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Spanish Secrets: Long Live The Evolution!

There you are, sitting on your front porch, sipping the delicious wine made from grapes from your own vines, watching the setting sun, exchanging greetings with your Spanish village neighbours who are out for an early-evening stroll...and what comes next? Craig Briggs savours the full cup of Life.

Whilst holidaying abroad, a favourite passtime for my wife Melanie and I, is the tea-time taste. This habit started almost 20 years ago on the Greek island of Rhodes.

The island’s infamous resort of Faliraki was at that time relatively small. Even back then it was a very popular destination, but not the modern-day Soddom it has become.

Every evening, at about 6.30 pm, we'd take the short walk from our hotel to a bar half way down the main street. The bar’s covered patio was separated from the main thoroughfare by rectangular- shaped planters. Here we would sit at a table, order an icy cold beer, then people watch.

This was the start of our love affair with the tea-time taste.

Over subsequent years and many different holiday destinations, this habit has become an essential holiday ritual.

Some busy roadside bar has been replaced by more congenial surroundings, and the ice cold beer is now a good bottle of chilled white wine.

Our start time has remained pretty much the same, but our sitting time has extended. We still love people watching, but now equally important. is watching the setting sun.

On a number of occasions we tried re-creating this event in England ,with varying success. Opportunities in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, are very limited.

Imagine if you will, in the birth place of those dark satanic mills, the sun setting in a cloudless sky and the air breathless. Add to this the likelihood of me being home from work in time to witness these rare events. Taking tea with the Queen on the lawn at Buckingham Palace would seem a more likely event.

On the few occasions these events did coincided in Yorkshire, the atmosphere wasn't the same as when we were on holiday. Sitting on a wooden bench in our front garden listening to the endless drone of traffic is not like hearing the Mediterranean Sea lapping against a shore.

Since moving here to Spain however, we have integrated this treasured ritual into our normal life.

At this time of year, with every passing day, the sun remains with us just that little bit longer. It's now approaching 7.00 o'clock before it sinks beyond the horizon, providing others with its radiant glow.

There's plenty of time to sit in its warmth and enjoy a glass of wine.

We sit on the patio in the back garden looking out at the distant snow-capped mountains glistening in the evening sun. A few paces away is our little casita, from which our ritual has evolved a stage further.

The white wine no longer comes in a clear bottle with an artistically designed label but from the vat - our wine from our ow vat.

The wine is now perfectly clear, with a sparkling radiance and a colour reminiscent of Lyles Golden Syrup. Its flavour and aroma bring with a tantalising taste of the summer to come.

In summer we will sit on the front porch to watch the sun setting, exchanging greetings with village folk who will be taking an early evening stroll.

Warm summer evenings turn into warm summer nights, and the tea-time taste turns into….?

Long Live The Evolution.

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