A fabulous day's tasting in Lisbon
Flew to Lisbon first thing this morning for a weekend of tasting Portuguese wine. I was invited out by leading Portuguese wine magazine Revista Vinhos for their annual three-day tasting event, which brings together Portugal's top wine producers for a large consumer tasting.
I was picked up from the airport by Luis Antunes, a buddy who writes for the magazine, and we headed over to the conference centre where the tasting was being held. There we did a bit of tasting, before enjoying a fabulous informal lunch - the tasting event has several 'kitchens', all operated by leading chefs, and for a few Euros you can have a small portion of one of their dishes. Mario Sergio of Bageiras (Bairrada) gave us a bottle of one of his wines to help wash our lunch down with.
After this, it was down to some serious tasting, which lasted from 2 pm until I quit exhausted just before 8. Tasting conditions were pretty good, and the place didn't get crowded until early evening. I tried some realy fabulous wines, and I'm now exhausted. I have about an hour before it's dinner time, but we won't be tasting - rather, we'll be drinking.
Because I'm selecting the Top 50 Portuguese wines for the tasting at the Portuguese Embassy in February 2009, this sort of event is particularly useful. Picking just 50 wines is going to be tough. I've made a special effort to get up to speed with Portuguese wines this year - this visit is my fourth trip to Portugal this year, and I have another visit in a couple of weeks.
I think after all this research I should do a short book on Portugal's best wines!