Enjoy a private Tapas Tour of Barcelona. It is said that King Alfonso X, el Sabio or "the Wise One," made sure that Castilian taverns served wine accompanied by something to eat, so that the wine would not go straight to the clients' heads.Out of this decree, Tapas were born. Tapas have become an important part of the gastronomic scene in Spain. Tapa is the Spanish word for lid and it is thought to describe the old custom of serving a slice of ham covering the mouth of a wineglass. In doing so, the wine was protected from the air and the ham or other tidbits made a tasty appetizer.