IN TOTAL, 60 convivial members of the Algarve Wine Society gathered at the Amadeus Restaurant near Almancil to enjoy a traditionally festive Christmas lunch and celebrate the end of a successful year.
Just recently, the increasingly popular society, which consists of almost 200 members, had a group of 34 touring the Douro and Porto in September, a merry band of around 50 tasting a number of excellent Portuguese red wines at Brown’s Restaurant (Vilamoura) in October and 16 members visiting New Zealand’s finest vineyards and wineries for 15 days in November.
For the Society’s Christmas lunch, Siegfried Danler-Heinemann, chef and owner of Amadeus, prepared a gourmet meal, which opened with an amuse-gueule and featured a wild salmon and prawn terrine with green asparagus, followed by crispy duck à l’orange. The meal ended with a special chocolate mousse with Christmas spices and red wine sabayon.
Arrivals were greeted with champagne and white port. The first course was complemented by a fine German 2004 Riesling from Kloster Eberbach. The duck was enhanced by an exquisite Portuguese red wine, a 2003 Grande-Arte Trincadeira, which was the International Wine Challenge European Red Wine of the Year in 2005, while the mousse was washed down with a vintage port.
The society’s calendar for 2006 is already replete with exciting events. Members can look forward to a tasting of German Riesling wines on Friday, January 20, the AGM and gala black tie dinner at the Sheraton on Saturday, February 25, a special tasting of prize-winning Portuguese reds on Wednesday, March 15, and a gourmet dinner at Jardim do Vale in Almancil on Friday, April 7. Looking further ahead, there will be a trip to the Setúbal wine producing area in May, a music evening in partnership with the Cortes de Cima winery in June and a one-week trip to the Veneto and Friuli wine regions of Italy in September.
Enquiries about the Algarve Wine Society or membership may be directed to the secretary, Larry Hampton, at address Quinta da Mesquita, Cerro da Mesquita C.P. 310-A, 8150-025 São Brás de Alportel. You can also e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org