A Portuguese oddity: Quinta de Foz de Arouce Vinhas Velhas 2003

I remember visiting Quinta de Foz de Arouce a few years ago. It’s a really lovely estate in the Beiras region, just south of Bairrada, near coimbra, and I wrote a report on it. The soils are schist and the grape variety here is Baga, and this is the first vintage of a special bottling […]

Croft Vintage Port 1966

I’ve arrived in Porto for the Climate Change and Leadership Conference: Solutions for the Wine Industry. I’m on the speaker panel, but rather than me talk about ideas, I’m here to moderate a session on winery design, with the actual content being delivered by people who have potential solutions for the industry. As Adrian Bridge […]

Some highlights from Simplesmente Vinho, an authentic wine festival held in Porto

One of my favourite dates in the calendar is a weekend in late February. In 2016, 2018 and now 2019 (last week) I attended Simplesmente Vinho, which takes place in Porto at this time. It’s  an festival focusing on the alternative wine scene: authentic, naturali-ish wines, most of which are Portuguese, but the fair also […]

What to do in Porto

I’m back again in Porto, for the excellent Simplesmente Vinho festival, and also to catch a bit of the much larger wine fair called Essencia. Porto is a lovely city to spend time in. And since my first visit back in 2002, it has changed quite a bit. It has a lot more tourists, to […]

Taylor's Single Harvest (Colheita) Ports: 1964, 1969 and 1863

Port house Taylor’s have begun releasing Colheita Ports. They label these ‘single harvest’, which is an English way of saying that they are Tawny Ports, matured in wood, from a single vintage. The release program, now in its 6th year, has focused on selling wines that are 50 years old, so that people can buy […]

Visiting Europe's first commercial tea plantation

A few weeks ago I was in Porto, and I joined fellow journalist Treve Ring to visit one of Europe’s first commercial tea plantations. It’s from Nina Gruntkowski and Dirk Niepoort, who have a tea import company called Cha Camelia, specialising in Japanese tea. Now they will be making their own tea from a quinta […]

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2016

Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2016 Douro, Portugal
19.5% alcohol. There’s been a lot of talking up of the 2016 vintage in the Douro, so I was pleased to try this, the 2016 release from one of the top Port producers, Quinta do Noval. It comes across as a fresh, well-defined style of Vintage Port with […]

In Porto (5) dinner at Esplanada Marisqueira

Alfonso, Vitor and Dirk

The next night it was back to Matosinhos, the Port area of Porto, where the seafood restaurants are congregated. We went to Esplanada Marisqueira, a rather grand establishment, with Vitor Bento, Teresa Bento, Alfonso Bento, Dirk Niepoort and Nina Gruntkowski (Dirk’s wife, who also runs a tea company).

The food here is […]

In Porto (4) Dinner at O Gaveto

Gaveto has had a refit since I was here last. It was a memorable meal last time, so it was good to be back. Hosting us were Vitor and Teresa Bento and their son and daughter, Alfonso and Mafalda. I can’t speak highly enough of Gaveto: the seafood here is so pure and delicious, and […]

In Porto (3) Prova and Wine Quay, two nice wine bars

Prova, Porto

Porto has some good wine bars. We checked out two, on our brief visit. The first is Prova. This is a nicely situated, stylish wine bar with a great list and some nice small plates. The staff are also excellent. We got chatting, and were given a taste of a very cool wine […]