We are in the news again, thanks to sommelier, Joanne Twentyman of Mr Thomas’s Chop House in Manchester. She has been shortlisted to the top 10 in the UK in the Wines of Portugal Sommelier Challenge in association with Imbibe magazine. Her brief was To provide your favourite food and Portuguese wine match from your restaurant with a brief description behind your choice. The star pairing chosen by Jo was a red Pedra Basta, which she chose to match the wine with the Roast Breast of Lamb and Devilled Kidneys from the menu at Mr Thomas’s Chop House. The Pedra Basta is a personal favourite and during a social visit to the restaurant she decided to order a bottle to share with her partner. Jo’s thought process behind the match was that, “The 14% alcohol content of the wine meant that a big strong meal was needed. And vice versa, the richness of the dish required a sumptuous, full bodied yet elegant wine. Once I had made my choice, my partner and I tried the two together and couldn’t believe the taste explosion. The flavours complemented each other perfectly and the balance was ideal. I had read about the Imbibe competition and couldn’t wait to get home to submit my entry.” The overall winner of the competition will be announced in the November/December issue of Imbibe.
Jo has worked at Mr Thomas’s for three years, has always had a keen interest in viticulture. A bonus has been working under the expert eye of their wine buyer and sommelier, George Bergier. She said that he has been a great mentor and has also coached her through her WSET intermediate level which she breezed through. As well as the training, staff members regularly attend wine tastings, host food and wine matching evenings, and are able to assist George in composing the Chop House’s award-winning wine list which includes Pedra Basta. Jo has become a fan of Portuguese wines. She feels that they have vastly improved over recent years and the Pedra Basta is definitely on her top 10! "Boa Sorte" to Jo from all of us at Sonho Lusitano Vinhos!
19 - 20 An outstanding wine (*****)
17 – 18 An excellent wine in its class, highly recommended (****)
15 - 16 A good wine, with much to recommend it (***)
13 - 14 An enjoyable but simple, straightforward wine (**)
10 – 12 A very ordinary wine without faults but with no great merit (*)
8 - 10 Disagreeable (no stars)
Below 8 Faulty