Madeleine v Montana sauvignon blanc

Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that I enjoy cooking. One of my standards when I am abandoned on my own for a fortnight is to do a ’round the world tour’. Each night I ‘travel’ a little further around the world, cooking one of the signature dishes of the country in which I have ‘landed’. If this sounds hare-brained, trust me, I get some really delicious meals out of it.

Strangely enough, the core idea came from a Weight Watchers book, Around the World in 65 Recipes. Great food does not need to be fattening!

When we move to our new home in Portelas (water and electricity now in, builders ripping things out and installing new things), I want to start up a Diner’s Club in the village. Once a month I want to cook good food in a good ambience with good company, and ‘Around the World’ may fit the good food requirement perfectly.

I do not want to compete with anyone running a café/bar in or around Portelas. That rules out a vast raft of Portuguese goodies, both in food and drink. I have been looking for a source that would satisfy the alternative drink requirement. Today I visited a cash and carry called Recheio in Lagos (Google Recheio cash and carry – it’s online). It has dozens or hundreds of wines, but all of them are Portuguese.

At the moment, I am stumped, but then I am also ingenious. In Kate’s book ‘madeleine’, she mentions having a glass of wine before going out to dine on 3 May 2007. Please don’t head down the ‘too much to drink angle’. I am simply trying to work out where I can get wines from outside Portugal so I can do world tours.

As far as I can establish, the wine shared by Kate and Gerry was a Montana sauvignon blanc, from New Zealand. It reminded them of a fond time there when both their careers and their romance was blossoming, along with Kate’s running capability.

Here’s a 2006 Montana sauvignon blanc.

In lots of ways, this sliver of gold does not fit in. I am not a fan of sauvignon blanc. The nearest I have been to New Zealand in real life is Los Angeles. While I have signature dishes for many countries around the world, New Zealand is not yet on my radar.

However, my failure at Recheio cash and carry means I need to go back to the origin of that Montana sauvignon blanc, which was Supermercado Baptista. I need a map of the wine countries Baptista covers as my starting position.

Time is pressing. In between now and 10 June 2017 we have to get everyone moved into the new house. I am hoping to have our first family Portugal v England friendly before the week is out. For the clash of the Auld Enemies at Hampden in June, I am confident I can produce an ‘authentic’ Killie pie and surely England deserves a (Vardy) ploughman special? But can I get a typically Scottish or English beer in Portugal?

So much to do in life. So little time.


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