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WELCOME TO MY BLOG. HAVING LIVED IN SPAIN FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS I HAVE TRULY MANAGED TO IMMERSE MYSELF IN THE LOCAL CULTURE AND FEEL TOTALLY INTEGRATED. I WILL BE WRITING ABOUT MY PASSION FOR SPANISH FOOD AND DRINK AS WELL AS ITS CULTURE, PEOPLE AND PLACES OF SPECIAL INTEREST. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT.

Feria de Andalucia in Valencia - Food & Rebujito!
26 April 2016

 

 

Phew!  Time to rest! Fiestas and fairs would have overwhelmed anyone who has been in Valencia over the past month or so; Fallas, Easter, Valencian Food and Wine fair and last but not least the “Feria de Abril” (The April Fair) or the "Andalucia Fair" , well strictly speaking it hasn't finished yet, but I've had my fair share. The next festival is in July with the “Feria de Julio” so plenty of time to recover and charge the batteries! Glad there aren’t too many “monthly” Ferias!

Although we are not in Andalucia, the Andalucian emigrants that live in Valencia celebrate every year the famed festivities of the “Feria de Abril” in Valencia’s riverbed. They left Andalucia but took their traditions with them and share them with everyone who wishes to participate. Even though it is on a much much smaller scale than in Seville or other areas of Andalucia, the celebrations in Valencia are still a wonderful taster of Andalucian hospitality, entertainment and culinary delights. Yes, if I hadn’t already had enough with my previous “walk” around the Food and Wine fair a few weeks back, this past Saturday presented a similar but different panorama. So, as it is only once a year, we hitched up with the family and headed down to the “Feria”.

The kids were dressed up in traditional flamenco dresses and spent the whole afternoon dancing “Sevillanas” non-stop.  We have family from Cadiz so we are well used to the Andalucian “party spirit”, which is relentless and sometimes more than that displayed by Valencians during Fallas.

When we arrived we set up in the “caseta” (marquis) which our friends belonged to, but unlike in Seville, where they are all private, these are open to the public so you don’t actually need to know anyone to get in, you just find a table and start ordering and enjoying the ambience!

 

  

 

 

 

The first on the agenda was to find a table in the shade and get something to quench our thirst, the sun was blazing down and in the riverbed their isn’t much of a breeze as it is well protected from the wind. Naturally being in an Andalucian fair, an Andalucian drink was a must, when in Rome….  So we ordered a jug of “Rebujito” to get things going. If you don’t know what Rebujito is, it is a typical drink drunk in the spring/summer in Andalucia and the main drink consumed in the Feria de Abril. It is a Manzanilla Sherry wine mixed with 7up or Sprite! (Mixed in the proportion 70/30…sprite being 30 of course!) You might say 7up? Sprite? That’s not very Andalucian. And you are right. But the Andalucians aren’t stupid either and would rather be drinking non-stop all-day and partying for longer than having to retire home early because you are too drunk! So basically Rebujito is a watered down version of Manzanilla Jerez, which means you can drink more for longer and that’s exactly what happened!

 

                       

 

 

During the afternoon we went through 3 jugs of it and to be honest we were fine by the time we left, pleasantly “content” might be the best way to describe it. We could have continued into the early hours of the morning but routine called and Monday is a working day and the kids had school so by 7 we had already set off home.

Nonetheless we still had plenty of time to enjoy some great Salmorejo, Jamon, Cheese, Calamari and grilled meats. Some of us even plucked up the courage to dance a few Sevillanas running the risk of making a complete fool of ourselves amongst the expert and more experienced dancers. It was great fun and the kids just had the most amazing afternoon. The atmosphere at this Feria is unique unlike any other Spanish “fiesta” it is everything a foreigner thinks of when they think of Spain: Hospitality, Flamenco, dancing, music, guitars, horses, polka dot dresses, castañuelos, wine, sherry, jamón and so on and so on. It is the authentic “South”, everything Spain is famous for brought together in one occasion.

So I highly recommend it for anyone who may be in Valencia this week. It continues all week until this coming Sunday night, 1st of May. It is well worth a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Like 1        Published at 10:58   Comments (1)


My Wine Recommendation Nº3 - for under €10
15 April 2016

Many years ago I came across this wonderful red. I actually discovered it at a local wine fair in Valencia, where a friend introduced me to the representatives of the vinyards and I have to say I have always really enjoyed it. However I almost totally forgpt about it as it wasn't available in my local supermarket until recently when I cam a cross it in the Corte Inglés. Although it was slightly more expensive than I had remembered, at €9.98, I picked up a bottle. It was fantastic. The wine is called TRILOGIA and is made by Bodegas Los Frailes.

Since 1771, Bodegas Los Frailes has belonged to the family Velazquez without any interruption. The winery was formerly a property of the Jesuits friars, hence the name 'Los Frailes', who were expelled from Spain in 1767 by King Carlos III. Four years later a written manuscript reveals that their ancestors acquired in public auction the house, lands and cellar known as “Casa Los Frailes”- Friar house. The estate is located near Valencia, 80 Km from the Mediterranean Sea and at 700 meters above sea level where the vineyards enjoy a unique climate.

Bodegas Los Frailes Estate occupies over 130 hectares of terrain located in the valley ‘Els Alforins’. The main grape variety is the Monastrell, a variety traditionally planted in ‘Els Alforins’ region, which was partially lost during the last century as a consequence of the growth of more popular varieties (e.g Cabernet Sauvignon). Their main goal is the reintroduction of the Monastrell grape combined with the incorporation of new varieties  (Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Maselan, Shiraz, Garnacha) to raise the unique personality of their wines.

60% of the estate is planted with Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and the other 20% is a mixture of Tempranillo, Marselan, Shiraz, Garnacha. They have a wide variety of soils spread out on hillsides, ranging in altitude from a maximum of 800 meters down to the bottom of the valley. 


Trilogia :  Organic Red wine 
   
Grape Varieties: Monastrell 70%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20% and Tempranillo 10%

Ageing: 12 months in Hungarian oak barrels

Trilogía comes from a careful selection of the best grapes of all the plots on the estate. Monastrell’s roundness, Tempranillo’s richness, Cabernet Sauvignon’s aromatic elegance, make it a renowned wine. This is the wine that best reflects the uniqueness of their terroir.

Winemaker’s Notes: Intensive dark black cherry color. Powerful and elegant on nose with aromas of black and red fruits, dark chocolate enriched by toasty and spicy notes. Full, powerful attack,refined tannins. In the mouth, fresh herbs and ripen fruits, coffee and well-structured with refined notes of liquorice and spicy flavours. Very persistent.

Food matching: This complex wine matches very well with any red meat dish, dried cheese, young lamb, game hunting dish.

Drinking temperature: 18 °C/ 62 °F

Awards:
Guia Penin Trilogia 05 Score: 90/100
Gold Medal Biofach 2008. Germany .Trilogia 2005
Gold Medal Concurs Mondial de Bruxelles. Belgium. Trilogia 05
Bronze Medal Cofradia Vino Monastrel-Murcia. Trilogia 05.
Best wine from Cata Els Bodeguers 2006. Valencia Trilogia 05
Ecoracimos de Plata, 86,20 puntos. Cordoba Trilogia 05
Robert Parker (Wine Advocate) Trilogia 03 Score: 87/100

 

Available online here: http://www.alforins.com/vinos/art.php?ref=FRAT01



Like 2        Published at 15:55   Comments (7)


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