the intriguing selection of vodka, gin and two different kinds of rum, sourced directly from the bio and eco distillery of Josef Farthofer in Austria. These spirits are so pure that they make other brands pale into comparison. In fact, so protective is Josef of the purity of his drinks that when asked to give a recipe for visiting cocktail maker extraordinaire Chris Edwardes, he refused, as he said that to put these exceptional spirits into a cocktail is a waste, in fact, he considers it a crime to even add an ice cube!
There is also a fabulous Vermouth, which comes from Tarragona, a unique, artisanal concoction of herbs and spices, which at first, Jeroen says he was reluctant to even try, as for him, Vermouth conjured up images of the 70’s, the smell and the taste reminding him of ht goodnight kiss of his mother! However, so persuasive was the vendor who brought the vermouth to him, the man ran across the street to buy an orange, sliced it into a glass with some ice, and after two seconds, the bittersweet taste was so amazing that Jeroen immediately ordered 200 bottles on the spot.
A long term passion for Japanese food plus a shared love of music and drinking has also brought together the renowned DJ and sake lover Richie Hawtin and Jeroen, and as well as becoming great drinking buddies, they are also working together to curate the very best selection of sake to be found anywhere on the island. Through an alliance with Richie, Nagai restaurant and the Ministry of Sake in Japan, their ever expanding selection includes 10 very high end sakes, which will delight any true aficionado.
So, with the season coming to a close, what can we expect from Vino & Co over the winter months? In fact, this is the time that the place really comes to life, hosting some innovative and inspiring events pairing food with wine. Each Friday brings Bebe Viernes, an open and welcoming chance to sample some of the fabulous wines from their collection. It began as just a small gathering for around 15 friends, but as word spread, the weekly gatherings were attended by up to 90 people.. total chaos laughs Jeroen! The philosophy behind this is to educate people and introduce them to the world of good wine. It’s difficult, you can obvioulsy learn technical things on a course – but really it’s all about tasting! That’s the exciting part explains Jeroen, wine is fun! It’s an adventure to be explored and relished – a lifestyle.
They also host a Table d’Hote every other Thursday, offering a platform for restaurants and private caterers on the island to showcase their culinary delights to a wider audience. These events can include up to 30 people and Vino & Co offer wine suggestions with menu, alternatively, guests can choose any wine they wish from their extensive selection and simply pay the price of bottle plus 10€ corkage giving people the chance to taste the quality for a minimal corkage fee. These events attract a varied crowd and the visiting caterers prepare a 5 course menu costing just 30-40 euros per person. Previous hosts have included Can Domingo and Catering Frances, and even Jeroen himself has cooked, his own Burgundy style food – rich and unhealthy, he laughs!
So, should you desire something exceptional for your table, villa or boat, Vino & Co is undoubtedly the place to go. They offer an online ordering system where you can place and advance order to be delivered directly to your villa, ensuring your Ibiza experience begins with the very best wine. Vino & Co will go to extreme lengths to make sure everything is there on time. It can be a challenge, says Rosa – but they do it!
Keep an eye on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/VinoyCoIbiza for all upcoming events and pop ups happening in the very near future.