New Basque restaurant in Brussels: Wine Tales

Brussels is an eclectic city. Thanks to its international and multicultural character, friendships and projects, against all odds, come to light every day. This is the case with Frédéric Soudain and Filippo Marino’s friendship. Frédéric is French, and Filippo is Italian – both expats living in Brussels.

Frédéric and Filippo share a passion: to discover and share regional flavours. Lucky for them, they live in such a rich and cosmopolitan city with more than 180 nationalities. A part of their friendship was brought together through a mutual love of a specific region. The region is the Spanish Basque country. In November 2017, they decided to open a Basque restaurant named “Wine Tales” at the Place Londres, in Brussels.

“The basque cuisine is just incredible. It has such a rich heritage and so much to offer. The Basque country has the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita in the world. Four out of the seven restaurants in Spain with the coveted star can be found in this region.” explains Frédéric.

That’s how my conversation with Frédéric started. About the philosophy of his restaurant, Frédéric said: “Wine Tales has two pillars: the first one is naturally the basque pintxos but we also have a tremendous variety of wines from 10 countries!”.

The term pintxo comes from the word ‘pincho’, which itself comes from the verb ‘pinchar’, which is ‘to pierce’. Pintxos are traditionally pierced with a cocktail stick to attach it to the piece of bread that they invariably came attached to.

“A pintxo is a small dish, a small bite. Pintxos are typically from the Basque country and they differ from tapas because tapas are usually bigger portions. There are two types of pintxos: from the old school, the more traditional ones and then there is the new pintxos vague that started a few years ago thanks to the famous basque chef Juan Mari Arzak. This man provoked a revolution in the basque cuisine” explains Filippo Marino.

Juan Mari Arzak
Juan Mari Arzak

My dégustation started with the traditional pintxos. First came the calamares fritos inside a soft burger bread, followed by the croquetas, along with the best tortilla of my life. I thought that after trying the tortilla I couldn’t be surprised again. I was wrong. The rulo de secreto de pata negra – a roll of fried pata negra – is just a master piece.

Creativity is a word always present at the Wine Tales. The Chef, Marta, is brainstorming on a daily basis with Filippo and Frédéric about the menu.  “We have a delicious roll of morcilla – which is a blood sausage – with chocolate sauce. Another masterpiece from Marta is the fried vegetables with teriyaki sauce” concludes Filippo.

Wine Tales has indeed a rich variety of wines. I counted in total 10 countries. France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, United States, Argentina, Chile South-Africa and Argentina. I tried three wines from the South of Europe. The first one, Perelada from Spain. A reserva from 2014, quiet strong, and with a wide assemblage of grapes: Garnatxa (46%), Merlot (27%), Samsó (13%), Syrah (7%), Cabernet Sauvignon (3%) i Ull de Llebre (4%). The second one, I confess I was curious. A wine from Puglia. Always a good business card. But the name intrigued me:  The Curious Dunkey. It’s a strong one. Perfect for tapas. The last one, comes from Alentejo, Portugal. The grapes nevertheless are not Portuguese: Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. My vote goes without any doubt to the Curious Dunkey. Buon lavoro Puglia.

wine tales wines
Explicit (Portugal), Perelada (Spain) and Curious Dunkey (Italy) – © António Buscardini

Amateurs of wine will definitely enjoy discovering Wine Tales carte. “I am the one who is charge our carte. It’s a very challenging job because I want to surprise our costumers with the best and keep providing a wide regional variety of wines” explains Filippo.

But you shouldn’t think that the wine tales is a snobby wine tapas restaurant where only afficionados can find there way. A good example is the fact that the menu is not presented according to the traditional red/white division or by countries but according to the aromas.


My vote goes to “Intense as the first kiss, refined as the first date with the love of your life”.

Good to know: 
  • Address: 13, Place de Londres – 1050 – Brussels
  • Telephone: 02 502 21 37 and Facebook page
  • Price for 2 persons: 70€/80€ – 6/7 tapas and a bottle of wine
  • Opening hours: Monday to Thursday: 12:00 – 15:00 and 17.30 – 0:00. Friday: 12:00 – 15:00 and 17.30 – 1:00. Saturday: 15:00 – 01:00. Sunday  closed