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Wednesday is midweek, an ideal time for my wine of the week – Tinto da Anfora 2009 from Southern Portugal (Waitrose £9.40). I spend a lot of time in the Alentejano , it has some of the worlds loveliest surf breaks, outstanding sardines and anchovies and some fabulous red (and white) wines.

This is a deep coloured red, with a purple core and signs of ageing at the rim. The nose is primarily of damsons and blackcurrants, with underlying notes of spice, cloves, marzipan and just a twist of black pepper. The entry is open, warm and welcoming – like the locals – with a lush, mid-palate enlivened with some classy, vanilla oak. It finishes bone dry, without the merest whisper of residual sugar (most commercial wines are full of it – often up to 9 gpl) and handles its 14% alc with aplomb.

A blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional and a splash of Cab Sauv (5%), the wine spends 12 months in oak barrels – not new – and is under the pre 2010 product label.

The temperature has plummeted here in the UK, and the cosy warmth of this wine is helping with my acclimatization.

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