Posts Tagged : Others

Portuguese Wine – Fashion or Justice?

Text João Barbosa | Translation Bruno Ferreira

It seems that not a day goes by without the Portuguese gastronomy being news subject, positively, whether referring to food or wine – mainly the drink. In the view of this, how do I feel like being Portuguese? I don’t know and the reason is because I don’t know whether to attribute this to fashion or justice.

Those reading will say:

– How do you not know? You ought to know. If you write about wine it is mandatory for you to know.

True! But there is always a parallax error, the result of affection and memory. The subjectivity that dictates that the mother’s food is the best in the world or that the Portuguese national team deserves, right from the first game, to win the football championship.

I’m not a fanatic, but my roots are in Portugal. Of course I think the highlight that the country is having on gastronomy has more of justice than fashion. There is certainly evaluation error, although hopefully reduced.

Being fashionable is good! It cheers up, provides self-esteem, gives notoriety. However, it’s something passenger. If something is always in fashion it’s because it’s not about fashion, instead it means quality in abundance.

Fashion is cyclical and the quality is structural. So, those inspired by recognition just have to keep insisting in the search of quality differentiation. In this way it will get an increased value.

That’s why I do not like to hear that saying something has a good relationship between price and quality. I do not see that as something praising, although the majority of people consider that that means a good opportunity or justice.

Paying ten cents for a hectoliter is a good relationship between quality and price? IT IS! It is because, regardless of quality, anyone who takes the opportunity will make money with it. But that does not mean the wine has quality… of course not. The problem is that the premise isn’t that, but a balance between one thing and the other.

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Wine in tasteportugal-london.com

I want Portuguese wine to get the reputation of the French or Italian wine – just to cite two examples. Producing well is within reach of those who engage, and getting it done cheap is within reach of those who get afflicted workers.

Obviously, expensive does not mean quality. Moreover, no one likes to feel stupid, so paying 50 euros per 0.75 liters of swill will be a once in a lifetime episode. Justice is at the point where a product is sold at the same price that another with comparable quality.

Having a “good relationship between quality and price” can helpful initially and relieve pressure on the treasury. In the medium term it becomes unfair. If I still haven’t convinced the reader, I have the ultimate argument:

Portugal turnovers more with fruit and vegetables than with wine. This means that the added value (VAT) is not paid fairly. Generalizing and assuming that the cost of land is comparable and that the factors of production are comparable, it’s way more profitable to make sprouts than wine. There are no expenses with the oenology or with longer storage and the tied in capital is much smaller.

Back to the beginning, Portuguese wine has been recognized and in various ways. Of all the news, I value those that do not address the price factor. I refer to the critic’s assessments, with qualitative scores only, or to victories in prestigious competitions.

People will say that great wines, those that cost about the same as a small car of the city, do not enter the competition, so the victories are relative. Of course, those who have something to lose do not go into play. The new arrivals are the ones that must show worthiness. Young riders challenge the great lords.

It is said that “he who sings scares away his woes”, but the music has been rough to the Portuguese. In 48 editions of Eurovision Festival, in which Portugal failed only four editions, Portuguese musicians never managed to go beyond the sixth place – Lúcia Moniz in 1996 with “O meu coração não tem cor” (My heart has no color).

The fault lies with the dictatorship, but the young democracy was not awarded. Because Portugal buys few television programs, but other small countries buy the same and have won. Because the Portuguese language is difficult, but Brazil is a musical superpower … almost anything goes to justify the defeats.

While the Portuguese music doesn’t win the Eurovision Festival and the lusophone literature does not reach the more than fair second Nobel Prize, the wine gives us encouragement, soothing the sorrows.

Let the lasting recognition come. And I’m almost certain that when the Portuguese winemakers manage to solidify the reputation, the gastronomy (some signs are already emerging) will become ‘mandatory’, which will take critics of the red book – not the one of the Maoism, but the one of the tires – to post stars in houses that have earned the right to bear them for many years now.

Even in wine

Text João Barbosa | Translation Bruno Ferreira

Good morning, I’ve never liked to make use of a subject specific writing space to write about the profession – the same way I do not like theorization poems about poetry and the “world” of poets. I do it now, because in this case it is relevant to the reader.

The theme’s reason, which does not directly go into wine and gastronomy, is to alert the reader’s common sense. Not everything we read in books is true, as in newspapers or blogs.

