Saturday, 8 April 2017

Do they make wine in Portugal?

Well of course they make table wines and very many of them as well.  Although almost everyone would know and enjoy Port the table wine industry is both alive and well in Portugal.

For our Spring meeting we were able to enjoy a wine trip around Portugal and taste the well known and not quite as well known wines as well as some truly great port.

Within the Wine Club it is clear that we have members that are very able at presenting and discussing wines.

Last night we enjoyed the very good presentation given by the team that is Dan and Jayne.  A double thanks are due, not only did we have two presenters but also ones that had gone that extra mile to provide a well thought through collection of wine types and also the foods that good alongside them. Jayne was out of the country on the day of presentation as had Dan been earlier in the week, In spite of this they had acquired for us Portugese foods as well as a great collection of wines.  Many thanks for sharing your knowlege and skills with us, this was greatly appreciated.

Before the wines the team:  Dan and Jayne

We enjoyed two whites, two reds and three Ports, this first of the Whites was the  Tapadas de Villar Vinho Verde  Ex M&S at £9:00 

This was a good wine but not an outstanding one, perhaps best to quaff in sunshine before a meal. It is recommended to serve well chilled which has the effect of reducing further the citrus background to the wine.

Made from  a  blend of Loureiro, Arinto and Trajudura.  itself showing that Portugese wines are not made from the more commonly used varieties from the majority of the EU, Cab-sav, Chardonnay etc.

2015 Nobre Colheits Alvarnho Vinho Verde, @ Lidl priced at £5.99

This was a step up from our first wine, a much clearer and interesting taste, a summer wine and one that left a good mark.  The added bonus was the price, I think one of the first wines enjoyed by the Club from Lidl. Almost half the cost of the previous wine and almost twice as much positive comment.  Both wines of the Vinho Verde type. Both very fresh and an alternative in tastes from many  European wines, To be recommended by most and by Jane McQuitty of The Times, This tasted with a hard cheese.

The second of the reds was the Duque de Viseu, from Eynsham Cellars @£9.99.

Following the white wines a short trivia spot on a subject that was not trivia, Bruce gave a short resume of the thinking on how much we may drink and remain within accepted guide lines for alcohol consumption. This came down to little and not that often, a max of 14 units per week for both men and women but to be combined with time off from drinking, three days without alcohol and leaving some flexibility of how much and when to take on board that wine.

The first red was from the Upper Doura region of Norther Portugal. Smooth for sure, not too much tannin in this bottle, although matured in French and American Oak. A very good wine to have with a meat rich meals.

Our local vintner provided our last table wine, Duque de Viseu at £9.99.

The wine must represent a good buy, very smooth and made from an exceptional vineyard. Made with Tempranillo grapes as well as Touriga Nactional and Jaen.  Giving a herby, smooth table wine that cries out for red meets to accompany. Recommended.


The port trade has been dominated by the British and British families from the 17th Century, this has lead to a close bond between the UK and Portugal based on this trade.  We all know Port but maybe don't drink as much as in the past.  The tasting will go some way to address this, we tasted three Ports, the first a white, followed by a Ruby and  a Tawny as well as full descriptions of the trade and Port types from Dan and Jayne.

The first Port was surprise, here was a white Port  to be served as an apero , sadly for the wine we couldn't help thinking and comparing to the more usual Port, Ruby, Tawny etc, this was wrong as this would stand on its own feet very happily as an apero wine.

Taylors Chip Dry White Port  Waitrose @£13.29

This wine id matured for several years in vast Oak vats and blended carefully to produce the final product. At 18% alcohol it has to represent a star buy.

On to the ruby style port, the wonderful  Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port.  c£18.00 at Waitrose. 

A stunning  wine, we tasted a with a creamy blue cheese, a wonderful combo. A wine with a silver medal form the decanter wine challenge. Highly recommended.

and finally, the star of the show was Graham's 10 year old Tawny Port.   £18:00 at Waitrose

Those on our table though, well here is a Port that shouts, why wait for Christmas to buy Port, a wine with a strong presence of alcohol, great complexity and wonderful depth in flavour.

Date of next meeting:

May 26th

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