Off to Portugal on the 0640
Busy day yesterday. First, the Tesco press tasting, held at a new venue on Grosvenor Place, opposite the gardens of Buckingham Palace. Some very good wines, but a disappointing show from France and Italy. It's not the fault of the buyers; it's just that sourcing good quality wines from the well-known regions that have to be represented, at tight price points, is hard.
Look at Chianti, or Barolo, for example. Some cracking wines at the high end, but mostly dross at the commercial end. Compare Tesco's wines from these big name regions with those from Sicily, for example, and the Sicilian wines win easily: the Tesco Fiano and Nero d'Avola are both excellent wines for c. £6.
Then it was off to Lords, for the Portuguese annual tasting. Because of the Tesco tasting (which is pretty much compulsory because of my newspaper column), I couldn't give Portugal as much time as I needed to.
After this, I had to run home to change into my DJ for the Caballeros dinner - it's an annual Spanish wine dinner, and this year was held at the Dorchester, which, for some reason, had the thermostat set to about 90 degrees, and we all sweated. The dinner was really good, with some super wines, including three sherries. Note to self: must drink more sherry.
I left relatively early and got home just after midnight. I had to pack and set the alarm for 0430, in order to get to the airport for my 0640 flight to Porto. The company who booked my tickets thoughtfully spelled my surname 'Goodie', so we'll see if I get on the plane...