By Sandy Miller, Co-owner, Vine to Wine Concierge

In each blog we’ll write about our travels, experiences with food, wine and the local culture.  We also include a recipe at the end of the blog reflecting something that represents food of the region.  Let us know what you think.  Cheers!

Bodegas Crater

Omar, Pam and Lourdes, Bodegas Crater

After five days in Lisbon and Madrid, Tenerife was a complete change of pace. We stayed in Los Cristianos, a small city on the southern side of the island for five days.

There is a touristy feel to the area – there are nice beaches, good restaurants and plenty to do. We were fortunate enough to pre-arrange visits at two wineries not open to the public – Bodegas Crater (Lourdes and Omar were extraordinary hosts) and Bodegas Vinitago (Lauren was very hospitable even though they were harvesting their Tintilla grapes the day of our visit). Look for a separate blog about these wineries soon.

Vinatigo

At Bodegas Vinatigo

Lost

Los Gigantes

A big surprise was Los Gigantes – an enormous set of cliffs in the southern end of the island.  Nothing, however, compares to El Teide national park. The park is home to the eponymous mountain, which, at over 12,080 feet, is the highest in Spain, as well as exotically barren and varyied landscapes and formations (and many of them have appeared in various science fiction films).  El Teide is the second most visited national park in the world and most visited in Europe. Hiking abounds in the park.

El Teide

A View at El Teide

Rabbit Meatballs

Rabbit Meatballs with Black Mint Sauce

We concluded with three days in Fantastico! Barcelona. We stayed at the Arai Aparthotel in the Gothic Quarter of the city. Small cobblestone streets, great shopping and numerous restaurants, bars and museums are in the area which abuts the harbor and Mediterranean.

Cheese Stall

Cheese Stall at the market.

Olive Stall

Olive Stall at a Barcelona Market

Sculpture at Barcelona Waterfront

Sculpture at Barcelona Waterfront

Everywhere we found the food good to exceptional and everything, including wine, was very reasonably priced. Most of our meals were under 70 Euros (including a bottle of wine).

Market in Barcelona

Fresh Food Market in Barcelona

What can you say about Gaudi’s contributions to the art and architecture of this beautiful city? Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia is astonishing. We also visited the Fundacion Joan Miro museum (a highlight) and a mildly disappointing Picasso museum as it concentrated on a very small segment of his work. The Arai Aparthotel in the Gothic Quarter is highly recommended. Among the best wines we had in Barcelona was Emilio Moro 2011 Malleolus from Ribera Del Duero. We enjoyed excellent meals Guru BCN and one of the best meals of the entire trip at Viana Barcelona where we had some terrific tapas, including a wonderful tuna tartare.

Everywhere we found the food good to exceptional and everything, including wine, was very reasonably priced. Most of our meals were under 70 Euros (including a bottle of wine).

Recipe for Smoked Salmon Canapes (or Crostini)

Recipe for Smoked Salmon Canapes (or Crostini

Salmon – smoked or brined – is commonly served in Portugal and Spain, along with a wide variety of fresh and delicious seafood.   Here’s a simple dish that will please almost everyone.

  1. For Canapes cut your favorite baguette on a slight diagonal and arrange on a platter. You may substitute a good quality neutral tasting cracker for the baguette.
  2. Cut any kind of smoked or brined salmon into small pieces to cover the sliced baguette.
  3. Dollop a small amount of softened cream cheese (or whipped cream cheese) onto the center of the salmon. You can substitute any kind of softened creamy spreadable type of cheese or even sour cream instead of the cream cheese. To make this especially decorative you can put your choice of softened cheese into a pastry icing spreader and squeeze a dollop onto each salmon.
  4. Top with a sprig of fresh dill, capers or a sprig of parsley.
  5. For Crostini lightly toast the baguette slices before assembling.