Thursday, March 3, 2011

Port & Douro presentation in Berlin by Joel und Geri Dethlefs

What an enjoyable learning experience from Oscar of Quevedo wines and Jan Kiegeland of Divinum Weinkontor, Berlin.  Like some people, Geri and I had not tasted port wines for the longest time - most of which were called 'Port' or 'Ruby Red' in the US. We came with reservations as to whether we would like the taste of Port, not knowing what to expect, but with an immense curiosity.

As Californians, we grew with the trend as 'oaked' Sonoma Chardonnay spread to the Napa 'jug' wineries, then we pre-opened the Robert Mondavi Winery, and the rest is history for the entire US West Coast. Therefore, when it comes to fortified wine, we have been indulging in bois of the Limosine or American oak varieties as drinking whites and reds from one 'tree' to the next is the fashion.

We do not want to say too much as it will ruin the surprise of the tasting and presentation.  We will say that the various Ports are not of the past and have grown in taste and stature as have all wines worldwide.  Frankly, so impressed were we, that we have prepared a dinner around the various Port wines we didn't know existed from apertif to digestif before our attendance at Oscar's presentation. We could only have wished he had his wines for sale at the tasting.

One will gain not only an appreciation of Port and Douro wines, but we left with this desire to revisit Oporto and the Douro, because Oscar so ably entertwined his family's history and the valley's history with the various wines as they have matured or changed over time until today.

We can only agree with the French, who are the largest purchaser of Port wines, that the wines are truly unique and we believe should no longer be their secret.

Joel und Geri Dethlefs/Berlin, DE

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