Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Symington Family’s #PORTLOVERSUNITE for a Great Cause

We are living in a challenging time. While we all try to take care of our own families, many continue giving back to others. This week kicked off with an international gathering of Port wine lovers who gathered on Zoom to raise funds for the International Red Cross coronavirus appeal. Hosted by the Symington family, #PORTLOVERSUNITE is the Please The Palate pick of the week.

On Sunday, May 3rd, at 3pm Portugal time (and 7am in California), over 100 people from around the world joined on Zoom call to celebrate Port. Nine members of the Symington family were on the call as well as Port lovers who each raised a glass of Port and shared a quick story including the wine they chose.

As expressed by Rob Symington, Associate Director: “For many Port drinkers, opening a bottle is an integral part of family gatherings, especially after lunch on a Sunday – in this case on the weekend of the May Day bank holiday. Sadly, this year many families will not be together. Port has solidarity in its DNA, in that the Douro has more than 21,000 grape growers and 92% of them farm fewer than 5 hectares of vineyard. As a result, people who drink Port are supporting entire communities in the Douro. In this time of social distancing and lockdown, we wanted to create an opportunity for the global Port community to share a glass together online, whilst contributing valuable funds to support the many courageous people on the front lines of this global pandemic. The International Red Cross is doing vital work in response to the pandemic providing emergency healthcare support for those living in conflict zones.”

While it was very early in the morning for me here in California, I opened up a bottle of Dow’s 2015 Late Bottled Vintage Porto. A bold and structured wine, it has intense notes of fresh black fruits. It was a big wine to start off the day but when you are celebrating for a good cause, you do just that.

#PORTLOVERSUNITE donated €6,000 for the International Red Cross, with €5,000 in pledges and an additional €1,000 from the Symington Family Estates.

In addition, since the coronavirus reached Portugal, the Symington family has produced 10,000 litres of antiseptic gel (made with distilled grape spirit, glycerine and water) in-house which they distributed to various hospitals in the north of Portugal. They also donated a ventilator to the Vila Real hospital in the Douro region, provided funding towards a diagnostic X-Ray machine for a hospital south of Porto, and purchased 3,000 medical-grade protective masks for hospitals in the Porto area.

The Symington family is doing a lot to give back to the community and if you want to make a donation to the International Red Cross coronavirus appeal, click here