Thursday, October 18, 2012
The evening started off with two very recognisable wines from producers Mateus and Lancers who happen to make more wine each year than all the other wine producers of Portugal combined. Next, a tour of white and red table wines revealed passable tipples that were quite fruity with low alcohol levels.
Unlike George Plantagenet, the 1st Duke of Clarence, who is said to have drowned in a butt (477.3 litres) of Malmsey, I was in no danger from the flight of Madeiras - with just a once ounce pour of each. Considering how pleasant the 'aged 10 years' Malmsey proved to be, I must say that I can almost see the merit in choosing this way to meet ones (wine)maker, perhaps.
However, I really rather enjoyed the flight of Vinho do Porto (or just plain port to the English speaking world), especially a Porto Rocha, 2003, Vintage offering. At 20% alcohol by volume one couldn't consume a lot of these ports, unlike the 9% alcohol by volume Vinho Verdes poured earlier in the evening. But the wines of Oporto left me in no doubt as to why the English made such an effort, when faced with the scarcity of French wine imports into England, to go in search of wines elsewhere - and found the wines of the Douro. Clever lads!