The internet has not and will not kill the paper press, which is now undergoing the Darwin’s Law test: the world is not one of the strongest nor one of the most intelligent, but it is one of those that best adapt to the changes of nature. I see no evil in itself, but the relationship between journalists and bloggers or critics of sites on the Internet is not a peaceful one: anxiety, feelings of betrayal and of loss of “privilege” (loss or dilution of influence). On the other side, anxiety, feelings of lessening, incorrect ways of seeking to conquer what is not theirs, because journalism and blogging are not quite the same thing.

I will not go into scrutinizing the points of view, I’ll just recognize advantages in both and say that they are compatible. The internet has given voice to citizens, who previously could only express themselves via letter to the publication’s director.

The whole universe to explore, the freedom of mankind. But the responsibility does not always keep up, as it always should, with the freedom. Therefore, in the exchange of “kisses” between journalists and bloggers comes the question of honesty, of equidistance, of competence, of swimming in seas of dangerous proximity to private interests.

I am very comfortable with this, for I am both journalist (26 years) and blogger (10 years) and wine writer (one year) – the latter being the son of the previous ones. What makes me write now was a piece in the powerful The Times about the Azores, in particular the airline SATA. I was happy because I found the substrate base of the debate and because it was not food and drink.

All over the world bloggers are often seen with suspicion: who are they? Who do they answer to? Who “oversees” them editorially speaking? Which codes of ethics and deontology do they follow?

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Typewriter

It is true that X% does not know the subject of which they write about, loathes studying, knows everything and, even if unintentionally, ranks the goods that are sent for them to comment about… “I speak good of it, because that way I’ll guarantee that they will keep sending me KYXZ asking for my opinion. I have what I like and for free and I still manage to give sentences.”

But it is also true that the same applies to X% of journalists and critics (of ‘conventional’ means). In 26 years of journalism I’ve met critics of gastronomy, cars, cinema … even bullfight. Not all of them knew/know what they were/are writing about. One day I wanted to confirm that a certain man was a bluff and all his knowledge had the consistency of beaten egg whites. I asked him two very basic questions and he did not know how to answer them – such basic questions that even I that little to nothing know about the subject knew, the same way that other people that do not exercise that profession know.

He wasn’t a gastronomy and wine critic. I know bloggers of the various themes that fuel their ego through their blogs.

Where does The Times come in? There are no absolute winners, but The Times is one of the most influential and credible newspapers in the world, the same way that the The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, etc, are.

In a text about travel, the critic ruled that the SATA (Azorean Service Air Transport) is the worst airline in the world. Not that I mind, because I feel no nationalism in the air transport and I’ve never travelled with this carrier.

In view of this statement, I assume that the critic (journalist) has already flown on all airlines and does it on regular basis in order to support this claim. Wait! Isn’t that the “absolute knowledge”, the peremptory and unequivocal statement, one of the points in which bloggers are more attacked?

In a time before the internet was widespread, a Spanish journalist, of the unsuspected El País (Spain), came to Portugal to make a report around the country. He found that, in the middle of the 90s (XX century), the animal-drawn transport was very common, as it was traveling by horse, donkey or mule.

Spain is right around the corner and millions of Spaniards know Portugal. The ridiculousness with which he wanted to mock the country and the Portuguese fell all over him – I believe he lost his job because of this report to the nineteenth century.

I repeat the second paragraph:

The theme’s reason, which does not directly go into wine and gastronomy, is to alert the reader’s common sense. Not everything we read in books is true, nor in newspapers or blogs.

A given day there was a video on Facebook showing a curious scene, which left many people believing or in doubt. A friend, film editor, summed it genially:

– I also saw ET’s finger light up.

Beware of imitations and certainties. Hold on, don’t leave just yet, I’ll be back soon to write about wine.

Final note: Although not aiming for offerings (fortunately I’ve never needed alms or gifts), I wrote and sentenced about a topic for which I was not prepared: food, restaurants. I realized it and stopped. All the texts were removed. I write when the insistence on the invitation makes it impolite not to accept – and all black on white. It happened/happens within my blog, where I state that all the writing is personal and based on taste. I am amateur critic on my blog and a chronicler out of it. I’m not and do not want to be a professional critic, I want to tell stories.

