Augusto’s Port – Porto
For once, we are talking about a drink other than beer.
Another one of my alcoholic vices is Port. Now, I understand that for many of the younger generation Port is seen as an old people’s drink best served at Christmas when the grandparents come round. But that’s “old school port.” The kind of stuff that you buy in a UK supermarket – not the kind that you buy at Augusto’s in Porto.
And that, I think, sums it up. The best place to drink a Port is in Porto, the best place to drink a Helles lager is in Germany and the best place to eat French cheese, I’m afraid to say, is in France. Some flavours just don’t see to travel from their home county well.
We discovered Augusto’s last year and Dad had a half-dozen bottles shipped back to the UK. We drank an 8-year old on New Year’s day, with some friends. It was a very good New Year’s day!
When in Portugal, where better to drink some more port than back in Augusto’s in Porto. A family owned and operated business with 4 generations of history. It is something you just don’t see very often nowadays. When my parents said they were travelling around Portugal with me we all knew that we had to go back again.
Just off the main Promenade, down an alleyway on the ‘Port’ (get it) side of Porto is Augusto’s tasting room and museum. A beautiful rustic warehouse with wood beam ceilings and exposed brick walls. Inside, you are greeted to a nice open space with subtle mood lighting and shelves upon shelves of bottled port from all different years, styles and grape flavours. It is quite a sight. To the right Is their welcome area, bar area and shop.
Here you can try, then purchase, some of their incredible ports. The tour costs €5 which is refunded if you buy some Port. It’s well worth it, with 2 free tastings at the end of the tour.
It’s November now and I’m back in the UK stopping with Mum & Dad for the weekend. We’ve been having a Port-tasting evening. We’ve some Augusto’s; a bottle of Aldi 10-year old “Decanter” prize-winning Port sold under the “Maynard’s” brand and a bottle of “Ramos Pinto” that Dad was given as a gift.
Let’s deal with the Ramos Pinto first. It’s grape water and acetone. Your “typical” British port. The Aldi port isn’t bad – and I’d happily drink it if I didn’t know any better. But then Augusto’s Fine White at €14 a bottle is rather better.
White Port is a really nice summer drink – fridge it and drink it cold on a summer’s day. The only problem is it goes too quickly!
For winter then, Augusto’s do a 10-year old vintage red. It’s smooth, complex and delicious! And they get better as they get older. I’m sitting here drinking a 30-year old red port, taking a diversion from writing a reflective essay for Uni, and thinking back to the three incredible days I spent in Porto with Mum and Dad in October. I do miss life on the open road!