Showing posts with label Portugal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Portugal. Show all posts

13 December 2019

Cantina Pereira d'Oliveiras, Funchal, Madeira, Portogallo


Accogliente Luis Pereira d’Oliveiras nella cantina che la famiglia gestisce dal 1850. 

Il padre Anibal, figura storica dell’isola, li ha lasciati da pochi anni, adesso è lui il capo, aiutato dal figlio Felipe. Mi offre di assaggiare tutto quello che voglio, dalle bottiglie più recenti fino a quelle appunto, del 1850! Non so da dove cominciare. 

Con calma, comincio dagli anni 90 del XX secolo e risalgo man mano fino al 1850. Ecco qualche appunto un po’ a caso che ho preso oggi pomeriggio.

Per un articolo più completo e ragionato sul vino di Madeira, leggi questo post sul sito del Brussels Wine Club, AIS di Bruxelles.


Verdelho 2000 colheita bottled 2018
Forte acidità
Mandorle tostate
85

Sercial 1999 colheita bottled 2016
Even fresher
Grapefruit
Deve aspettare 100 anni
85

Tinta negra 1995 medium dry, bottled 2019
Still very dry, comincia a essere bevibile
Caramel,
Long
87

Verdelho 1994 bottled 2019
Pronto grande potenziale
Caramello nocciole tostate
88

Malvazia 1990 bottled 2019
Mela cotogna
Perfect balance
Round ready smooth
Score 90

Boal 1984 bottled 2017
Round complex long
score 94

Boal 1982 bottled 2019
Dry figs
Ready complex
Moderate length
Score 92

Terrantez 1971 bottled 2018
Perfect balance
Ready
Long
Score 94

Sercial 1969 bottled 2019
Still incredibly fresh
Lacks length
Score 86

Boal 1968 bottled 2019
Dark Amber
Complex
Very long
Score 95

Sercial 1937 bottled 2003
Reserva
Still incredibile freshness
Moderate length
Score 88

Verdelho 1932 bottled 2012
Nuts figs
Still on fresh side, moderate balance
Very long
Score 96

Bastardo 1927 bottled 2014
Complex nose
Figs prugne cotte
Perfect balance
Long, imbottigliato per la prima volta nel 2007!
Score 98

Verdelho 1912 bottled before 1994 not indicate bottling on label
Nuts figs
Still incredibly fresh
Complex
Very long
Score 98

Boal 1903 bottled 2017
Still fresh!
Near Perfect balance long
Harmonious
Score 94

Moscatel 1875 the bottled pré 1994
Super complex
Amazing balance and length
Score 99

Sercial 1862 bottled 2014
Still very fresh even too fresh
Touch of bitterness
Moderate length
Score 88

Verdelho 1850 no bottling date
Still fresh
Touch of bitter
Long complex
Score 90

Up to 80 years of aging is optimal, longer and the rise in cost is not justified by a corresponding rise in quality and drinkability


05 January 2014

30. - 5 Jan.: Bartolomeu Dias, Indian food and vintage music at Mossel Bay

Authorized copy
In the morning we head down to town. It's a grey, cloudy Sunday morning, and Mossel Bay is virtually deserted. It is drizzling at times,  and not a little windy. Not a great time for walking around. A few shops that sell souvenirs for tourists are sadly lacking visitors. To me this is ideal museum time: happily, the Bartolomeu Dias is at hand.

We all know the history of Bartolomeu Dias, the Portuguese explorer who was the first European to sail beyond the southernmost tip of Africa in 1488. He landed at Mossel bay to load water and move on but before long he was persuaded by an exhausted crew that enough was enough and returned to Lisbon.


Main mast of caravel
What I did not know, and discover today, is that exactly 500 years later the Portuguese decided to celebrate Bartolomeu's feat by replicating his adventure on an exact copy of his ship. Well, almost exact, the new ship had electric power, a galley and toilets! It was the Portuguese community of South Africa that financed the trip. In the late eighties Portugal had just lost its last colonies and, with them, the dream of a worldwide community of Portuguese-speaking countries. This was a welcome effort to revive the old glory of Portugues exploration and the government supported it wholeheartedly.

The ship itself is housed in a building that was partially built around it. All around, artifacts from the glorious time of exploration, maps, paintings and pictures. A Chinese girl and her mother walk around the nearly empty museum with me and are surprised when I greet them in Chinese. The girl wants to take a picture with me.

It's lunch time by the time I am done with the Dias, but I am not so hungry. Look for a snack and run into an eatery of real Punjabi food, which is certified by the fact that I am welcomed by the owner who wears a white Sikh turban. I am the only patron and when I tell him that I like his wife's pakhora he sits down with me for a chat. I ask him how did he come all the way from Punjab to open a restaurant in South Africa. He replies he didn't.

His grandfather was a railway engineer in India in the 1870s and was asked by the British to go and build a railroad in China. He was offered a good fee and a British passport. That seemed like a good deal and off he went. As soon as he was done with that, the Brits thought to make another railroad in British Columbia, in Canada, which was then a British colony, so he went there.

The next rail project was in British ruled Kenya. Granpa was getting on with age and decided it was time to sink roots somwhere and so ended up settling in Kenya where dad was born and he in his turn. The Indian community in east Africa is a large one.

Then in 2006 he was vacationing in South Africa with his family. They liked it, especially the weather, much more pleasantly temperate than the hot tropical climate of Kenya, and decided to move. So now he sells Punjabi food (but also pizza) to the visitors of the museum.

After lunch I walk around a bit: it's still rather cool and grey. I stumble upon a shop of bric a brac. Military helmets, a bunch of carpenter's planes and assorted tea pots of various styles keep company to a pile of LPs and countless tableware strewn around in no particular order. The owner sits in a corner, silent, not even a nod to people walking in and out of his shop. This could be the den of a child of the flowers, or the pad of a single middle aged man who inherited his dad's collection and does not what to do with them. Maybe it is. Very fittingly, 1970s rock music plays in the background.

I am always tempted to buy something in this kind of shop. I almost feel I have to. So much of this stuff would look great in my own home. Which is why I hardly have any room left in my home. This time I am strong, and resist. I walk out empty handed, though I must make a special effort not to buy a collection of big old iron keys, maybe half a kilo each, that are laying invitingly by the door.

11 July 2001

Book review: The Slave Trade, 1440-1870 (1999), by Hugh Thomas, *****

Synopsis

After many years of research, Thomas portrays, in a balanced account, the complete history of the slave trade. The Atlantic slave trade was one of the largest and most elaborate maritime and commercial ventures. Between 1492 and about 1870, ten million or more black slaves were carried from Africa to one port or another of the Americas.

In this wide-ranging book, Hugh Thomas follows the development of this massive shift of human lives across the centuries until the slave trade's abolition in the late nineteenth century.

Beginning with the first Portuguese slaving expeditions, he describes and analyzes the rise of one of the largest and most elaborate maritime and commercial ventures in all of history. Between 1492 and 1870, approximately eleven million black slaves were carried from Africa to the Americas to work on plantations, in mines, or as servants in houses. The Slave Trade is alive with villains and heroes and illuminated by eyewitness accounts. Hugh Thomas's achievement is not only to present a compelling history of the time but to answer as well such controversial questions as who the traders were, the extent of the profits, and why so many African rulers and peoples willingly collaborated. Thomas also movingly describes such accounts as are available from the slaves themselves.