I am in New York promoting our wine at Skurnik’s annual tasting entitled ‘Paint the Town Red’. It is an opportunity for me to get the measure of our new importers and the US market. Skurnik certainly have a broad portfolio wines from over 200 producers represented including a very strong showing of Spanish wines (Vega Sicilia, CVNE, La Rioja Alta, Lustau) as well as well-known wineries in California, Italy, France, Austria and Germany. I feel rather lost with just one wine, Duas Pedras, although I have sneaked in a bottle of Pedra e Alma to demonstrate what else we can do. There is a good selection of Portuguese wines on show and, just as in the UK, I sense a strong feeling of goodwill towards Portugal. It is just that Portugal is nowhere in the East Coast market as yet. I have dinner after the tasting with Andrew Mulligan who is responsible for what he calls the ‘crisis portfolio’: Spain, Portugal and Greece. He tells me that Greek wines were nowhere to be seen in New York a few years ago but now they are coming on to all the fashionable restaurant wine lists. He takes me to a rastraurant called The Dutch in Soho to prove it. Skunik have achieved a good result with Greece turning over a million dollars of sales between the six producers they represent. I leave New York with high hopes for Portugal.
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