Highlights: Midsummer in Portugal

Text Ilkka Sirén

This summer me and my family decided to spend the midsummer in Portugal. It’s usually a period when I really prefer to stay in Finland but the weather here can be a bit of gamble. So, we packed our bags and took literally the first flight out of Helsinki Airport which just happens to be the only direct flight to Portugal.

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Morning flight to Lisbon – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

Like usual our connecting flight from Lisbon to Porto was cancelled and we suddenly had six hours to kill. Don’t know about you but there’s no way in hell I’m spending six hours at the airport by myself let alone with a 3-year-old kid. Instead we took a taxi and headed to the Lisbon Oceanarium. I just saw from Google Maps that it wasn’t too far from the airport and thought it would be something my son would like. BINGO! We came there just as it was opening up in the morning and avoided any queues. My son was so excited as was I. We don’t have a proper oceanarium in Helsinki so it was a nice experience.

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Lisbon Oceanarium – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

When we finally did get to Porto I had a quick visit to the wine cellar of Ramos Pinto. I never visited their cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia so it was on my to-do list. The history of their house is interesting, especially from a marketing/brand point of view. Plus their wines are pretty kickass too.

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Ramos Pinto’s wine cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

Then some food. Oh yes! A must dish to try in Porto, “Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato”. A beautiful set of clams in oily-garlic stew. You just want to take that bread and dip, all day long. Attach a glass of Vinho Verde in your hand and you my friend will be happy.

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Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

One of the reasons for our midsummer visit to Portugal was to spend the São João in Porto. The festival of São João particularly in the city of Porto is known throughout the world. I have never experienced it myself but let’s just say that it has a reputation. People grilling sardines on every corner, beer is literally flowing in the streets and all sorts of concerts and parties are happening all together. How I explained it afterwards to Finnish friend of mine that the São João in Porto is like  if you would combine New Year’s Eve, 1st of May and Finland winning gold in ice hockey world championship. It’s that crazy. But obviously incredibly fun at the same time.

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The Steak – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

After a day of overdosing with sardines we headed for dinner restaurant Vinum which is located in Graham’s lodge. Partially for the food but most definitely also for the view. The restaurant has a perfect view to the Dom Luís I bridge. To eat we had some more sardines, of course, but that steak though. A beautifully cooked bone-in rib-eye steak. Delicious! After we had stuffed ourselves with some proper food it was almost midnight. As every dinner should the night ended with big fireworks above the Dom Luís I bridge. Afterwards we stumbled down back to the ribeira where we literally got hammered. The tradition on São João is that people have these noisy plastic hammers and you hit people over the head with it as they walk by. And yes, the garlic flowers. Those goddamn garlic flowers. As we were walking towards the bridge to cross over to Porto we noticed that the bridge was closed. We waited about 45 minutes in this massive beer-drinking, hammer-hitting herd of people while getting our noses shoved with garlic flowers. It was a long 45 minutes let me tell you. When the police finally started to let people cross the bridge it was a bit scary. The bridge was swinging because of the amount of people on the bridge. For a moment I thought the whole thing would come down but luckily it didn’t.

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Fire works above the Dom Luís I bridge – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

The next day we rented a car and drove to Vinho Verde for some rest and recuperation at Quinta de Covela. Sunny days of teaching my son to swim, walking in the vineyards and enjoying some tasty Avesso. Perfect!

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Quinta de Covela – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

Since my family was there I wanted to show them around Douro. Driving in the narrow roads was getting a bit too scary for my mom but it was well worth it. Anyone who has witnessed the beauty of the Douro don’t mind spending a couple hours in the car holding on to their seats for dear life. We stopped for lunch at Niepoort’s Quinta de Nápoles and tasted a few wines.

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Tasting at Quinta de Nápoles – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

My kid especially enjoys to visit the barrel rooms. He is really interested in the big wine barrels and calls them “giants”. We left Douro with a big smile on our faces towards Porto. I was so happy to see that my family enjoyed Portugal as much as I do. How could they not? Great food, great wines, friendly people and nice weather. It’s pretty much all we Finns need.

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Percebes – Photo by Ilkka Sirén | All Rights Reserved

It was the last day of our trip and we had to return our rental car. But not before a quick pit-stop in Matosinhos to eat some insanely delicious percebes (goose barnacle). The last taste of Portugal; fresh salty sea and wine lingered in my mouth when our airplane took off. What a great trip!

