A little bit of Portugal comes to London

One of the best things about my job is that I have the luxury of taking time off to attend all the fantastic trade wine tasting events in London. Wines of …Austria, Italy, Tuscany, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, just to name a few of the events this past month. I went to the Annual tasting of Portuguese wines sponsored by Viniportugal, week before last, at Lord’s Cricket Ground in north London. One of the very first events I blogged about was the annual tasting last year so it was with great anticipation that I traipsed up to St. John’s Wood. Viniportugal’s mission is to bring their delectable wines to the masses and they did a pretty good job of showcasing the best that Portugal has to offer. Oh sure, there were the usual Ports and big reds but there were also plenty of new and exciting wines around. I wish that I’d had time to sample the Ports, there was some serious vintages laying around, 1969 Madeira, vintage Ports from the 80’s as well as 20 and 30 year old Tawneys but I resisted because I knew if I started on the ports, I’d be a goner by dinner. I wandered around the hall with Rob from wineconversation.com. He was into trying all the whites so I went along with him. Some of the standouts were made from the Arinto varietal, a grape that is indigenous to Portugal and gives up wines that are fresh and crisp but with a nice heft to them and lovely green apple/citrus fruit flavours and aromas. Rob preferred the unoaked versions and so did I. The Portuguese also experiment with non-native varietals and one such wine was a blend of arinto and chardonnay from the Quinta da Alorna Reserve white¬†2008. Only the chardonnay had been fermented in oak so as not to overpower the delicacy of the arinto. The result was a creamy, buttery mouthful, vanilla in da house but not takin’ over the mic, allowing the baked...

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