Porto you want? Porto you get.

They just happened to be talking about it in the novel. My, my, what a coincidence!

(excerpt The Sleeping Madonna)
“I look forward to tasting our own wine,” I said, proud to have taken part in the production of this lot. I put my arm around Rui and rubbed my head against his shoulder.
“Our very own Porto,” I said, but the two men shook their wise heads.
“You’ll taste it in five, ten, maybe forty years, my love. It’s up to the cellar-master in Vila Nova da Gaia,” said Rui.
“What the hell does he have to do with our wine?” I asked irritably, forgetting that only one year ago, one of those cellar-masters had been a close friend of Michael. Rui laughed.
“Everything. Ai ai, my poor amnesic love. This coming winter the wine stays at the Quinta; in those big barrels over there. In spring, we first ship it to Oporto and then to the cellars of Vila Nova da Gaia. It’s there that the cellar-master takes over and it is he who’s boss. He’ll take care of our wine and taste it and test it and…”
“…change its nappies,” I interjected with a wink. The story of the production of our Porto was very interesting but very long and involved and my mind was not really pointed in that direction at the moment.
My little hint made Rui smile but didn’t stop him from telling me all I already knew but for some idiotic reason did not remember.

“The cellar-master and his team will take care of the wine as if it were a baby and I’m not kidding. They have to, because wine can be extremely capricious during its infancy…”
“But eventually grows into a delicious and mature Porto,” I said, “and listen to this one, Chefe: it must be stored in oak casks. By law. Ha! True, or not?”
“Bravo. At last something you do remember. I’m sure you also remember that Porto is the result of the very careful blending of at least fifteen wines, don’t you? Some for the colour or the aroma, others for the body, the bouquet or the smoothness.”
“Believe it or not … that part I remember. Hey, Rui, why don’t you keep our wine at the Quinta and let me bathe in it? I’ve got it all, man. Colour, perfume, body and muito, muito smoothness, as you darn well know.”
“Ai ai, Chefe,” lamented Fernam. “This woman won’t only exhaust you, she’ll also drive me crazy.”


This lovely DREAMTIMES photo show rabelos carrying their precious cargo of barrels filled with wine to mature into Port wine to Vila Nova da Gaia.
See that bridge in the background? It’s the Ponte Dom Luis I from where you have just about the best view of Porto you can get. From the highest level – the ‘ponte superiore – you can take in both sides of the Douro riverside and take in almost all the charm and character Portugal’s second largest city (after Lisbon) has to offer.

The Ponte Dom Luis I is 172 m long, the highest bridge is at 60 m and the lowest at 10 m above the water. Eiffel (who else?) designed it and it was built in 1885 by a belgian construction company.
Oh, yes … and just in case ET wants to phone home:

London? Nope. Porto (pron.: Portu) or if you wish, Oporto.
Fascinating city? More to come, much more and dedicated to a very, very special person. No, to TWO very, most, more than special people.
But before you go, why not listen to the great Carlos Paredes. He will give you a taste of Portuguese Saudade.
Até logo!


6 Comments to “Porto you want? Porto you get.”

  1. It is strange reading excerpts from a book I am currently reading (and loving). The birth scene made me a bit tearful.
    I am enjoying it one chapter at a time on my Kindle (while also reading other things).
    A great book.

  2. Oh, Pierre, what a lovely thing to say. I mean: that you like the book, of course.
    Wish you would write a short review once you have read it all and post it on Smashword.

    I won’t be using too many excerpts of The Sleeping Madonna and certainly not that scene you mention (it made me tearful, too!).

    The hardcover will be out soon (with the ‘real’ cover, uncensored nipples). The publisher is wild about the book and has huge dreams for it. From his mouth to G-d’s ears, as we say in Yiddish. His is a gigantic publishing house, so… Dream along with me, Pierre, and thank you for being there.

    Also: I LOVE your cat. Gorgeous.

  3. OK, you’ve sold it to me. I’ll have to try to visit. (It was the London telephone box that did it!)
    No-o-o, it was The Sleeping Madonna’s descriptions of a way of life that seems to take its time a little more than we do here…

  4. Hiya Joe,
    Visit Portugal? You’ll love it, mit or mitout telephone box and the livin’ is easy, especially in the Douro region. Yes, that’s where the Madonna lives AS YOU KNOW, you schnook!
    How about a wee review on Smashwords, Mr Stein?
    Shalom to all and speak soon.

  5. Hey, thank you for buying my picture from Dreamstime…nice blog, you made me feel like I was again in Porto 🙂

  6. And thank YOU for the lovely picture, Lazar Adrian Catalin! Dreamstime has a fabulous choice of photographs, yours included.
    I’m very happy you like my blog. It’s there for two reasons: my love for Portugal and my newest novel, The Sleeping Madonna, which takes place in Portugal (and can even be bought right here, signed and dedicated). See you again, LAC … in Porto, who knows. We’ll have a glass of Porto (what else?) and drink to Life, okay?

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