Alentejo is a great region

Text João Pedro de Carvalho | Translation Jani Dunne

This text is but a very personal opinion about the land and region where I was born, Alentejo. I love walking around there; I love being carried through the scents and flavours that branded my memory from a tender age. It’s the motherland calling, the family calling, whom I was pulled away from when life had other plans for me; it is now so far, I cannot hold it whenever I please.

My destination was the same as that of many other generations born in Alentejo, the latter a poor land which has always thrived on the blood, sweat and tears of its people. That same old fate: moving to the city in search of a better life. In my case, I came to Lisbon to study, 125 miles away from my hometown, Vila Viçosa, and stayed. I have always made sure I live near fields; the fields that whether green or gold continue to feed and to season every generation.

That very need also generated an aroma-influenced style of cooking, which collected the best of every influence left behind by each civilisation passing through. This style, so rich and unique that it still delights so many people, was the same that fed those, who in difficult times had to make do with very little; and those who, although unaware, slowly composed the cuisine, some times on par with a luxurious Conventual Confectionary growing simultaneously taking root in the long line of religious orders settled in the many convents of the region.

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Alentejo – Photo by João Pedro de Carvalho | All Rights Reserved

But wine shall be the subject of our interest. It was brought by the Roman culture in clay pots, their own technique still used in our days. Although the technique for designing the pots was forgotten in time, that does not stop producers from North to South of Portugal from searching for said pots. We will very soon be seeing that “trend”, which is not new at all, emerge in the market from Vinho Verde to Douro, Bairrada, and Lisbon.

As for more modern times, Alentejo wine has conquered the Portuguese market in its own merit when it comes to sales. They needed only a decade, if so much, to shift from what was at the time an uncomfortable position to a permanent spot in the top sellers. Quality has always been present in the wines since early in the day; to confirm that, one need only travel back a few decades, passing through a few of the most important references in oenology from that region, and why not, even nation-wide. Anyone who can point a finger at an entire region to accuse its wines of lacking freshness/acidity, and of being unable to age in a bottle with dignity, simply have no idea what they are talking about. From the most recent articles about visits to Alentejo-based producers to the more classical examples of iconic wines that made it in great shape until today. And the list is as long as the years of harvests, even leaving the 90s out – because that would make it much longer – I will cite a few earlier examples such as José de Sousa Tinto Velho (Old Red) 1940 or even 1961 and 1986, Mouchão 1954 or 1963, Quinta do Carmo Garrafeira 1985 or 1986, Tapada Chaves 1971 or the 1986, Adega de Portalegre 1986, etc.

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Alentejo – Photo by João Pedro de Carvalho | All Rights Reserved

Then came the wine revolution, leaving the past behind. In the following years, a part of Alentejo wine was held hostage to experimentation and adaptation by people who were making wine for the first time, and unable to fully guarantee their ability to properly outline a new profile for the region. Only now is that revolution beginning to reap its benefits alongside others, which meanwhile acquired the title of the region’s true classics. This rebirth, of sorts, of an entire region together with a new batch of fresh wines, which often counteract with elegance, and with a more austere profile ensuring a healthy longevity, although maintaining the charismatic Alentejo touch until the end. Just as the styles and varieties, aromas and flavours spread, so do the many sub-regions, or even the grounds where variety allows us to find schist, clay, sand or limestone. Adding gastronomy and the people, my beloved Alentejo has all it takes to remain one of the best regions in Portugal.

AS – Cork, How corks are produced today

Text José Silva | Translation Jani Dunne

Portugal is the greatest producer of corks (for bottles) in the world, as well as one of the biggest producers of cork.

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Portugal is one of the biggest producers of cork – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The relationship wine has with corks is self-evident and, although attention has been drawn to other materials, cork corks are still the reference when it comes to sealing bottles. Furthermore, producers all around the world have gone back to using cork tops as a result of the enormous development in the quality of this raw material.

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The Raw Material – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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High-End Technology – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Some production units in Portugal have invested in high-end technology, which means corks of much higher quality and a big drop in production costs, which ultimately helps companies make a profit.

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AS-Cork – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

This is the case with AS – Cork (Américo Sousa & Filhos Lda.), whose headquarters are in Santa Maria de Lamas. The company’s development has been steady, relying on a very well programmed investment policy based on the market’s demands. This growth brought them to invest in the Moroccan market, where their production unit has proven quite successful.

