This morning we woke up in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the largest of the seven main Canary Islands. We had been here last two years ago, on the Black Prince. Interestingly, whilst most British people pronounce it ‘ten-er-reef’ its actual pronunciation is four syllables long, i.e. ‘ten-er-reef-ay’.
We spent the morning just doing our own thing, before setting off after lunch on the “Tenerife Wine and Tapas Experience”. It certainly sounded interesting! 🙂 The coach drove along the coastal road en route to the first winery then along some of the winding mountain roads. We could see Mount Teide, an extinct volcano and Tenerife’s highest mountain, rearing up into the clouds in the background.
We arrived at the winery (its name escapes me so it must have been good ;-)) and watched a brief docu-film showing how the grapes are grown and harvested and how the wine is made, often by the traditional method whereby the grapes and are actually trodden by foot instead of by machine. Then we were shown around the bodega to observe each stage of the winemaking process. We then walked into a sunny and pleasant courtyard where we were able to sample the different wines, and try some delicious home-made bread and goat’s cheese. There was red, white and rosé wine to try and we went back to have our glass refilled more than once 😉
A friendly black and white cat was sunning itself in the courtyard and was getting plenty of attention from our party. It was a female and looked pretty fat; we were sure it must be pregnant. But when the cheese and bread was brought out, the cat went and sat under the table and certainly made the most of the titbits of cheese it was offered. The lady serving out the wine said the cat wasn’t pregnant, just fat! 😀 No wonder if the tourists feed it every day.
We left the pleasant courtyard and boarded the coach to go our next bodega. This one was more how I remember Spanish bodegas to be; a cool, dim, slightly musty-smelling cellar stacked with barrels. As we walked into the bodega there were wooden tables and chairs down the middle of the room, and we were shown where the wine glasses were and told “help yourselves!” 🙂
There were six different types of wine to try; a fruity red, a medium rosé, a white, a moscatel and a brut cava and a demi-sec cava. As always, the cava (which I love) was my favourite and I wasn’t keen on the moscatel, which was a very sweet dessert wine. At 15% it was almost like a sherry, and Trevor liked it, drinking several (large!) glasses.
In addition to the copious quantities of wine, there were also lots of different types of traditional tapas to try, including delicious jamon serrano and salami. The taste of the cured meats really brought out the flavours of the wine.
All too soon it was time to go back on the bus; we bought one bottle of each of the Cavas to take back with us to drink on the ship. In fact, while we drank our own wine in the privacy of our stateroom, a lot of people brought theirs into the dining room to consume with their evening meal, preferring to pay corkage as it was still cheaper than paying the ship’s inflated wine list prices. Everyone was fairly quiet on the bus journey back – I think most people had fallen asleep after all that wine! 🙂
I must admit when we got back on board that I didn’t feel like going up to dinner after all that drinking and eating tapas, so I took my time getting ready and only went into the dining room at the coffee stage.
The entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre that night was an Irish comedian called Adrian Walsh, from Belfast. We had seen him earlier this year on the QM2 and he is really funny. He seemed to appeal to audiences from both sides of the Atlantic and I really enjoyed his show.
Then it was off to the Golden Lion again for the usual, before going to bed around 1.00am.