A superb, affordable Port from Grahams

Now this is pretty smart. It may only be an LBV, with a T-top rather than driven cork. But it’s actually a really good Port, and worth thinking about as something to have on hand as the nights draw in and finishing the day with a glass of something sweet, delicious and alcoholic becomes an [...]

Video: mechanical/robotic foot treading for Port

In this short film, Paul Symington describes the way his company have pioneered the use of mechanical foottreaders (also known as robotic lagares) for Port production. It’s not straighforward: Port needs a rapid but relatively gentle extraction, and the human foot is especially good at this.

Video: the spectacular Quinta dos Malvedos in the Douro, Portugal

A film from my recent Douro visit. It’s Graham’s spectacular Quinta dos Malvedos, shot the day before harvest began.

For more on Malvedos, take a look at the superb Graham’s blog.

Some traditional Portuguese food and Graham 1980

I’m in sunny Porto, heading off to the Douro today where vintage 2011 is just starting. So, snatching a few minutes on free wifi (all hotels should offer this) in the lobby, a brief account of last night’s dinner.

It was at O Carteiro (55 Rua Senhor da Boa Morte), a traditional Portuguese restaurant. The food [...]

We should be drinking more Port!

End of a long day, completed with a glass of Port. We should drink more Port – it often gets forgotten, or relegated to the end of a long evening or meal.

I opened this bottle last night, watching The Godfather, for the first time since 1999.

It’s Churchill Quinta de Gricha Vintage Port 1999, and it’s [...]

Fonseca 1970, Delamain 1914, Vin de Constance 1988 and other treats

Had a very enjoyable dinner last night at the offices of Mentzendorff, a major high-end UK agency house. It was more fun than work, but I took some notes on the wines in my usual geeky way. Here they are.

Champagne Ayala Perle d’Ayala Nature 2002
This is the non-dosage version of Ayala’s prestige cuvee, and it’s one [...]

Dinner at Francis and Bronwens with Huet, Laval, Niepoort and Donald

I normally try to keep this blog of the moment, but I’ve been busy of late, and I have lots to include. So I need to mention, after the fact, Thursday night’s dinner at Francis and Bronwen Percival’s place.

It was another gathering of the convenors of the London Gastronomy Seminars. I love these meetings, because [...]

Port: why the Symingtons didn't declare in 2009

Following up from my write-up of the 2009 Vintage Port declaration, Paul Symington contacted me to explain why the Symingtons didn’t make a widespread declaration of the 2009s, which I’m reproducing below:

I see on your website that somebody has commented that we are nor declaring “for non qualitative reasons”. This is entirely untrue. I have [...]

The 2009 Vintage Ports from Fonseca, Taylor's and Croft

Went to a very interesting tasting this morning. It was the declaration tasting of the Vintage Ports from the Fladgate Group: Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft.

I really liked them. These are incredibly concentrated, dense wines with lots of structure. The good news? Despite the reduced yields, prices will be pretty much the same as when the [...]

Organic in the Douro: Terra Prima and Altano

Organic viticulture in the Douro is not all that common. However, things may be changing. Two organic wines that have recently reached the marketplace are Symingtons Organic version of Altano, and Fonseca’s Terra Prima organic Port.

They’re both quite delicious. The organic Altano is a significant step up from the other Altano wines, with nice density, [...]