The family that own the company are local and have been connected to the cork industry for a long time. Two brothers dedicate their full schedule to the three factories, located quite close to each other.

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The raw material is then selected, cut and stored – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In the first factory, they receive the raw material, which is then selected, cut and stored. The selection process is a careful one, where any unsuitable cork will be separated.

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The Cork is Disinfected Using Several Processes That Involve Boiling – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Then, the cork is disinfected using several processes that involve boiling in appropriate machines.

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Cork Shavings – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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First Stage of Cork Production – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Once dry, it is moved for the first stage of cork production, which will carry on in the second factory.

In the meantime, and maintaining quality control throughout the process, the cork shavings and the damaged cork, which cannot be used to produce corks but may be used for other purposes, are removed and sold to factories for other cork products – for decoration, for insulation, cork ballast, etc. They leave nothing to waste.

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Maintaining Quality Control Throughout The Process – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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Cork Discs – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In the second factory, quality control continues with the help of modern equipment, which allows for some innovation, whether in the production process or in the final products, such as cork discs – this company’s specialty – used to produce corks for sparkling wine and champagne. These are in high demand, and are sold to other units, seeing as that type of cork is not widely produced in Portugal yet.

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This Fully Automated Unit Prioritises Cleaning – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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More and More Sophisticated Machines – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

This fully automated unit prioritises cleaning, in order to make contamination impossible. Machines are more and more sophisticated; using cameras and even laser beams, they can read in 2D and 3D, and are highly profitable and very efficient.

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Extremely Well-Equipped Lab – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

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A Specialised Team Tests Every Type of End Product – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In the extremely well-equipped lab (which includes a chromatograph), a specialised team tests every type of end product, based on strict guidelines. No mistake can be made – one of the company’s principles.

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The Third Factory – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

The third factory buys all the production off the first two and later sells it to countless clients – mostly foreign.

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The Factory Where the Corks Are Finished- Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

This factory is where the corks are finished, as per the client’s order, whether national or foreign.

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Another Laboratory Continues the Quality Control – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Another laboratory continues the quality control, ensuring all Health & Safety guidelines are met, and according to international law.

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The Finished Corks Are Dispatched – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

Finally, the finished corks and cork discs are dispatched. This stage also involves using packaging that ensures the end product is protected until it reaches its final destination. A few months or even years later, we will surely find many of these corks when unwrapping wine bottles of various origins, even if this means one of the greater French champagnes.

A genuinely Portuguese product produced in line with the best products in the world.

Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market

Text João Barbosa | Translation Jani Dunne

My father was an artist, a painter. To him, investors were a hybrid of people with Diogenes Syndrome and speculators. However, this didn’t apply to all.

To visit a museum with my father was as fascinating as it was boring. With captivating words, he pointed out what many didn’t even notice. Then, he would gaze at a piece to soak up as much information out of it as possible, and turned…

– Father, will you take long? Can we move on to the next room now?

My father has pieces in many museums, private galleries and with a collection of investors. What annoyed him wasn’t the money, but the dark vaults and post mortem speculation.

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Pablo Picasso in web.guggenheim.org

My friend (father) Manuel Jorge told us about Pablo Picasso children destroying a lot of his work after the Andalusian died, so that the value went up. He was shocked by the cynicism, opportunism, disrespect for the artist and, mostly, for the man.

He divided the investors into two groups: those who publicly displayed their work and those who kept it in vaults. He was hurt mostly by the latter – hurt is the right word.

He convinced me… partly. There is a bit of roguery in buying and capturing unique products whose value or interest aren’t respected, and the added value is what matters. Those are the signature buyers.

The biggest investors are experts and/or people who consult specialists. Yet, there are frauds. Not counterfeit – that crime is easy to spot – but fakes, original work that convinces the eye of excited specialists.

The same happens with wine as it does with art. I have no reservations regarding the business – just like my father – I think I was clear. The business exists – full stop.

I have a friend who surfs the wine business. He doesn’t cheat at all, only does what any businessman wants to do: buy early to get the best price and sell when there is added value.

He isn’t the only one; it’s a simple process and you “only” need initial capital. He buys Bordeaux, Bourgogne en primeur (while still in the barrel) and gets rid of them when the rate is profitable. He saves one or two bottles for himself and keeps the rest of the earnings to buy future harvests.

