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Join me for a Sip & Savour/Blend All About Portuguese Wine lunch at Sixtyone

sip & savour blend tasting blog 005

Of plant pots & quenelles

Whenever Masterchef is televised, the creativity and presentation of dinner at home goes up a notch.  As our kitchen worktop becomes “the pass,” we strive artfully to smear or dot sauces on plates.  As for the cutlery, our spoons get a serious work out as we try to shape quenelles.  Once (okay, this was tongue in cheek for a special dinner for fellow Masterchef fans), I even prepared a “plant pot” with a garnish of black olive “soil” and fennel frond “moss” to accompany tuna (perfectly seared and pink of course)! 


Arnaud Stevens at the pass; photo credit Sixtyone Restaurant

So, as you can imagine, I’m quite excited to be presenting the next Sip & Savour fine wining and dining lunch at Sixtyone Restaurant, where three Celebrity Masterchef contestants recently served up lunch under the watchful eye of chef patron Arnaud Stevens (fast forward to 17.19 minutes into the link). The icing on the cake?  It’s on behalf of Blend All About Wine, so we’ll be focusing on tip top Portuguese wines hand selected by me.

I’ll be contrasting six benchmark Portuguese wines from northern neighbours Vinho Verde and the Douro.  The Vinho Verdes are white and the Douro wines red – no surprises there.  But I’ll also be playing around with perceptions as I highlight the intensity and finesse of top Vinho Verde and the elegance of Douro reds, even if they do come from its hottest, driest sub-region (the Douro Superior).  The surprises will continue with our dessert wine.  Yes, the Douro can do summery fortifieds, especially when it comes in the form of Moscatel do Douro.

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The cellar of delights – Quinta do Ameal is a leading light in Lima, the land of Loureiro Vinho Verde

I’m looking forward to seeing what Stevens suggests pairing with my wine selection, which you’ll find below.

Quinta do Ameal Loureiro 2014 – with aperitif/canapes

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The new cellar at Quinta de Soalheiro, trophy winner at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards

Quinta de Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas Alvarinho 2013 & Anselmo Mendes Contacto Alvarinho 2014 – with starter – an Alvarinho gurus/Monção/Melgaço face off!  You can read my review of the Soalheiro here and a report of a knock out vertical tasting of Anselmo Mendes’ Vinho Verdes here.

The current custodian of Barca Velha, Chief Winemaker Luis Sottomayor

Old master: the current custodian of Barca Velha, Chief Winemaker Luis Sottomayor

Casa Ferreirinha  Vinha Grande 2012 & Conceito Contraste 2012 – with our main course, two Douro Superior reds, one from Portuguese royalty (Casa Ferreirinha make Barca Velha), the other from young pretender, Rita Ferreira Marques).  You can read my review of the Vinha Grande here and my report of a visit with Rita here.

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Conceito’s Rita Ferreira Marques

Quinta do Portal Moscatel do Douro Reserva 2004 (with dessert – I reckon this would hot to trot with the salt caramel, chocolate tart, marshmallow on the current menu!)

quinta do portal moscatel

Join me for what promises to be a great wine and  gourmet experience at Sixtyone Restaurant, Marylebone on Monday 3rd August.  Click here for more details, including how to book.


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