the wine soc june 2014 tasting 105

The Portuguese Conspiracy: Portuguese wine and delicacies online

the wine soc june 2014 tasting 105

I’m often asked about UK Portuguese wine stockists.  It’s not a category served well by the mainstream – token is the word that springs to mind.   So I’m always delighted to hear about new stockists who positively celebrate Portuguese  wines.  As you can probably guess from the name, The Portuguese Conspiracy (code name TPC) is one such. Better still it puts Portuguese wine in the context of Portuguese food from its delicatessen/cafe. Excitingly for me, it’s on my own doorstep in the London borough of Hackney.

the wine soc june 2014 tasting 100

Even if you’re not resident in Hackney there’s good news.  As of today, TPC launch their online retail wine shop with a special promotion of 10% discount + free delivery on all 6x750ml wine cases to mainland UK and free delivery on orders over £50 between now and 7th August.  As you can see, their list includes some favourite names, including Niepoort, Conceito (Douro), Luis Pato, vadio (Bairrada) and Barbeito (Madeira).  Love the Hobby Abafado too – a fun and fiery fortified.  And the plan (see below) is to extend well beyond these famous relatively well-represented names.

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TPC’s co-founders and co-conspirateurs Rita Maia and José Cardoso invited me to swing by for lunch a couple of weeks ago and check out their very charming delicatessen.  


A must try

Beloved of the sommeliers on my recent visit to the Dao, Serra d’Estela cheese is a must try

It stocks a great range of gourmet canned fish, olive oil and cheeses, including favourites Serra d’Estrela and Sao Jorge.  For my heart’s sake I hope and pray that they don’t bring in Sao Jorge butter – as I discovered on my recent Azorean jaunt, it is absolutely divine.


Maia has a light touch with Portuguese classics

Maia has a light touch with Portuguese classics – Bacalhau a Bras was delicious


Tasty salads

Tasty salads

Cardoso’s design background shines through in the look of the store while former Finance Director Maia gets creative with Portuguese classics in the kitchen. In fact TPC’s promotion of Portuguese contemporary culture originally focused around food, kicking off with TPC Supper Club pop ups.  Drawing on Maia’s arts and events management days, film, music and art events followed.   

As for the latest online adventures Cardoso emphasises “the online store is a whole new dimension in which we want to excel” – it’s about taking TPC’s business outside of the “local” scope – “we’ll be taking the whole Portuguese wine/food relationship to a whole new level,as people will be able to discover online and then discover/taste/ experiment in store, and vice versa!”

The couple plan to grow the wine list “substantially” during the next few weeks, showcasing it through producer tastings and the like.  Most definitely an events page to keep an eye on then.

My useful links has more recommendations for UK-based Portuguese wine retailers and watch this space on Friday for my top picks from The Wine Society’s ever-impressive range of Portuguese wines.


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  1. tony smith

    Well done! We need more Portuguese speciality stores around the world – Portugal is definitely still under-discovered in terms of food and wine…..

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