On Thursaday night, I attended the Decanter Man of the Year dinner held in honour of this year’s recipient, Paul Symington.
Right from the outset, when Paul was rung with the news of the award in December, he maintained that this is a family award. Paul heads up the family business: they are the leading shipper [...]
Old wines? I love them. And some of the best old wines are fortified wines: Madeira, Vintage Port, Tawny Port and VORS Sherry.
This is a 60 year old single-vintage Tawny Port (the official name for vintage dated Tawnies is Colheita), released to commerate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It’s fabulous and expensive, but good value when [...]
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 [...]
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.
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]