Extreme Wine Techniques: Urban Porroning

Four lady somms. Two porrons. One city. Jordan Salcito, Ashley Santoro, Pascaline Lepeltier and Michelle Biscieglia take a Spanish wine tradition to the streets of New York. Do not try this at home.

In Spain, the porron—a watering-can-meets-glass-vase, filled with wine and tipped directly into mouths—is the preferred party starter. The vessel has a long history in the country and is said to have evolved from a wine skin (an animal skin pouch used to transport wine, pre-bottle days) then through a terra-cotta phase and eventually to its current glass iteration. While porroning can be found in bars all over Spain, it’s most prevalent in Catalonia, where it’s used to serve everything from sweet wine to Cava.

The porron and porroning have become something of a tourist attraction, but even so, the ritual remains a symbol of Spanish conviviality, as well as fine evidence of the country’s characteristically unpretentious approach to wine. It’s nearly impossible not to not enjoy a porron pour, unless, of course, you’re George Orwell. The early-20th-century writer was horrified by the prospect of dumping wine directly into his mouth, declaring, in his Homage to Catalonia (1938), “I went on strike and demanded a drinking-cup as soon as I saw a porron in use.”

Well, this is for you, dear Orwell.

Four lady somms. Four bottles of txakolina. Two porrons. One big city. Meet Jordan Salcito, Ashley Santoro, Pascaline Lepeltier and Michelle Biscieglia. Watch them perform the feat of urban porroning.

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