La Volàtil can seem aloof. A natural wine bar with fancy bravas? Hmmm… For mere mortal wine drinkers (we don’t dare call ourselves enthusiasts), the natural wine movement can appear high-brow, pretentious, or principally for hospitality professionals. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. A visit to the festival Vins Nus the next time it’s in Barcelona will reveal just how down-to-earth it can be (clods of that same Earth still clinging to eco-hippy-enologists’ clothing). Or, perhaps easier, spend 10 minutes with the Cuvee3000 team at an edition of Eat Street. They’ll dissolve your preconceptions in cider-like natural wine made the way your great-great-great-uncle Olegario used to make it.
The same happens at La Volàtil. The wine list can be intimidating and you won’t recognize most of them. They start a bit above the €15 per bottle you may be used to and they reach higher prices than you can perhaps handle. But four of us sat down for dinner, ordered a bottle of local, natural white recommended by a friendly and, again, down-to-earth waitress, a beer, two bottles of water, seven tapas, two desserts and two coffees, dined exceedingly well, paid €20 per person, and strolled happily into the evening. All good in the hood.
Everything we ate was tasty. Not a single complaint, with the escalivada and the albondigas con sepia the icing on the cake (and the wine, of course).