An outstanding Alicante Bouschet from the Algarve

Re: “An outstanding Alicante Bouschet from the Algarve” (‘Wine Talk’ column, April 28, 2022)

Dear Editor,

“This is a wine of great depth of colour with extreme blackberry fruit on the nose, mingling with hints of mint and tobacco.”

And that is all the writer’s jaded nose can detect?

Anyone else who is a wine taster rather than wine sniffer can point to hints of clove, paprika, oregano, cranberry, cinnamon, on the palate. Some time ago, another self-appointed expert wrote an article in the N.Y. Times about New Zealand wines in which he gave a taste of “forest floor”, presumably an exquisite mingling of rotting vegetation and emu excrement.

Could you, Portugal Resident, spare us further illiterate trash like this article? If you do not, your pages will fill with even worse trash when the newest gang, the “craft-beer” tasters, take the manada in tow.

After many years’ acquaintance with France, I discovered Iberian wine over 50 years ago and since then, praise be to Great God Dionysus, have rarely drunk anything else. Wine is simply what one drinks with one’s meals and if, after a sardine grilled as only Portugal knows how, I or anyone else swigged a glass of blackberry, mint and tobacco, we would have spat the disgusting liquid out.

To add to the anti-taste content of “Wine Talk”, it recommends other “wines” at €150-€200 a bottle, instead of the logical recommendation of a trip to a well-known restaurant in sunny London where they can sip wine 100 years old tasting of sulphuric acid at £1,000 a bottle.

Well, my darlings, if you want to advertise yourselves as pretentious, tasteless half-wits, go ahead.

I and other drinkers of the wines of blessed Portugal and Spain will buy red in a 5-litre carton for €1-10 and it tastes deliciously not of mint and tobacco but of wine.


Patrick Stuart, author of the ‘Wine Talk’ column, replies: I am glad that our dear reader has such a fond appreciation of Portuguese wine but surprised to read that he buys it in 5-litre flagons. All I can say is that I certainly am not, as he implies, a self-appointed expert or even a wine taster. I am just someone who loves wine and, as a hobby, endeavours to write an interesting column about Portuguese wine which, I am proud to say, is enjoyed by many loyal readers.