Saturday, September 04, 2010
"Eat, drink, be merry all he can.
Ale's my best mark, but if port wine
Or whisky's yours--let it be mine. . . ."
From Christmas by William H. Davies
Quoted on Project Gutenberg here.
How can one visit Porto without trying one of its main historical exports, namely, port wine? I admit it, we also got sucked in to one of those most touristic coupons for a free tasting. We seemingly walked forever in 90 degree heat to seek out the cellars or "caves" as they are called in Portuguese (and French too). I'm not sure if feeling half dead of thirst is the best way to enter a tasting. It probably depends on whether you are the merchant or the customer. At least the caves were cool!
We had an enjoyable tour and learned a bit of the history of Port wine. My only preconception was based on a vague image of Englishmen with bulbous red noses over-imbibing in Victorian novels.
I have to admit I didn't entirely warm up to Port. I found it too sweet for my taste. I may not have given it the most full chance as I didn't pay extra for some of the more rarefied vintages. I was impressed with the range of Ports, red, white, to be served chilled or room temperature, better aged or imbibed immediately. My vote will have to rest that I'd take a good Burgundy or Barolo over a Port most days. Sorry guys.
The company was good, however, and I managed to sober up time for dinner. But that's another story.