Items filtered by date: May 2012

Organized by the Vinho Verde Comission, this is one of the most important wine and food contests in Portugal, in which most important chefs and restaurants participate. The last 2 editions were won by outstanding restaurant "Ferrugem" (http://www.ferrugem.pt/), led by the creative couple of Chefs Renato and Dalila, curiously also with Afros wines accompanying the main courses. Jokingly, I now tell all the chefs that if they want to have a chance to win they must put my wines on the menu!


Egoísta, located in Casino da Póvoa, is one of the best restaurants of Portugal, counting with superstar chef Hermínio Costa, who makes very delicate and artistic interpretations of traditional Portuguese cuisine, and local ingredients. As Póvoa is a fishermen's town, most dishes are sea food based.
One of the characteristics of these dishes is that are built upon a ladder of tastes, starting with the basic prime matter (fish or shellfish) and going up the more subtle flavours of leaves, aromatic herbs, and  spices, usually crowned in the end by a touch of flowers.
The main menu (see below) included a salad of crayfish and crab, aromatic herbs and olive oil toasts, paired with Afros Loureiro 2009. Delicious! The boldest and most innovative pairing, was however  Grouper's loin baked in the oven, with maize greaves and toasted ham.
Manuel Pinheiro, the dynamic president of Vinho Verde Commission (in the picture below) and myself were asked to adress the eating audience with a few words. Manuel spoke very well about the haven that wine and food represent in a time of crisis, to restore positivity and connection to our roots, while I emphasized how the sense of taste is today is crucial for the ecological revolution, the natural wine movement playing a major role in this change of awareness.




Organized by the leading importer of natural wines to the UK, Les Caves de Pyréne, yet welcoming to the show other wine merchants, the REAL WINE FAIR, has made London become the centre of the world for organic, biodynamic and natural wines during 3 days. Here you could find, under the same roof, one of the most comprhensive selections ever made of the craziest hand crafted wines of the planet.

There is much to say about Les Caves, for decades they have been the leading pioneers in London for biodynamic wines. Highly professional, they represent the "armed branch" of "terroirism" in commerce and distribution, making the culture and poetics of  wine available for an ever increasing public. Of course they are the dream importer for every wine maker and it is high previlege to be part of this dedicated family for three years now. Here is a picture of myself with Doug Wregg, mentor and marketing director of Les Caves, the most unpretensious wine philosopher you will ever meet.

He has brilliantly organized this year's Fair, for me with the added joy to be part of a substancial Portuguese presence (last year the Portuguese representation was left solely to Aphros). "Portuguese Story", a recent company founded by Roman Gonitel and Ricardo Rodrigues, and my great friend Marcial, with his beautiful and unique Alvarinho wines, were also there by my side, making the whole event even more exciting.

Below, my friend Rosa Freitas, a Portuguese actress in London, enjoying a glass of Aphros Vinhão. On the last picture, tasting an exquisite white from Georgia with Nicoletta di Cova, a wine writer who is specially passionate about these wines. They are still produced in Christian Orthodox monasteries, and left to ferment for months (even the whites) in amphors buried into the ground. They are incredibly profound, salted and complex, and make us think about the depths of life in this mineral world, the Cosmic God (Christ) descending into a mineral body, Man as the "salt of the Earth"...



20-21st of May London 2012 - London - THE RAW WINE FAIR and JONATHAN NOSSITER on PASOLINI

Featuring many producers, importers and groups that were present in last year's edition of THE REAL WINE FAIR, THE RAW WINE happened for the first time this year, as a result of the growing interest for natural wines in London.

Just to give you an idea, both fairs doubled both the numbers of last year's presences, both in producers and in visitors.

It was a great pleasure to meet again with Jonathan Nossiter, an invited speaker for both events - and to be the witness to another "Nossiterian" workshop/performance, meaning uncompromising provocation, radical exploration of our limits, hypocrisy and confort zones, and reckless search for meaning in wine and in life. Again, Cinema was brought into a dialogue with the world of wine, by presenting Pasolini's critique of society's conformism already in the 50's, and claims for freedom in sexual and cultural life. Excerpts of Pasolini's movies were shown, and put in the context of today's padronized and cynical wine industry, together with a tasting of radical sparkling wines made today by 2 producer's: Alberto Carretti, from Prodere Pradarolo (Emilia Romagna), and Morgane Fleury, from Fleury Champagne. In the end, both producers explained their wine making philosophies, and entered in dialogue with the audience.

Nossiter always emphasises viticulture and wine making as cultural acts with the same level of meaning as those of Cinema, the Arts or Literature.



California and Texas based participants on the Pre Conference Trip to Portugal's Vinho Verde wine region seem to be impressed - some more than others. Part of the Blogger/Media Fam Trip during the 3rd International Wine Tourism Conference 2011.