The Wine Society’s 12th Annual Festive Dinner with Paul Symington

Paul (lower left) with his brother (directly behind) and his cousins at Graham's Quinta dos Malvedos
Paul (lower left) with his brother (directly behind) and his cousins at Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos

Paul Symington will be the guest of honour at The Wine Society’s 12th Annual Festive Dinner, which will be held on Tuesday, December 18th in the magnificent surroundings of Merchant Taylor’s Hall in the City of London. The Wine Society extended the invitation as a way of celebrating Portugal and the wines of the Douro, with Paul’s Decanter Man of The Year 2012 Award still fresh in people’s memory.

Portuguese cuisine will also take centre stage: Rui Paula, one of Portugal’s most talented chefs, was asked to prepare a special menu for the occasion consisting of 5 courses, which will be served with a selection of Douro DOC table wines produced by the Symington Family in their own Douro Quintas, and of course with Graham’s Ports as well. The Vintage Port will be one of Graham’s 20th century classics, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise by identifying the year (for the benefit of those fortunate enough to have booked a place for the dinner, which was sold out not long after being announced).

The Graham’s Dry White Port will be served as the aperitif and another two Graham’s Ports are to be served with the dessert and cheese courses. Superb food and wine matches will be the order of the evening; Rui Paula has designed the menu around wines that he is well acquainted with, not least because he was born in Oporto and his family comes from the Douro region, which has long provided one of the main sources of inspiration for his creations.

Rui Paula, enjoying a glass of Graham's 20 Years Tawny at his 'DOP' restaurant in Oporto.

Rui Paula, enjoying a glass of Graham’s 20 Years Tawny at his ‘DOP’ restaurant in Oporto.

The Wine Society, founded in 1874, is the world’s oldest wine club and its declared mission is to “introduce members to the best of the world’s vineyards at a fair price.” The Symington family’s relationship with this unique organization has been a very fruitful and enduring one; the family has supplied The Wine Society since its very beginnings in the 19th century.

Watch this space, in the comings days we will let you know how the evening went.

One thought on “The Wine Society’s 12th Annual Festive Dinner with Paul Symington”

  1. The November 1890 catalogue of the Wine Society includes “Cockburn’s Port, Bottled in 1887”, so perhaps the 1884 Vintage, at 36/- per dozen bottles (for youngsters, that’s £0.15 per bottle). The March 1891 catalogue has Cockburn’s 1870 at 89/- per dozen (just under 37.1p per bottle). And the June 1892 catalogue mentions a Dow’s 1887 (own bottling), bargain-basement at 33/- per dozen (13¾p per bottle). If the Symingtons have any of these remaining, and wish to clear the cellar space, etc etc.

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