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

Friday, 16 November 2018

Various from Portugal & France


Open space

Adegga Wine Market on Saturday 1st December 2018 – a date for your diary

Details 1.12.18

This year the winter Adegga Wine Market has a new venue at Armazém 16, Marvila, Lisboa with 70 Produtores Adegga, 500 Vinhos, 5 Chefs, 1 Sala Premium (Premium Room). Scenes from the 2015 Wine Market in Lisbon

There will be a special 'Rising Stars' section with Álvaro Martinho (Douro), Arribas Wine Company (Trás-os-Montes), Herdade da Anta da Cima (Alentejo), Portugal Boutique Winery (Douro), Rosa da Mata (Dão), Titan of Douro (Douro) already confirmed.

It will be interesting to see how the empty space above will be transformed for the Wine Market. If you happen to be in Lisbon on Saturday 1st December then a few hours spent at the Wine Market is highly recommended – a brilliant opportunity to meet some of Portugal's most interesting wine producers, taste their wines and then buy at a discounted price.

Lisbon is booming – a week last Sunday morning we travelled back into Lisbon where we had again had a great meal at Terroso and the streets were mobbed at 1.15 am with traffic jams – true it was the weekend before the Web Summit ...... but even so. Sadly Terroso is now closed on Sundays and Mondays, so long Sunday lunches are now out, so will just have to have long Saturday lunches or even long Tuesday lunches instead.

It is more than a full-time job trying to keep up with all the new bars and restaurant openings in Central Lisbon. During our brief Lisbon visit we did try one new restaurant – Picamiolos, where the influence is very much from the Alentejo. We were very impressed.

Rabbit chops

There were some very creative dishes like the above very crispy rabbit chops – so crispy that you eat the bone and all.

Accorda Guinea Fowl

Acorda is very much a traditional Portuguese recipe – a recipe based on bread and including fish or shellfish often prawns or monkfish. Acorda is a little like a bread porridge. Although well done acorda can be very good, here at Picamiolos the approach was decidedly different. Their acorda of guinea fowl was more akin to a bread and butter pudding without the sweetness – the bread lightly toasted. With this we drank the fascinating and lightly spicy 2013 Mayor from José da Sousa, which is vinified in ceramic amphora that has a very long tradition in the Alentejo dating back to Roman times.

I do hope that Lisbon will ride the boom and continue to offer quality food and drink at a reasonable price wherever you go – one of the big reasons for the the city's current popularity. If it doesn't then there is always a danger that boom can turn rapidly to bust.


Make Mine a Pouilly-Fumé!

2014 La Mine-miner

2014 La Mine

On Friday night we opened the stunning 2014 Barre à Mine, Blanc Fumé de Pouilly from Michel Redde – a combination of lovely rich texture citric fruits edging towards more exotic fruits matching by great clean mineral length. Drinking brilliantly now but clearly capable of aging much longer.

Barre à Mine comes from a special relatively recently created vineyard planted in very flinty ground just off the D4 close to La Roche in the northern end of the Pouilly-Fumé appellation. The Reddes cleared some huge boulders (see below) from ground around an old quarry – hence the name.


Vines struggling through pure flint....


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