Friday, December 30, 2016
I have never tried this particular 'port' before, but my neighbour assures me it is delightful. I can't wait to try it - tomorrow night, perhaps. The wine is a blend of eight, classic Portuguese grape varieties; Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Souzão, Tinta Bairrada, Tinta Madeira, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Cão and Bastardo. (I think I am going to be particularly enamored by that last grape. Titter, titter.)
The article in my local newspaper wasn't a typical fluff-piece written with the purpose of luring tourists to Porto. No, instead the front page story was a report about a junket that three Napa County Supervisors recently took to the aforementioned city. At a cost of $17,500 to the taxpayers of Napa County, the three supervisors, whilst in Porto, attended a conference called 'Great Wine Capitals' with the intention that they'd experience "a wonderful learning opportunity...to see what the rivals are doing". One Supervisor, Keith Caldwell, seems to not really have enjoyed the trip at all, or at least what he learned there.
In the article, Supervisor Caldwell bemoans the fact that he did not see more of the problems that Porto faces. "They really went out of their way for us not to see some of the negatives," Caldwell complained. What? The audacity! God forbid the officials of that particular municipality, some 5,500 miles away from the Napa Valley, wanting to make a good impression on their visitors.
Caldwell continued, "What I think we could do is have an international dialogue about, 'What are you doing, Porto, to address homelessness?'" Hang on a minute, I have a suggestion. Er, maybe the Napa County Supervisors could start by donating that $17,500 to a local homeless charity. But no, it's other people's money.