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Some of the usual suspects gathered at the White Horse in Newport, Essex for the traditional Port Forum Christmas gathering to which were brought the traditional ‘Unknown shippers and their peculiar friends’. Delights of the evening included the very fine fillet steaks, the sparkling company of Jo (pub manager), Mel (on duty for the evening) and Jane the chef.
What an interesting set of ports we happened to open, using tongs heated in the pub fireplace in our usual manner. 2 out of 12 bottles couldn't be identified from the cork branding but the rest were clear. The last three bottles of vintage port all suffered from weevil damage to their corks — and all had the same unpleasant taint to them. I'm now a definite convert to MPM's belief that weevils badly damage the port in a bottle even if they don't make it all the way through the cork.
Many thanks to Tom for hosting us at The White Horse and to the team for another superb steak!
A very interesting evening, with an unusually polarised span of port quality: of the thirteen bottles tasted, at the top (for me - as I don't have a copy of the voting sheet) we had fantastic bottles of S12, G27, Mz17 and G42, while at the bottom we had five bottles which were revolting and undrinkable - of which at least three were from the same source, all with weevil damage to the corks. Thanks to all involved for the organisation, and particularly to Tom for arranging the smoked salmon for starter which was delicious.