Masca and the secret to wine.

So apparently, there is a skill to drinking wine. Yes, its a skill. So its not as easy as it looks. One does not simply pick up the glass and sip it (or down it). One must master the art of drinking wine.

Yeah, you see this is why its easier to stick to the beer and whiskey. The only credential I need for that is the date of birth on my passport.

Nevertheless, to now have a qualification in drinking wine is possibly the best achievement since my E grade (E for Effort) in Maths! 😉

Visiting Masca and wine tasting was an excellent experience. It is a great opportunity to gain insight into Tenerife and how the island has became what it is today. Masca itself is known as the Hidden Village and well, the fact we found it means its not very well hidden, clearly.

In all seriousness, the village is beautiful and its located in the Macizo de Teno mountains which is a Northwestern point of the island.

It is known as the Hidden Village due to how far down it is within the valley. It is very difficult to see it until you get close.

Masca was once a paradise for pirates who would wander in from the coast. It is now home to a population of 90 people.

The tour guide at the time couldn’t really tell me just how old the village was as no one really knew. It was extremely small and the people appeared very quiet and reserved. However, they depend a lot on tourism so they do appreciate your presence, even if they may not appear to.

Its not that I couldn’t take any photos during my visit. But sometimes pictures capture what everyone else sees and not what you see. I could not help but embrace the peace, quiet and calming atmosphere that the village offered. The above was a quick snap before I entered.

I walked into a cafe with the tour guide and he suggested a local favourite, Barracido, which is a coffee with a touch of liquor. Sneaky buggers.

Its a lovely little drink which just comes in a small glass, literally a shot glass, with condensed sweet milk. Stir it a bit and wollah! But don’t put sugar in it because it really is sweet enough. If you’re too much of a bore and don’t drink, you can try a Cortado, which is almost the same thing. The best thing is the fact these little delights are a sheer €2.00. I sat outside looking over a steep view, trying to find out if there were any nearby wasps. By the time that was concluded, it was time to move on.

Following Masca, we ventured off to a town called Garachico. This is a beautiful town off the West coast but tragically, in 1706 a volcanic eruption caused a landslide which covered and destroyed a lot of it. Upon entering the area you will notice rocks that have formed from where the lava poured down and covered. We pulled up and got a bite to eat in the restaurant.

Decided to eat fish and muscles. I like fish but sometimes the smell reminds me a bit too much of the Bongo dance floor. Great times. I also tried octopuss and trust me, its really not that bad. Just think of turkey twizzlers and you’re good.

Following this, we walked through the town of Garachico, where I took some lovely snaps;

The last picture is the remains of the lava, now formed into rock. Pretty amazing. Well, probably not at the time.. but now, yeah.

Moving on, we finally headed to meet a bloke called Fernando, who was an award winning wine producer. I mean this guy literally competed in a world competition and won Bronze. A feckin’ wine world championship?! Amazing.

Well as we stepped off the bus to meet Fernando, who lived in a nice little Spanish house, I looked over to see the famous El Teide in the distance. Such an outstanding view, I had to take a picture;

Imagine seeing that every morning? Not only does this man have a beautiful house but he will definitely know if Teide erupts. Anyway, his humble home wasn’t some commercialised factory – it was just a house and a lovely one too. Covered with banana trees, grapes and other natural delights, Fernando was living out a family legacy.

Is this like heaven for middle aged divorcees? Well anyhow, we entered with Fernando and he sat us down on a table. He was very welcoming, funny and interesting. He didn’t look at wine like we often do – a stress relief, our Friday night favourite or simply.. a drink. No, he looked at it like a gift of the natural fruits of the Earth. Something that couldn’t be abused or misused but a treat to appreciate and enjoy.

I won’t totally reveal what Fernando taught us in the time we had with him. However, what we tasted was fresh and well produced wine. Probably the best wine that I ever tasted and the best you will ever taste. We had white, red… OH IT IS IN FACT CALLED “VINO TINTO”! 😉

We also had rose and honey. Yes honey. Trust me, I looked around for any bees before I took a sip.

At the end of the afternoon, I purchased a bottle for self abuse. I also bought a bottle for some relatives. The thing is, these kind of gifts are authentic. It is freshly produced local wine and the finest at that. However, you don’t simply drink wine. One must learn to properly embrace the taste of vino, to fully enjoy the fulfilling flavours it carries. Can you do that with Tesco’s own? Probably not. However, I will leave what I learned as a mystery. What I will say, is that now I enjoy wine more often and drink it more often. (Actually, is that good?)

If you ever find yourself in Tenerife and want to truly master the skill of wine tasting, explore the island and visit Masca – then check with your travel agents or rep and get yourself booked on. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Stefan, Fernando and myself above.

What did I learn? That there is so much more to be appreciated about wine…

…and that its probably acceptable to be an alcoholic in Spain.