Pendock’s Take On Portugal

Neil Pendock
Neil Pendock

Good Value Guru and Swartland Swashbuckler Neil Pendock was recently imported by Portugal for a wine gig. Upon his return, he decided to eschew the mainstream press and,satellite TV stations,for an exclusive interview with WineGoggle.

What was your mission in Portugal?

Tasting for An?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?-íbal Coutinho’s blind-tasting wine guide Guia Popular de Vinhos which will be published in Portuguese in September.

Is there a future in exporting wine critics for service to other countries?

Definitely, if it can advance the cause of blind-tasted assessment., Anyone can do business class golf jaunts to the Third World, taste the products of your host sighted and wax lyrical., Sighted assessment is a scam ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ in the May edition of Good Taste magazine editor Colin Collard reveals that “Last year we gave Platters more than half a dozen examples where their judges had given different scores to identical wines ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ the only difference being in the packaging and the names on the bottles.”, Which would be a joke if local supermarket chains did not use these dishonest ratings to list wines. ,

Is Portugal the next Big Wine Thing from Europe?

Unfortunately not for SA consumers as Portuguese producers are still incredibly parochial ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ focusing on Portuguese speaking markets like Angola and Brazil and dealing with Portuguese ex-pats in SA rather than the best importer/retailer available.,

Are there any specific cultivars you think would adapt particularly well here in SA?

Arinto and Alvarino ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ and that’s only white cultivars starting with “A” ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ they have over 300 others., To see why, taste them.

In which regions should they be planted?

Warm appellations like the Paardeberg.

We in SA are obsessed with signature varietal(s). Is there a specific wine or cultivar that holds the Porra flag, or are they not concerned about it?

Touriga Na?+¦???+¦?+¦-+?+¦+ªional is the big name, but each region has a local hero., For example, the Bonny and Clyde of Bairrada is Baga (red) and Maria Gomes (white).,

Did you tell the Porras that their wine is scarce in SA and they should do something about it?


That being cork country, has the move to screw-cap cottoned on?


How much bacalhau can a human eat in two weeks?

We were served it five times until Luan developed a lucky psychosomatic fish allergy that we told our hosts about before we arrived.

Certain SA wine critics reckon you can’t taste wine properly with food containing garlic. This is surely not applicable to Portugal?

In Portugal, you can’t taste wine without garlic in the food as then the food tastes odd.

What can the Porras teach us about wine marketing?

There is more to life than Bordeaux blends, Burgundy and bowties.

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3 thoughts on “Pendock’s Take On Portugal

  1. Hi Emile

    Don’t you think its a bit disingenuous to say ….Anyone can do business class golf jaunts to the Third World, taste the products of your host sighted and wax lyrical. We all know who Neil is talking about, foreign wine critics that get flown in by WOSA and do a little trip around the winelands, taste wine sighted and then pass some sort of judgment when they are back in Blighty. I don’t see anything wrong with the sighted part of this in this instance, you, me and a host of other wine lovers do the same thing everyday and then blog, write etc about or opinions or experiences. Heck Neil does the same thing with the Good Value Guru and every Sunday in the Times, his weekly wine pick is sighted.

    Poor old Neil, he always seems to get his knickers in a knot over nothing.


  2. Hi Dion

    You’re talking out of your Riedel again. Who told you Pendock’s Picks in the Sunday Times are sighted?

    All the Good Value Guru tastings in Portugal were blind. Last year, well over half the Good Value Guru picks were blind thanks to tastings arranged by Wellington and Darling producers plus tasting over 1200 wines blind for The People’s Guide.

    I have less of an objection to sighted tastings when the people doing the assessment have no involvement with producers, which is clearly not the case with some of the retailers, importers, PR spin doctors, highly paid consultants and wine makers who taste for Platter.

    As far as my knickers go, I shall try going commando in future as I’m afraid comments like yours which willfully miss the point will always make my panties go bunchy.


  3. Hi Neil

    Please lets not make this handbags at dawn stuff! Stick to the point that you raised and stick to the point that I have a problem with…. taste the products of your host sighted and wax lyrical…

    I, and thousands of consumers are so happy and grateful that you have tasted so many wines in Portugal and SA Blind. Well done old chap for that. But you haven’t tasted every single wine that you have passed comment on blind. Impossible. I am sure you have been to a few farms as a guest of a owner, had a wonderful snoek braai or two, and then opined about the wine.

    Can you honestly state that every wine you have ever listed on Pendocks Pick over the years has been tasted Blind? Nope, I didn’t think so. And this isn’t a sin for you, me or Mr British Wine Supremo to do the same. I never mentioned Platters and its 1000 and 1 associated conflicts of interest. I think its you that misses the point.

    By the way Neil I have been going commando for years and it really not all it cracked up to be.


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