Algarve Wine Society savours Port(o)
Cruising the Douro to Pinhão
Port tasting at Sandeman with Vasco Magalhães, AWS President Gaynor Stapleton and the Doña!
Thirty Algarve Wine Society (AWS) members made their way by road, rail and air to Porto on October 8 for three days of serious tasting and feasting.
Based in the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the group joined the many thousands of tourists who currently flock to Porto as it experiences a period of unprecedented popularity as a travel destination. But there was limited time for sightseeing as the AWS itinerary packed into the first few hours an introduction to the delights of white port, followed by dinner under the chandeliers of the traditional private Club Portuense, hosted by port expert Vasco Magalhães and his wife Zé, good friends of the AWS.
The following day saw the group take to the water for a river trip to Pinhão and the modern Quinta do Portal to enjoy the fine food, wine and views from its restaurant. The trip was rounded off in true Porto style on the final day, with a port house tour and tasting but with an exclusive twist: the AWS group was guided through the Sandeman cellars by Vasco Magalhães, who has 40 years’ experience in the port industry. There only remained time for a gourmet dinner at DOP restaurant which, under Michelin-starred chef Rui Paula, has become one of Portugal’s top dining venues.
The AWS next meets on November 14 for a comparative tasting of Portuguese sparkling wines and French champagnes.
More information on the AWS is available at www.algarvewinesociety.com
By ALISON WEST