If you have noticed how the selection of foreign wines has improved over recent years here in the Algarve, both at supermarkets and in restaurants, chances are you have noticed some of the wines are imported and distributed by Prime Wines.
The company, whose warehouse is located just outside Loulé, has built up its portfolio over the last 10 years to become one of the leading distributors of foreign wines in Portugal.
Prime Wines do not usually sell to the public; their main clients are restaurants and supermarkets. But to celebrate their 10th anniversary, they are opening to the public on Friday and Saturday to hold a special end-of-season sale.
The wines on offer in the sale, discounted in most cases by around 50%, are those included in lines that will be discontinued by the distributor. This does not, by any means, signify that they are inferior wines, rather that, for one reason or another, they have not sold as well as their main customers would like. One such wine happens to be my personal favourite Provence rosé, Le Pas du Moine from Château Gassier, a wine which, quite frankly, is in a different league to the similarly-priced and hugely-popular Whispering Angel.
In the shops, it usually costs €16.50 for a bottle and €33 for a magnum, reduced to €7.50 and €15 respectively for the sale. I will be picking up a few magnums myself.
Another French wine not to miss here is the organic Syrah from Gérard Bertrand in the Languedoc. This is a medium-bodied Syrah with silky tannins and great freshness, usually around €10 in the shops and selling for €5 in the sale.
The greatest bargains of all are probably the Conto Vecchio Pinot Grigio and Dea del Mare Pinot Grigio Blush, both usually selling at €7.50 and being cleared out in the sale for just €2 a bottle.
These two wines from Italy join others from Austria, Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa.
The warehouse will be open for the sale on Friday, from 11am to 6pm, and on Saturday, from 9am to 1pm.
GPS: 37.124511, -8.043934
By PATRICK STUART