Spain & Portugal – unique wine regions or two peas in a pod?


Here’s a story that you might find interesting…

Once upon a time, there was famous shopkeeper who took over the ownership of a biiiigggg, big shop in Knightsbridge.  He was an interesting fellow – short and rotund (that’s as far as the Mr Benn resemblance goes) with a funny accent, neurotic and lacking in sense of humour.  He was miserly on the one hand, but generous on the other and it wasn’t long before he decided that his wine department needed a re-furbishment.

So yours truly went to work with the help of the shop-owner’s architect and design studio and together, we designed a state-of-the-art, all singing, all dancing new-look wine department to be proud of.  The new look department now truly reflected the value of the shopkeeper’s store and everyone was delighted with the result, including the neurotic shopkeeper.

Don’t try this at home!

When the department was complete, scores of winery owners visited and enjoyed a lavish launch party.  All were happy and many glasses of Champagne were consumed to celebrate the opening.

Except one winemaker, who noticed that the Spanish and Portuguese categories had been listed together by joined overhead signage.  “How can this be?”, he asked, pointing to the signage.  “Since when were Spain and Portugal treated as one?”

And he had a point… these two countries may well be Iberian neighbours, but that’s about all they share as far as their wines are concerned.

I was prompted to recall this story because of two wines that sprung to mind this week – one from Ribera del Duero, the other from Alentejo.  What do they have in common?  Absolutely nothing – except that they are both glorious creations that I wanted to draw your attention to!

A long-winded blog, but I got there in the end!  Oh, and not forgetting the irked winemaker in the Knightsbridge store, he should fear no more – the wine dept has changed beyond recognition and his wine is no longer listed – big shame.

Check out :  JM Fonseca ‘Ripanco’ and Vinas del Jaro ‘Sembro’ Ribera del Duero