A week later it is still really hard to ignore what took place here over a three day period of time. 20 individuals from the USA and Canada came together in Seattle to enjoy the first annual FTLOP celebration with Colheita, Madeira, Vintage Port and Douro wines in abundance.
Some of us knew each other from other offline dinners/tastings, Fortification & Harvest Tours from the recent past and in some cases just from FTLOP’s Forum; while others who quietly subscribe to the newsletter came to meet the rest of the gang. I was most pleased at the camaraderie and good will that permeated all three events, sharing great food, wine and conversations. It was a thing of beauty to behold. I also took pride in knowing that the majority of participants left Seattle with a far greater understanding of Portuguese fortified and Douro wines than when they arrived.
The sheer volume of 90+ bottles was impressive, but far more so, was the quality of what people brought to the table. Not only the oldies but the depth of the horizontals, comparing a slew of Vintages of Port, young and old … was absolutely great. I know that many shared a few first time experiences too. From those that had never tried a Vintage Madeira, to tasting the oldest wine they had ever put in their mouth, no less the oldest Vintage Port and Douro wines they had ever tasted helped to create a lot of wonderful memories for our guests. It was fun to share this with you all!
Although the organization and logistics work behind-the-scenes was made more difficult by events in my personal life, ultimately I think things seemed pretty smooth overall and I heard nary a complaint. I can only hope that next year’s 2nd annual rendition of this event comes off as smoothly. Fortunately, I have a whole year to plan the next one!