Temperatures soar in the Portuguese wine spittoon


Temperatures are soaring in Portugal and for once it’s not all brought on by global warming. Two UK-based wine personalities Sarah Ahmed and Jo Ahearne MW have approached ViniPortugal for help in selling a €300 pay-to-play advisory service for Portuguese producers wishing to export wine to the UK. While this is cheap by Michel Rolland standards (he told the Wall Street Journal his “annual retainer can run as high as $100,000 or even $250,000 a year”), the point made by Aníbal Coutinho, a leading Portuguese wine writer, is that the Ah-Ahs (as he calls) them cannot deliver.

IMG 5269 300x225 Temperatures soar in the Portuguese wine spittoon

To settle the matter, perhaps sometime wine buyer Jo can divulge the Portuguese wines she has bought for UK stores (such as Harrods) in the past? Aníbal, wine buyer for Continente, the largest Portuguese supermarket chain, comments “my gut gets sick when a National Board of Wine Promotion lodges under ViniPortugal’s brand such an ineffective and unpractical service” and calls the involvement of ViniPortugal “a lose-lose sponsorship.”

IMG 5153 300x225 Temperatures soar in the Portuguese wine spittoon

Marrows in a shop window in Evora

If the Ah-Ah gravy train is derailed before it even leaves the beautiful Santiago Calatrava Gare do Oriente in Lisbon, SA producers should beware in case an approach is made to WOSA to fund the commercial activities of UK wine identities in South Africa. Or has this been going on already for years? Certainly the well remunerated judges for the annual Top 100 SA Wine Show are frequent recipients of WOSA largesse. A corrupt and incestuous practice which will hopefully cease when new management take over the WOSA R35 million honey pot later this year when queen bee Su Birch buzzes off.