I was lucky enough to find time to visit the Wines of Portugal tasting this week. As usual, I lost my way between the building site that appears to be Victoria Station and the Royal Horticultural Halls. But I did stumble across a lovely little pub called The Windsor Castle. If you are in the v
icinity, take a look. Once known as The Cardinal, it’s had a re-furb, taking it back to what apparently was its former glory. Etched glass windows throughout, plenty of wood panelling and quaint, little cubby holes for pairs of people (or if you don’t want to be sociable, even singles).
Afraid I can’t vouch for the service or beer as my mission that day was all about seeking out the best wines of Portugal. And what a great show it was! Lots of producers, not just agents presenting their wares – from the driest, teeth-chattering white Loureiro varieties (citrus and floral), to mouth-watering Alvarinhos (juicy, tropical and peachy), to deep, complex Touriga Nacionals (dense, fragrant, velvety tannins).
There were of course a few shockers dotted about the exhibition that made you want to run for the Sensodyne, but on the whole this was a fascinating exploration around the vineyards and regions of Portugal.
Portugal may not necessarily enter the market at the £5 mark, but what it does offer is incridible complexity and interesting wines. Watch out for some new listings in the coming weeks. We’ll be bringing in sublime Vinho Verde (just the white variety, NOT the red) and Touriga Nacional for starters.