“Amazing, stunning, beautiful, awesome”……..nowadays these words have lost much of their descriptive value as we bloggers/writers(not all!) overuse them to exhausting excess and look for adequate vocab to impress upon our readers the beauty or uniqueness of something we are describing.
It struck me this last week as we were sharing our part of Spain with our guests, that when we have visitors, we don’t actually have to describe to them with tantalising adjectives the places,people or the food they will experience with us. They live, see, and taste their way around and can describe with their own words,with no prompting from us, just what they taste, feel and see. There is nothing worse than telling someone they are going to love this place or that wine etc . We have learned that once a customer is here with us, the places we go, the things we do and the food we eat all “sell” themselves. Our guests say things like, “That’s really interesting(amazing,awsome etc). I have never tried that before.” or, ” I didn’t realise the wine in this area was so good.” or “What a lovely unique feel to this place”, “Wow…what’s in this?” and many more appreciative remarks.
These natural and unprompted comments are just what makes our job so much fun. We love surprising people.Without wanting to sound pompous, people still have some big misconceptions about Spain (even foreign people who live here!) or simply don’t know what to expect from an area like Valencia or Teruel and come with some preconceptions. So when they are surprised to discover something new and unexpected it is gratifying to see that people naturally enjoy the experience and that you have been capable to provoke that discovery.
This last week amongst some of the things that surprised and impressed our guests were the local wines.Valencia has not got a reputation for wine, especially in the UK, so this automatically makes wine tasting a delight as nearly everyone we take to visit wineries love the wines and discover wine that surprises. Last week,one of the wines that impressed the most was “Graciano”, a dark red with personality produced by Heretat de Taverners. It was a winner, as was their “Punt Dolc”, which is a sweet red dessert wine. This latter really is different, being somewhere between a normal red and port wine. It has a fabulous taste and produced(as it does every time) that surprise reaction from the guests.
Food is another surprise experience….people come thinking tapas, paella and yes we do those but they are often bowled over by something different. Jose, one of our favourite chefs, always produces simple yet unique dishes and never ceases to introduce us to new wines and products. He even surprises us, so his impact on customers is just perfect. Last week, he produced an excellent local fresh goat’s cheese served with shelled walnuts and a selection of wood oven roasted jams(fig,apricot,pear and peach). Simple but devastatingly tasty,producing raised eyebrows and “Hmm”s all round.Closely followed by Paella Valenciana cooked over an impressive wood fire José as usual he surpassed himself.
The taste buds are relatively easy to impress with such good chefs/wineries but places have to be special to impress and that is why we take people to Les Alcusses. The remains of a fortified town on top of a pine tree covered mountain with views through the trees to the vineyard covered valley below,you soon realise why they built the town there. I particularly like going to this mountain top oasis as people normally see the low unimpressive walls as we enter the site and don’t react much and even seem uninterested. But the combination of the fascinating story of the tribe that lived there 2500 years ago, the natural beauty of the place and Jose Maria’s informative and fun guiding makes the place a hit, especially in spring and autumn when the countryside is so green. “Unique” is the word most often heard from visitors when we come away from the visit.
Discovering places and especially new food and wine are what our trips are about. If our guests discover something new, spontaneuosly like something or are openly and naturally impressed then we really enjoy our work.
If you’re interested in discovering a different part of Spain and enjoying the local food and wine then check our trips to see which one best suits you. And dont hesitate to contact us personally. All our contact details are on the webpage. Just click on the logo below to see our trips: