I had joined a bus tour of Portugal. It was a big group consisting of 44 people from various countries. Driving from Lisbon, we reached the town of Porto in the late afternoon. We got a little time for a quick lunch and then reassembled to visit an old heritage building. It was drizzling but since we were to see the interiors of the buildings it did not make much difference.
The next in the itinerary was a visit to ‘Sandeman’, one of the distilleries of the famous Porto wine.
Port wine, also known as Vinho do Porto, and often simply port, is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties.
It is different from other types of wine because it has an above average alcohol content; most range between 19% and 22% by volume. Another special characteristic is that its color and sweetness will vary according to the different types of port.
There was a ticket for entrance to the distillery. We were welcomed by young ladies dressed in black capes and smart hats.
The visit lasted about half an hour. Then there was a visit to the museum followed by a Porto tasting session.
The House of Sandeman was founded in London in 1790 by George Sandeman, a yound Scotsman. Acquired by the founder in 1811, the SandemanCellers have been used for more than 200 years to age Sandeman’s best Porto wines. The visit led us through long corridors of oak casks and vats. The Sandeman Museum recounts the history of the brand through bottles and other artifacts.
A charming lady sommelier in a flowing black cape and a hat, explained how to taste, drink and appreciate wine. We were offered four different wines to taste. At the end of it, I had forgotten about the bad weather outside and was feeling nice, warm and chatty.
What lovely glasses!
What lovely colours of wine!
Yes, yes, but it was only a wine tasting session….
(Text with inputs from the internet)
Photos, text and copyright: K.J.S.Chatrath
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