Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wine Blogging Wednesday #39: Silver Burgundy

I initially intended this post for Wine Blogging Wednesday, an intiative started by Lenn Thompson. I forgot to submit the post in time but since I've written it I might as well post it. The theme of the month was silver burgundy meaning wines (white or red) from the Côte Chalonnaise or the Mâconnais regions, and was brought by brooklynguy.

In the first place I found it quite difficult to get hold of a Silver Burgundy, but eventually found a bourgogne offered by the cooperative Cave des Vignerons de Buxy. The wine is 100% pinot noir based and cost me €7.50 (roughly $11.00).

Here's my tasting note:

Colour: very clear and light cherry red in colour.
Nose: not a strong nose; red berry fruits with some barnyard-like aromas.
Palate: medium body with some red berry and cherry - quite spicey. tannins are smooth and soft. ends a little tart towards the finish. good balance. Not enough body for my liking.
Finish: finishes off with spicey cherry fruit.
Comments: I find this wine lacks some body and some fruit. It's quite thin but then I guess what do you expect for $10.00 I guess. Doesn't do anything for me.

Friday, November 02, 2007


While in Porto I visited a small wine bar called Vinologia (also known as La Maison des Porto) located in the heart of Porto very close to the ribeira. The owner and founder, Jean-Philippe Duhard, is a Frenchman who fell in love with the wonderful ports of the Douro over ten years ago. It is probably better described as a port bar as this small, cozy place serves nothing but port offering over 200 different bottlings of port.

I was also planning on visiting Solar do Vinho do Porto, the port bars operated by the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto but unfortunately they were closed on the day I chose to visit. As a result I can't really write about them with any of my experiences in mind - which is a pity.

Vinologia, while smaller that Solar do Vinho do Porto, is a fantastic place to taste port offering a number flights of different ports for tasting. It also has any number of bottles open on any given day including a vintage port. Each flight of port (or single glass for that matter) is offered along with a small bowl with saltanas and chocolates.

For mine, the most impressive aspect of this port bar is the commitment to the sales and promotion of the smaller, individual producers. This is unlike Solar do Vinho do Porto, which is somewhat more focused on the larger producers, and the better known ports.

I also found it interesting that the employees of Vinologia don't consider it to be just a port bar / port store, but rather they consider it to be a port school. The flights of port offered are also graded in beginner, intermediate, and advanced etc. The staff were also extremely helpful and willing to share their knowledge.

Vinologia also has a lot of rustic appeal, with every nook and cranny filled with port bottles, port books, and other wine utilties. The port bottles hanging from the ceiling, and the tables and benches made from the lids of port cases adds to the appeal. You can see the coziness of the bar in the photos above and left.

This bar, in my view, is a place you must visit during your next trip to Porto. In fact, I would recommend visiting it a number of times just as I did when I was there!