Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France


The wines of Portugal

Kopke’s liquid gold

Kopke 1935 Colheita white port  Some smaller wine countries have so much to offer. Today’s Wines of Portugal tasting had a bit of everything – light and refreshing Vinho Verde with a touch of spritz, lots of new style modern wines with contemporary labelling, profound Douro reds, individual whites (e.g., G. R. Alves de Sousa, Pessoal,

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Madeira magic

Photoblog – Madeira magic The warm, Atlantic island of Madeira is visually remarkable and hence here is a photoblog. Amazing landscapes, old low-pergola vines, historic names of the wine trade, incredible century-old vintages and much more.

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Quinta do Noval – Douro magic

Quinta do Noval – Douro magic The land Every book or website about the Douro comments on its magical landscape and remarkable wine culture.  But nothing can prepare you for the impact of the majestic river, the sweep of the steep and extensive terraces, the autumn fog or the baking heat of summer; or for

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Exploring northern Portugal

This tasting for Andover Wine Friends was based on a Wine Society fine dining six-bottle case, augmented by a few bottles at the bottom and the top their excellent Portuguese offer.  For most of our tasters – including me – it was a voyage of discovery.  The general quality reputation of Portuguese table wines in

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Barca Velha

Iberian Icons

It is rare these days for marketing hyperbole to begin to live up to its billing.  We don’t have ‘tastings’ or ‘good wines’ any more, we have a constant stream of ‘masterclasses’, ‘iconic wines’ and the world’s greatest this and that.  But just occasionally the event or wine lives up to the claim made about

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Triumphant Portugal

Some wine regions or countries seem to breed complexity.  Italy for non-specialists is somewhat forbidding once you get beyond Prosecco, Soave, Chianti and Barolo; modern Spain is getting more complicated as ever more new areas come to international attention.  Most of us don’t try very hard with Eastern Europe or Greece.  But of the major

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Fortified wines: two by two

Martin Hudson MW’s presentation of fortified wines, some of them sweet,  was organised by pairings – two Sherry styles, two Madeiras, two Ports, two Vin Doux Naturels and a lonely Rutherglen Muscat at the end.  In this way, with some elegant economy, he was able to illustrate the remarkable diversity of the world of fortified

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Around the world in eight Cabernets

In his introduction to a tasting for Andover Wine Friends, Martin Hudson, Master of Wine, summarises the key points about Cabernet Sauvignon with masterly (of course) clarity: Cabernet Sauvignon only became significant in Bordeaux at the end of the eighteen century, i.e., despite its worldwide fame it is a very young variety it is the

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Rediscovering Port

Port undoubtedly has an image problem.  Like sherry and madeira, its success in previous generations has left it pigeon-holed in the officers’ mess or the Oxbridge high table.  The vintage variety needs decades of cellaring – and who today has either decades or a cellar?  High in alcohol, the slightly improbable combination of sweet and

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