Slow Food conference also includes a slow Port Wine tasting

Port Wine in the Salone del Gusto - Slow Food conference

During this week is taking place in Turin, Italy, the Salone del Gusto fair, and event under the umbrella of the Slow Food organization. Slow Food, for opposition to Fast Food, aims to preserve traditional and regional cuisine. During this 4 day event, there was a workshop dedicated to Port Wine. Italy is not a traditional market for Port. Actually, it has one of the lowest per capita consumption between the countries of the Occidental Europe. So it was with a lot of surprise that I received the news that the event sold out well in advance. Together with me, there were two other family producers talking on the workshop: Miguel Braga from Quinta do Mourão and Manuel Viseu from Quinta de Baldias.

We were there to talk about Port Wine in general. A little bit of history; how is it made and aged; different types of Port.Suddenly, the very active audience exposed the trickiest question – “Why can’t we find more Port Wine in Italy, is this a problem of marketing, a problem of demand?”

I made a video of this moment of the discussion. Sound is not very good, sorry. I’m writing few topics about it, but I would really love to hear from you. Is Port Wine popular in your country? If not, how can we change this?

  • Port Wine is a very old product
  • many Port Wine brands were created over 100 years ago
  • traditional consumer of Port Wine is over 50 years old
  • marketing is focused on traditional channels, not taking advantage (yet) of new technologies


  • we, industry, have created young Ports for young people
  • we are making more and more tastings all over the world, introducing new people to Port
  • and more important of all, we are increasing the overall quality of Port Wine, delivering better Ports at good prices

Now it’s your turn!


3 Comments Added

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  1. Lee Friday October 29th, 2010 | reply
    I just learned about your event(s) and wanted to tell you about our site, If you already post to the site - thank you, we are just trying to make sure you're aware. It’s free to post your food and wine events to LWE, which has over 119,000 subscribers and 1 million page views per month - and - we'd love to have them listed! Please let me know if you have any questions. Cheers! ~ Lee Director of Promotion & Publicity "The World's Leading Wine Events Calendar"
  2. Joe Gates Sunday October 31st, 2010 | reply
    Hi Oscar, I think Port Wine could be more popular in the US if the Port name was better protected here. As a tiny grower and wine producer of US wine made from portuguese grape varieties, I see first hand the damage done to the Port name.At wine tastings in N. california,I can get people to taste white,rose and red table wines labled with portuguese varital names very easily,but with my dessert wines that are made like Port,using portuguese Port varieties and grape brandy,I get a hi refuseal rate,sometimes 50%,when I mention my dessert wines are made in the Port-style. The problem is these people have tasted all the terrible US wine that is labeled Port. In 2006 the US goverment and the EU signed a wine trade agreement that stopped any new US wine labels from containing the the name Port,but it allowed labels approved before march 2006 to be still used.(TTB Industry Circular 2006-1 Oscar and Port Wine Trade lobby US gov for law change mentioned in 2006-1. Joe
  3. Oscar Quevedo Tuesday November 2nd, 2010 | reply
    Joe, that's a good point and very much right. The Portuguese Government, and the Port Wine Institute together with the trade, did not protect as much as necessary the name Port Wine. Specially because it is not difficult to make a Port Wine-style of fortified wine in many wine regions around the world and several wineries in the USA, Argentina, South Africa or Australia took advantage of this loophole. The 2006 agreement will help to protect a little bit the name Port, but it comes late.

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