Just collecting a parcel … and instead, falling in love with a bottle of red wine!
From our correspondent in the Vélez-Málaga region, Annette Marsden.
Living on a steep hill in rural Axarquia, everyday life does present some challenges. The views are incredible and the tranquillity on the terrace restorative. However, gone for good are some of the things that I have taken for granted. A postal service is one such luxury.
No self respecting Spanish post worker would venture up the hill of doom on their jaunty yellow moped. Half way down, there’s my forlorn post box, proudly displaying my name and remaining empty.
To get a letter, I need to be friendly with a local bar. To receive a parcel, I need to be prepared to collect in Vélez-Málaga. This had brought me down the hill to the thriving hub that is Velez.
Much as I was giddy with excitement at getting any form of post, I was even more excited when my trip took me past a small place, resembling a garage, called Evinos (Calle del Rio, 39, 29700 Vélez-Málaga, Málaga). The small bodega looked like a warehouse from the outside. A simple sign indicated its function. The street parking is a bit of a challenge. However, the supermarket has an underground carpark, so a combined weekly shop with a bodega visit might be more stress free. I was lucky. A swift sharp right and I was parked outside and ready to explore. My parcel could wait.
This was a well stocked bodega with crates handily transformed into display units. A whole side of this compact shop was dedicated to Malaga wines: local sparkling, white, red and moscatel. I’m still relatively new to this area, so I breathed deeply and asked in my best Spanish for a red recommendation.
The owners were friendly and patient. They needed to be as I butchered their mother tongue. The man suggested several different Malaga wines from his good range. All the stock was clearly labelled with a brief product outline. However, pricing was only displayed on a few. I’d suggest if you were paying a visit, have a budget in mind and ask which wines they’d recommend. They come across as knowledgeable and happy to discuss wines.
This is what I did. I settled on a 6.60€ bottle. The bottle was embossed with grapes and leaves. I’m sure the creative souls could effect something wonderful with the empty bottle. In fact, the stylish design won an award for innovation. I just savoured the contents.
Grandes de Apiane, Tinto Joven (100% Syrah), label claimed it was original, cheerful and aromatic. I was keen to see if it delivered in its holy trinity declaration. This is a classic Malaga wine. From the Tierras de Mollina winery situated in the Mollina village, in the center of the so called ´Zona norte´ of the province.
This winery is a cooperative with 600 participating winegrowers and 844 hectares of vineyard. The bodega produces the classic fortified wines under the DO Malaga and still wines (red, white and rose) under the DO Sierras de Malaga. A gem is the Grandes de Apiane cepas viejas (from old vines), a white wine made from 100% Doradilla, the third most important native white grape of the province (after moscatel and pedro ximenez), fermented in wooden barrels and a total of 8 months of wood aging.
This time I settled for this immensely drinkable red. It was fruity making it very much a summer friendly red. Plums, raspberry and aromatic herbs like rosemary. Definitely cheerful. We served it a little bit chilled. The temperature had started to creep up. Nights were now warm. It seemed the perfect way to enjoy it. It worked well. You should remember that the term “room temperature” comes from the late 19th century when it meant around 18 degrees Celsius.
As to my parcel. It would be fair to say that the bodega trip was more successful. I left the post office with a shoe rack order I had cancelled, despite my protests. The printer I’d actually made the journey for, had inexplicably been returned to the sender.
Ah well, in Spain you learn not to let a minor inconvenience trouble you. A glass of red in one hand and my phone in the other and an unbuilt shoe rack in the corner of the room, I was ready to communicate with Amazon Spain’s customer service.
Calle del Rio, 39, 29700 Vélez-Málaga