This buddy of mine is a “good” investor; he enjoys what he buys and makes a profit out of it. The “evil” in other investors is in the eye of the beholder.

Whether they are “good” or “bad”, they look for good deals. It’s good to know that some Portuguese wines are considered safe investments.

Blend-All-About-Wine-Taylors-Top-20-Performers-Rest-of-the-World Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Blend All About Wine Taylors Top 20 Performers Rest of the World

Top 20 Performers in the Rest of the World Index in www.blog.liv-ex.com

The Live-ex Fine Wine 1000 index, in The Drinks Business magazine, has been low, but Taylor’s pushed the sub-index Rest of the World 50 up by 3.2%. The Bordeaux gained 1.1% in value.

Blend-All-About-Wine-Taylors-Vintage-Port-1994 Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Blend All About Wine Taylors Vintage Port 1994

Taylor’s Vintage Port 1994 in www.taylor.pt

The most expensive wine in Rest of the World 50 is a Taylor’s, just like the third, fourth, seventh and thirteenth. Unfortunately, there are no other Portuguese wines within the top 20. The Vintage Port of 1994 by Taylor’s has been leading, having risen by 41.4% between July and February. Number 13 on the list, a Taylor’s 2007, went up in value by 10.3%.

Contacts
PO Box 1311
EC Santa Marinha
4401-501 Vila Nova de Gaia
Portugal
Tel: (+351) 223 742 800
Fax: (+351) 223 742 899
Website: www.taylor.pt

Vintage Taylor’s is leading the stock market

Text João Barbosa | Translation Jani Dunne

My father was an artist, a painter. To him, investors were a hybrid of people with Diogenes Syndrome and speculators. However, this didn’t apply to all.

To visit a museum with my father was as fascinating as it was boring. With captivating words, he pointed out what many didn’t even notice. Then, he would gaze at a piece to soak up as much information out of it as possible, and turned…

– Father, will you take long? Can we move on to the next room now?

My father has pieces in many museums, private galleries and with a collection of investors. What annoyed him wasn’t the money, but the dark vaults and post mortem speculation.

Blend-All-About-Wine-Taylors-Picasso Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Blend All About Wine Taylors Picasso

Pablo Picasso in web.guggenheim.org

My friend (father) Manuel Jorge told us about Pablo Picasso children destroying a lot of his work after the Andalusian died, so that the value went up. He was shocked by the cynicism, opportunism, disrespect for the artist and, mostly, for the man.

He divided the investors into two groups: those who publicly displayed their work and those who kept it in vaults. He was hurt mostly by the latter – hurt is the right word.

He convinced me… partly. There is a bit of roguery in buying and capturing unique products whose value or interest aren’t respected, and the added value is what matters. Those are the signature buyers.

The biggest investors are experts and/or people who consult specialists. Yet, there are frauds. Not counterfeit – that crime is easy to spot – but fakes, original work that convinces the eye of excited specialists.

The same happens with wine as it does with art. I have no reservations regarding the business – just like my father – I think I was clear. The business exists – full stop.

I have a friend who surfs the wine business. He doesn’t cheat at all, only does what any businessman wants to do: buy early to get the best price and sell when there is added value.

He isn’t the only one; it’s a simple process and you “only” need initial capital. He buys Bordeaux, Bourgogne en primeur (while still in the barrel) and gets rid of them when the rate is profitable. He saves one or two bottles for himself and keeps the rest of the earnings to buy future harvests.

This buddy of mine is a “good” investor; he enjoys what he buys and makes a profit out of it. The “evil” in other investors is in the eye of the beholder.

Whether they are “good” or “bad”, they look for good deals. It’s good to know that some Portuguese wines are considered safe investments.

Blend-All-About-Wine-Taylors-Top-20-Performers-Rest-of-the-World Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Blend All About Wine Taylors Top 20 Performers Rest of the World

Top 20 Performers in the Rest of the World Index in www.blog.liv-ex.com

The Live-ex Fine Wine 1000 index, in The Drinks Business magazine, has been low, but Taylor’s pushed the sub-index Rest of the World 50 up by 3.2%. The Bordeaux gained 1.1% in value.

