Woollen Dresses, Roasted Chestnuts & Country Wine on Tenerife

Mon, November 21st, 2011 - By Jack Montgomery

Girls have swapped mini skirts and T-shirts for short woollen dresses, tights and knee length boots; the boys, ¾ length shorts and T-shirts and Reef sandals for jeans, light jackets and scarves which they somehow manage to wear with style – when I try it I just look like a nesh, middle-aged bloke.

Christmas lights and decorations have appeared in shopping centres and supermarket aisles are groaning under the weight of a zillion varieties of that sinfully seasonal goodie, turrón. Summer on Tenerife has ended and winter has begun.

 

 

It’s more noticeable in northern parts of the island where the larger Canarian population observe the changes in the season by switching to their brand new winter wardrobes despite the fact that tourists can still be wearing skimpy tops and shorts.

In the Gran Sur shopping centre in Costa Adeje last week everybody was dressed much the same as they dress in summer whereas in La Villa shopping centre in La Orotava a couple of days later, the local girls looked as though they were modelling warm winter fashions for Stradivarius despite there not being a great difference in the temperature between the two locations.

Another signal that winter has arrived in Tenerife is the appearance of conical metal braziers in Puerto de la Cruz and in the hill towns of Tenerife’s Acentejo region (Tacoronte, El Sauzal, La Victoria, La Matanza and Santa Ursula) where the smoky aroma of roasted chestnuts sweetens the night air. This combination of glowing braziers and roasted chestnuts taunts the senses, lends towns a distinctly Christmassy ambience despite the fact that it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with the festive season. November is the month of chestnuts (castañas) on Tenerife.

Various towns hold events to celebrate the island’s deliciously sweet and savoury castañas. In La Victoria, a month-long programme includes a chestnut fair, concerts, and trails into the forest to search for mushrooms.

 

November also happens to be the month of wine on Tenerife, when the island’s bodegas throw open the doors of their wine cellars to release the season’s new wines.

Although there are events throughout the month to commemorate this (La Laguna has a wine and tapas trail where €2.50 buys you a creative tapas and a glass of wine), the main celebrations take place on La Noche de San Andrés on the 29th November (except for Adeje;  their chestnut and wine party is in the old town on 24th November).

Whether you’re a wine aficionado or simply enjoy quaffing a glass or two of the red stuff, the best place to sample a wide range of young Tenerife wines, with roasted chestnuts, is Puerto de la Cruz. Noche de San Andrés includes a wine fair where wine growers from Acentejo and the La Orotava Valley take the opportunity to display their new wines. For a bit of extreme sports with your chestnuts and wine, opt for the steep streets of Icod de los Vinos where local lads become downhill racers, using metal trays instead of skis.

 

A final piece of advice – whether you go local in a woollen dress and boots or stick with short sleeves, take a brolly. It nearly always rains on the Noche de San Andrés.

Posted : Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 12:38 pm
Category : festivals & carnivals
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