Now that we are the proud owners of the URL, we will be using FTLOP much more liberally and thus instead of my name, this addition to the new For The Love Of Port website will thus be called the FTLOP BLOG, at least for now.

Why create a blog, when there is already a very solid website with great content, an interactive Forum which is the most comprehensive Port, Madeira and Douro wine community on the net, a newsletter and enough great features to keep you interested in coming back? I like the idea of a blog inside a website and will await feedback in the Forum to see if this is something that you find valuable and if so, would like to see made … interactive. Simply put, it provides me with an opportunity to share my vinous events with you on a more regular and timely basis then does the monthly FTLOP newsletter.

For example, just a couple of days ago, I was down in San Francisco for the fourth rendition of the Madeira Road Show. In addition to meeting a great bunch of new folks and sharing some very fine bottles of Madeira together, we had a number of FTLOPers in attendance. It was great to see Madeira lovers Heather Hathwell again as well as Eric Ifune (who came all the way from Vegas) to drink some fine dessert wine, for the second time inside of a month. Marco DeFreitas and his wife flew in from Connecticut to drink his favorite potion. Also on hand was veteran FTLOPer David Spriggs.

Mannie Berk was our Guest of Honor and shared so much great information, he made the night even more incredible. We had a wonderful tasting with 16 participants and an extraordinary lineup which I’ll list below. Four amazing flights and then we had dinner as by then, everyone was starving. Actually the tasting was only three hours or so, but the real treat came during our first course. I had arranged a special accompaniment for my guests and Ramana Vieira and four members of her excellent and soulful Fado troop played during our dinner. I was blown away by the music and it overshadowed some insanely good dinner wines. A great time was shared by all. When I find time, I will write up the entire event and include tasting notes. But in the mean time, while this is still “fresh” I get to share it with you here in this new blog format.

Here is the lineup from our tasting of four flights: (Please … no drooling on your keyboard!)

  • 1916 Rutherford & Miles Sercial
  • 1898 Barbeito Sercial
  • 1899 Blandy's Terrantez
  • 1880 D'Oliveiras Terrantez
  • 1905 D'Oliveiras Verdelho
  • 1850 D'Oliveiras Verdelho
  • 1822 Avery's Verdelho
  • 1836 Harvey's R.S. Solera ‘unknown grape’
  • 1912 Barbeito "Quinta de Sao Joao" Bual
  • 1908 D'Oliveiras Bual
  • 1863 Barbeito Bual
  • 1863 Teixeira Bual
  • 1827 Quinta do Serrado Bual
  • 1895 D'Oliveiras Malvasia
  • 1875 Barbeito Malvasia
  • 1870 Blandy's Malmsey