Probably one of the best places to meet people in Spain is in bars. Everyone visits them and they are always busy and sometimes bursting with people. There are no age restriction imposed to enter these premises. They are mainly to have drink or a small tapa. Usually Spaniards can control their drink better than their northern European fellows and drunk people are rarely seen here or on the streets.
The Spanish beer is not too bad at all and well worth a try. To get a beer you order “una cerveza” and you get a tiny glass of beer, if you want to have something in the region of a half pint you order “una cania” bigger sizes are not commonly used in Spain, but you can try to order “una hara” or “canion”.
Cava is the latest name for Spanish bubbly water and was invented after along lasting dispute with the French about the right name for the bubbly water. The Spanish called it for a long time champan, but the French argued that champagne can made only from grapes grown in the Champagne region in France. Nevertheless, Cave is a quiet successful bubbly water and 99% of the production comes from the area around Barcelona.
Sangria is drink made of wine and fruits and usually is made from simple wines. You will find sangria mainly in touristy places prepared for tourists. Spanish prepare sangria for fiestas only and not every day as seen in Mallorca.
The wines around Jerez are very high in alcohol and they produce the famous sherry. If you would like to have one in a bar you have to order a fino.
Spain is a country with great wine-making traditions: 22% of Europe's wine growing area is located in Spain, however the production is about half of what the French produce. The most famous wines come from Rioja and from Ribera del Duero. The later ones are becoming more and more popular and are slightly more expensive than Rioja wines. White, rose and red wines are produced, but the red wines are certainly the most important ones. Spanish wines are produced with time and they have been in a oak barrel for at least one year (Crianza) and then another two years in a bottle, Reservas are first released after five years and Gran Reservas leave the wine estate after 10 years. Spain has seen a tremendous rise in wine prices over the last decade and Spanish wines are not any more such a bargain as they were one decade before. However you will still find 5, 10 and 20 year old wines for affordable prices.
To order a red wine in a bar you have to ask for a "un tinto por favor", white wine "un blanco por favor" and last not least rose "un rosado por favor".
Originally published on Wikitravel