Monday, November 05, 2007


I am drinking a bottle of Douro red that I purchased in Portugal last month. It is quite pleasant: bigger and fruitier than is typical of French (and even Spanish) wines. It almost tastes like a New World wine. This is not uncommon for Portuguese wines. It only cost €4 or something like that in the airside duty free shop at Porto airport and for that price it is good value for money. But it is not very interesting: just a solid, decent quality wine.

What is of course annoying is that I am no longer permitted to take wine through security and then onto aircraft as hand luggage. I either have to put it into my checked luggage or simply buy it in airport shops after security. To put it in checked luggage I would have to pack it very carefully, and it is not worth the effort. And checked luggage is a hassle at the best of times. When traveling in Europe I generally don't bother with it at all. So if I take wine I just grab a couple of bottles in the airside duty free shop.

In Portugal, this is a great shame, because Portuguese wine has not been homogenised the way wine has in some other countries. The country is full of weird and wonderful wines that come from little villages that do things their own way. (Sometimes the resulting wines can be awful, but often they be good in very unique ways). You can buy the wine in the villages themselves, and you can buy it in little shops in the towns and cities. But not at the airport. Airport shops do blander wines.

Which is not to say that I am not enjoying what I am drinking now. I am, of course.

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