Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Monday, 11 December 2017

Vinho Verde: a greta value trio from Pingo Doce

Branco, Loureiro and Alvarinho

Here are three bargain Vinho Verde own label wines from the Pingo Doce supermarket.

Let's start with the Branco at just 1.59€ made by Carlos Teixeira. Cleanly made the Branco has 10% of alcohol with the spritz in the finish that is typical of a certain popular style of Vinho Verde. Perfectly OK without being exciting but at the price.....

The Loureiro is also made by Teixeira. This is more full-bodied than the Branco and costs just 1.99€ a bottle. Amazing value. 

Finally a a firm favourite – the Alvarinho made by Anselmo Mendes for just 3.98€. OK it is not as fine or exciting as some of Anselmo's other Vinho Verdes but this is a very decent example with some concentration. Having tried this, it is well worth exploring the rest of Anselmo's remarkable range of wines both from the Vinho Verde but also from other parts of Portugal.         

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Rabo do Pêxe: another fine dinner

2016 Dory Lisbon Regional Wine 

Last Thursday we went back to Rabo do Pêxe. We did our usual thing of choosing a few starters and then having some Sashimi and Sushi. Fortunately we had booked as Rabo continuous to be very popular.

We started with a bottle of the 2016 Dory from AdegaMãe. This is a blend of Viosinho, Alvarinho, Arinto and Viognier making a quite rich and concentrated white, while at the same time with an attractive freshness probably provided by the Arinto. It is made by Anselmo Mendes and Diogo Lopes.  

Almond coated prawns – a signature dish

Ceviche of scallops with ginger

Duck ham with pear 

Selection of Sashimi

Selection of Sushi

Having dispatched the Dory we decided to take a look at the 2014 Riesling from the same wine-making team. The 2014 Riesling is quite lean and crisp, so I couldn't decide whether I had chosen our two wines in the right order. The Riesling would have worked with the prawns and scallops but not with the duck. while the Dory could have gone with the sashimi and the sushi, although the Riesling happily paired with the raw fish. Will have to go back!     

2014 Riesling
(above and below)

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Portugal still a treasure trove of old wines

1992 Encostas da Nave
Vinho Tinto 

It is good to see that Portuguese wines are now getting the attention they deserve. Doubtless this is, in part, due to the huge popularity of Lisbon and Porto as tourist destinations. 

Much of the Portuguese wines drunk, both within Portugal and outside, are recent vintages. However, Portugal remains a treasure trove of old vintages. It is, of course, well known that Port, Madeira and other of this country's fortified wines age for decades and more. Less well known is the capacity of their white and red table wines to age brilliantly. Fortunately it is still possible to find old fine bottles at a very reasonable price if you know where to look.

Take this 1992 Encostas da Nave from the Távora Co-operative in Moimenta da Beira bought from a traditional grocery shop in a northern suburb of Lisbon for just 12 euros. Still quite youthful, although the colour shows some signs of age – not surprising after 25 years. It has lovely, softly textured fruit. Drunk without food the acidity in the finish shows but this disappeared with our duck dish.  A delight!