Grandes Escolhas hosted an exhibition of wine from all areas of Portugal on the 27- 30th of October, and I was there every day for about 5-7 hours testing the various wines ranging from green wine, reds, white, and otherwise. I managed to get through of all wineries represented, but because my taste buds were wholly hammered towards the evening. I split it into four days. I was invited on the Professional VIP list, which took place the last day. Thank you very much for this opportunity Torre de Palma, which has an array of delicious reds and whites. Fantastic presentation combined with an enthusiastic staff, and an owner dedicated to this beautiful craftsmanship. Be proud of your products because they are outstanding. Anyway, the fair took place in Hall, 4 FIL at the contemporary Parque das Naçoes and entree tickets were 20Euros for one day, and 30 euros for public access the entire days with one wine glass for tasting.
On the last day, it was only for professionals, and I got to taste and enjoy some great 40-year-olds Tawnies and surprisingly good white Port wines by selected wineries. White ports should be enjoyed “young”, and they are some of my favorites. The differences between a 10-20-30 and 40-year-old port are quite significant. The nose, the blend, the hue and palate experience were totally different, and it was nice to get the opportunity to try this without breaking the bank. I calculated it would have cost me more than 7000 Euros if I had to buy and taste everything myself. Having said this, I was offered some uniques by Quinta Ramos, Taylor’s, Croft, Noval amongst a few others. Thank you so much for the privilege and talks about your products. It is legendary, and I do have a weakness for the ports since it represents so much cultural history. However, I was probably the only idiot who spat out the beverages, apart from the finest of the finest ports. I took the time to sit down and let the experience sink in. I received many invitations to many wine hotels, and I will definitely pay all of them a visit in the commencing year. I collected a lot of data and observations about the individual wines and found for reds my taste palate leans towards the Northern regions, namely Douro, Central Dão and, of course, the Lisbon darlings of Alentejo. Where Douro wines tend to be more elegant in taste, Dão and Alentejo wines are more powerful and full bodied in the overall spectrum. At the time of this writing, I know some restaurants in London have taken my advice and have ordered multiple wines and the feedback I have been given by their sommeliers scored higher than I listed. Do not be surprised if you encounter a Portuguese red or white on the wine list in a Michelin star venue in London. I did buy a little over 100 wines for my little cabinet consisting of:
Torre de Palma
Overall, the wines were all very young, it will take some time, but it looks very promising. Remember, Portugal has been secluded from the rest of the world, and in wine terms really only became a contender now after receiving European Union funds. Due to this, it is exciting to taste and witness this market grow. Again, do not compare this to Bordeaux 1 or 2 growths, Superior or Grand Crus selection or with Chateaux like Latife- Rothschild, Margaux, Medoc, Pomerol, etc…
Wine can taste great if the necessary skills are applied from the beginning to the very end. It is an art and science combined with a deep passion which can potentially grow stronger in time. The journey has only begun!
Thanks for reading