Almost spring, Portugal and a suit and tie
It has been a lovely bright, warm day here in London. Almost spring-like, in fact - although worryingly early in the year for a spring day. There's something wonderful about living in a place that has four seasons, although I would like summer to be a little longer...
Today I attended the top 50 Portuguese wines tasting. I tasted a selection; I'd already been through these wines with Simon Woods, when he was making his final pick. They were showing very well, and perhaps the stand-out for me was the rather minimalistically labelled 'J' 2005 from the Douro. If you can get past the oddness of the name, then this is a really super, fresh, concentrated Douro red from Jorge Moreira (of Poeira) that is well worth its £17 retail price.
Another wine that stood out - with a retail price exactly double that of 'J' - is Quinta do Noval 2004. Sweetly aromatic, elegant, and yet still tasting of the Douro.
I've been wearing a suit and tie today, for the Portuguese dinner tonight (there's a dress code; it's at the embassy), and for an appointment I have soon in a posh club (which also has a dress code). The effect has been amazing. People have come up to me in astonishment, remarking on how smart I look. The level of reaction suggests to me that I must dress very badly the rest of the time. I have also noticed that when you are wearing a suit you get treated differently in shops.