Welcome to Malaga—Moscata de Alexandria

Posted in Blog, Featured, Spain, Wine

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Arriving Malaga in the evening via a low-fare flight from Amsterdam, the taxi deposited me a distance from my hotel, pointing me down a broad marble-paved pedestrian street that appeared to be the scene of a big party. It turned out that Avenida de Larios was a main street through town center, and the crowds were celebrating the last day of Carnival celebrations in Malaga. Once in my room on the third floor of a traditional building, I could enjoy the crowds below and from my little Spanish balcony nearly touch the tall structures of LED lights that added to the festive ambiance.

This being Spain, it wasn’t too late to head out for a bite to eat. Each of several tapas bars/restaurants I passed by looked more attractive than the last. I settled on the one with a collection of Iberico ham hocks hanging, while on the bar, a tub of at least a dozen opened white wines were chilling. Soon I was dusting off my Spanish with a charming muchacho whose main job seemed to be shaving off the thinnest slices of that wonderful ham, and serving lone people like me, sitting at the bar. Per Pedro’s suggestion, I started with a clean light Verdejo and a plate of boquerones, lightly breaded and fried sardines, the signature dish of the port of Malaga. This was followed by a plate of the wonderful Iberico ham and some fine sheep manchego cheese. And finally…it arrived so gallantly, so hospitably, so Spanish: a small glass of Moscata de Alexandria, compliments of the house. Sweet but not syrupy, it’s a delicious golden reminder of something I love dearly: the juice of the muscat grape. With that lovely taste in my mouth and the kind gesture, I feel Southern Spain—Andalucia—has welcomed this traveler back again. And also—Malaga, a city I missed the last time in these parts, has said, “Hola—mucho gusto!”

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