I remembered that, despite my interest in local vintages, visiting the Museo del Vino I’d been surprised to see so many wines on display. At Brumas de Ayosa winery, I’d asked our guide why it was hard to find my favourite blanco afrutado (a fruity white), and he’d said that they were changing distributors. Since then I’ve noticed their brand in most places I shop.
So, where do I shop for wine?
Supermarkets: main supermarket chains stock some Canary Island wines, from Tenerife or Lanzarote, although wine is produced in all the islands, except Fuerteventura. Local chains like HiperDino and Hiper Trebol carry more than big chains like Mercadona and Lidl, perhaps for obvious reasons.
Duty Free Shops: I checked these out, they carry few local wines, and I was told, variously, that they didn’t travel very well from north to south (a nonsense) or that they were too expensive for tourist tastes. That might be true, they aren’t expensive, but you can buy cheaper, though not the same quality. Best duty free bet is on departure from Reina Sofia Airport, where there is an excellent Canarian products shop, including a big range of wines (and the banana stuff mentioned last week!).
Wine Festivals: Many towns in the south now have these, including Los Cristianos and El Médano. Held in summer, local vineyards set up stalls market style, and you buy a glass and tickets that entitle you to sample the wines. Prices may vary, but worth a visit if you see one advertised.
Farmer’s Markets: Not so much choice in farmer’s markets, because wines sold here are very small producers, but they are cheaper, and often as good as the large vineyards.
Delicatessens: these specialist shops aren’t to be found in the main resort area between Playa de las Americas and Costa Adeje, but in the towns like Los Cristianos, or inland towns like Adeje, which were here before tourism. Small shops, they carry limited stocks, but often have brands you don’t find in the bigger stores – and this is where I found the wine Andy had been told wasn’t sold in the south!
Bodegas: If you hire a car, then a trip to the source is a good idea. Some vineyards offer substantial discounts too. Brumas de Ayosa was well set up to deal with direct customers and questions about their products, even if you don’t specifically go on a tour, but remember between now (August) and New Year they are very busy!
Restaurants and Bars: Drinking local when out and about in the south is hit and miss. Resort restaurants usually stock a couple each of reds and whites, but few have a good selection, though I have been told that a big percentage of production goes to island hotels.
I can’t fathom the distribution system, the main outlets all stock the same names, so why it’s difficult to find a particular one I can’t say, but happily there is much more local wine available now in the south, and not just in the traditional outlets in the north.
Category : food and drink
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