Radio-Active Wine and Scottish Rituals

Lunch on Friday with Carlos João Perreira da Fonseca and his niece Ana (below) from Companhia Agricola do Sanguinhal at Mãe d’Água restaurant in Bombarral. Super octopus and shoulder of lamb.

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Sanguinhal was voted best wine tourism destination recently and judging by the wines poured at lunch and the atmospheric tasting room (below) this is clearly no Great Wine Capitals (free lunches for fatties) award.

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Sanguinhal is a great place for weddings – the gardens (below) are great, the wine super and the whole package very civilized indeed. With Ryan Air flying direct to Lisboa from the UK, it is popular with the British and the open bar does not hurt business at all. Carlos reports that for Scottish weddings they budget three bottles per guest as opposed to the usual tariff of one bottle between three, for other guests.

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I flew to Lisboa on Ryan Air last Sunday from Brussels and was somewhat gob-smacked to pay more to check a 15Kg bag (E50) than the ticket costs and I weigh a little more than the bag. These Irish economics bamboozle me. Brides are best advised to travel in their wedding dresses to avoid checking luggage.

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Sanguinhal are old Africa hands as the above wine label confirms. Haven’t times changed! In 1949 radioactivity was promoted as a positive feature of the wine tonic made by Carlos’s grandpa Abel. Carlos’s sister-in-law arrives in Cape Town imminently to take up the position as Portuguese Consul General. Having three wineries in the family makes her exceptionally well qualified for the post.