More Guerilla wine (Portuguese) and supper clubs!

Apr 23, 10 More Guerilla wine (Portuguese) and supper clubs!

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One of the conversations I vaguely remember having at the Fernandez&Leluu dinner was with one of their helpers, Claire, co-founder and cook of another secret supper club, the Green Onion Supper Club situated in a Hackney council flat. What was even more appealing about Claire’s club was that she referred to herself as a guerilla cook! Love it! Just like my Guerilla winetasting adventure with Eatlikeagirl. A few emails later and we had arranged to do a quick guerilla wine tasting during the supper. We’d swoop in and swoop out having distributed some quick tastings of the wine we had to hand. I had a few bottles from the Portuguese Big Tasting with Oz Clarke at Waitrose which I thought would go well with Claire’s menu of venison terrine, mutton pie and chocolate mousse. And so, Niamh and I were off to do our tasting. Unfortunately, I’ve just moved to the Dalston/Hackney area so we quickly got lost. After traipsing around the council flats of Hackney for at least an hour, we finally gave in and sent out an SOS to please come and find us! Turns out we were just around the corner from the flat/supper club venue but these things are very well hidden. Judging on this and my last foray into finding secret supper clubs, you shouldn’t attempt to play hide and seek with these people, you’ll never find them! We got there just in time to eat. I quickly gave a brief run down of the first wine, a vinho verde. Vinho Verde is so called not because it’s green but because it’s young. The Quinta de Azevedo 2008 (£6.16) was a very tasty, light and fruity example of what vinho verde is all about.  A slight tickle of bubbles on my tongue followed by lemonadey-citrus flavours but tempered by a crisp acidity that made this just the ticket to start the evening. Even though people were talking all over each other, most agreed it was fresh and easy drinking....

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Vinhas da Ciderma-video tasting note w/the winemaker

I was wandering around the Annual Wines of Portugal tasting the other day at Lord’s Cricket Ground (one day I must get there to see an actual cricket match as opposed to just going and sampling wine) looking for good value red wines. I came across Vinhas da Ciderma and their winemaker Monica Figueiredo pouring their range of reds from the Douro Valley. Monica has been making wine at Vinhas da Ciderma since 2002. She uses only Douru Valley varietals and has made consistently excellent wines, gaining wide acclaim in the US from The Wine Spectator. She focuses on portuguese varietals tinta nacional, tinta roriz, tinta franca, tinta barroca and even the almost forgotten tinta francisca to produce full bodied yet fresh wines that can only be from the Douro Valley. One of my favourites was the Donzel Douro DOC Reserva 2005. A blend of tinta franca, tinta roriz and tinta francisca, aged 9 months in America oak, click on the vid to hear our tasting notes. Estimated retail price £10. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Guerilla Wine Tasting: A Guest Post from Gorilla

I’m so tired of wine being exclusive. I’m so bored of the London scene. Why can’t us Gorillas have some of the action? I love wine and I think I understand it, so I sent a message out to fellow wine lovers. “Join me by the river to explore and enjoy good wine.” We had fun. We had wine. You saw what all happened… Thanks to Casa Leal, Quinta de Lagoalva and Nicole Ruduss for all their help. And  lots of hugs and kisses for The Winesleuth and Eatlikeagirl for supporting me in my vinous quest. You can read Eatlikeagirl’s post about the tasting here. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Weird and wacky Colheitas

Would you drink this? What if I told you it was a port wine? More specifically a colheita who’s age was unknown? Even after double decanting it was still looking murky but we went for it anyway. I always get confused about port classifications but I after spending an evening drinking with the fellows from The Port Forum, I’m pretty clear on what a colheita is. For the record, colheita is a tawny port that is made from a single vintage. Tawny port is red wine (from various vintages) that is aged in wooden barrels  and then bottled as opposed to vintage port which is aged in bottle. The Colheita carries two dates, the date of the vintage and the date it is bottled, which is often seperated by decades….And that ends the educational portion of today’s lesson. My good friend Oscar Quevedo was in town to sell his ports and he invited me to join him and a group of Port aficionados for a night of wierd and wacky Colheitas. The premise of these get togethers is to bring in your favourite ports to share. Since Oscar was in town, they decided to do something a bit different, hence the Colheitas. I later found out that colheita is not one of their favourites but that didn’t stop them. We jumped around the decades, 1994, 1965,1968, 1975, 1934, 1950, even the fabled 1977 (which sadly was corked!) and the one pictured at the very beginning. It was pretty cool to have the opportunity to drink wines that were older then almost anyone I know. I found many of them to have espresso coffee bean, maple syrup and of course nutty flavours and aromas. Oscar did have one trick up his sleeve, producing a moscatel that was 50- 60 years old. It had the experts fooled. Despite it’s age, it was light and grapey with lovely elderflower notes and marzipan fighting it out for dominance. Oscar had found it in his grandfather’s cellar and brought...

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Lunch in the Douro at Quinta Vale do Meão

After the ’09 EWBC ended in Lisbon, myself and about 20 other winebloggers were invited to visit the Douro Valley by the Douro Boys. The Douro Boys are 5 Portuguese wine makers who have come together to make exciting  still table wines from the Douro Valley and to show that there’s a lot more to Portugal than Port. The first quinta we visited was the Quinta Vale do Meão. It was founded by the legendary Dona Antónia Adelaida Ferreira in 1877 when she purchased  260 hectares and began construction of a quinta and cultivation of the vines. Her great-great grandson, Francisco Javier de Olazabel now runs the estate along with his son, the estate winemaker, Francisco Olazabel. The produce both red and white table wines. We got an extensive tour of the winery and then off to the quinta for snacks and a very late lunch. We were starving because the epic journey from Lisbon had taken us about 6 hours and only one coffee stop all day. We fell on the food like vultures. Must have spent about 45 mins eating and drinking their delicious white wine and then lunch was served along with their robust red wines in the main house. By the time we left, the sun was setting and we still had a train ride along the Douro to the next winery we were scheduled to visit that day and dinner! Below is a brief slideshow of the Quinta Vale do Meão winery and estate and our train ride along the river, featuring various winebloggers, of course! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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