Blend-All-About-Wine-Taylors-Vintage-Port-1994 Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Vintage Taylor's is leading the stock market Blend All About Wine Taylors Vintage Port 1994

Taylor’s Vintage Port 1994 in www.taylor.pt

The most expensive wine in Rest of the World 50 is a Taylor’s, just like the third, fourth, seventh and thirteenth. Unfortunately, there are no other Portuguese wines within the top 20. The Vintage Port of 1994 by Taylor’s has been leading, having risen by 41.4% between July and February. Number 13 on the list, a Taylor’s 2007, went up in value by 10.3%.

Contacts
PO Box 1311
EC Santa Marinha
4401-501 Vila Nova de Gaia
Portugal
Tel: (+351) 223 742 800
Fax: (+351) 223 742 899
Website: www.taylor.pt

Vinoteca – A New Space for Wine

Text José Silva

In a city like Oporto, that in the last years has been observing an enormous growth in the tourist’s flow from all over the world, most of all because of its ancient part of town, which is a world heritage site and, on the other side of the river Douro, the port wine cellars, many commercial stores are opening, mainly around the historical zone and down town.

Tourists come to visit the city and admire its history and monuments, taste the excellency of the food and visit the Port wine cellars, but they also find there is a great variety of places to drink a glass of wine, enjoy some titbit and gather many informations about the city, through the traditional kindness of the Portuguese people.

Vinoteca – A New Space for Wine Vinoteca – A New Space for Wine vinoteca blenda all about wine1 A

Vinoteca – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

There are A lot of restaurants and titbit houses, a lot of stores selling gastronomic products and wines, all around. A new store has recently opened, this time a project launched by a wine distribution firm, Vinoteca.

They chose Mouzinho da Silveira street, that connects down town to the riverside and which is a passageway for many people, between Portuguese and foreigners.

It is a very wide place, the result of the recovery of an old building, which has its main entrance on the quoted street, but has got another entrance on the back, on S. João street.

Wine is the main product there, of course, exposed everywhere, in all levels of the huge store. On the main entrance there is a first room, with some wood casks transformed into tables and stools and many wines and other products on the shelves. Some steps up and we get to another room, larger, with a big balcony on the right, very well equipped for a bar and titbit service.

Vinoteca – A New Space for Wine Vinoteca – A New Space for Wine vinoteca blend all aboutwine2 A

Vinoteca – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

In a black wall you can see the offer of wine by the glass and titbits to match: lupines and olives, a variety of canned fish, smoked ham, smoked sausage and rocket sausage, board of smoked sausages and cheese, small rocket sausage rolls, small pork filet rolls and small suckling pig rolls, among other delicacies. On the other side of the room, besides the shells with wine, there is a long table where you can relax in the company of wine and titbits.

We climb some more steps and we arrive at another room, this one smaller, with some tables and chairs and a nice fireplace, recommended for small groups tastings, some training or just to taste the variety of wines in this place where the wine cult is everywhere. Even in some funny sentences, for example: “You cannot buy happiness. But you can buy wine. It is almost the same thing!”

Vinoteca – A New Space for Wine Vinoteca – A New Space for Wine vinoteca blend all about wine3 A

Vinoteca – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

There is always wine on sale and there are a lot of wines to taste, with the presence of the producers, presenting new wines and new harvests in this beautiful place. There you can also find a lot of tools and supplements for the wine service, like brand glasses, decanters, drop-stops, corkscrews and so on.

Down some larger steps, to the back, we have access to a wide room, that leads to the back entrance on S. João street. It is an exclusive space of Niepoort, the result of an agreement between the two firms, where we may find – and buy!- the whole range of this well known and brave wine brand, between Niepoort still wines (table wines) and other brands they distribute and, of course, the enormous variety of Niepoort Port wine.

Vinoteca – A New Space for Wine Vinoteca – A New Space for Wine vinoteca blend all about wine4 A

Vinoteca – Photo by José Silva | All Rights Reserved

This store brings some difference as much in the space as in the concept of a liquor store, as it is also a leisure space where wine is the predominant theme and is everywhere: you can taste it, enjoy it and, at the end, you can buy it and take it home.

As in the poet Fernando Pessoa´s words, in one of the store panels: “Life is good, but is better with wine!”

Contacts
Vinoteca – Bar Garrafeira
Rua Mouzinho da Silveira, 88
4150-415 Porto
Tel: (+351) 222 034 082
E-mail: copoealma@vinoteca.pt
Website: www.vinoteca.pt