From London to Brighton: tasting Portugal


Next month presents some fantastic opportunities to taste Portuguese wine.  There’s the five course dinner matched to Portuguese wines which I shall be hosting at Michelin-starred Launceston Place on 22 September (click here for details).   Taberna do Mercado are offering a taste of the Azores in Spitalfields Market.  Down in Brighton, Butlers Wine Cellar are holding a Portuguese Wine Fair. Here are the details.

Taberna do Mercado

Nuno Mendes’ Spitalfields Market joint is all about showcasing Portuguese food and wine.  It’s refreshing to see a 100% Portuguese wine list; well selected too.

On my last visit I was introduced to succulent violet prawns from the Algarve hot off the grill, house-canned Dorset Char fennel and lemon (a very delicate dish and pink trout like fish) and a stunning 1973 White Port (one of last month’s Wines of the Month).   Plus don’t miss the sweet earthy prawn rissois and well kept Azeito cheese. 

As for the wine, Ieva Markaityte has taken over from Christophe Richelet, last year’s Sommelier Quest winner.  I picked her brains for one of my talks for the Galician Wine Institute in April.  She told me lighter more steely/chalky mineral styles are in demand over fruity, especially oaky whites and reds.

If these styles appeal to you, I’d encourage you to make a bee-line for Taberna do Mercado on 7 September when they are hosting a wine dinner with wines from Azores Wine Company. Check out my posts about the region, the company and the wines on these pages.  Contact Taberna do Mercado for details – 020 7375 0649/

Butlers Wine Cellar Portuguese Wine Fair

Henry Butler cuts a sartorial dash at trade tastings – he is a suit man.  And we are not talking grey, black, navy or brown suits.  This man likes colour and elegance.  In wine too.  He has a fetish for Baga and Colares – knock yourself out on Butlers’ mature stock if you can prise it from his mitts.

On 30 September Butlers Wine Cellar will show off around 60 – 80 different wines to taste from across Portugal.  As if this is not temptation enough at £12.50/ticket, there will be bento boxes and tinned fish (so trendy) to buy from Fourth & Church, plus a 10% discount on any orders placed and paid for on the night.

What better way to kick off a weekend in Brighton? Click here to book tickets.

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