Juan Carlos & Gabriel García

Today’s twitter hoax announcing the death of Colombia’s greatest novelist Gabriel García Márquez came as a shock for less than a week ago, Juan-Carlos Rincon, the Colombian wine writer living in London and I were discussing magic realism in the drive from Tras-os-Montes to Porto.  “He was born in Aracataca, a town famous for its large beach towels and three sleeping policemen.  One at the entrance to the town, one in the middle and one at the end” said JC.  Which sounded like a piece of magic realism.

gg 300x180 Juan Carlos & Gabriel García

Gabriel García Márquez

We’d been tasting for Anibal Coutinho’s annual People’s Guide to the €2-10 wines of Portugal.  The conversation moved on to the banana massacres of striking workers “which still go on” said JC “as Chiquita and other producers still maintain private armies.”  We’d got on to the subject of GG after seeing signs to Amarante, a town east of Porto, while Amaranta was the heroine of JC’s masterpiece 100 Years of Solitude.  Something not likely with someone as loquacious as Juan-Carlos in the car.