One of the most intriguing wine regions in the world is the Ribero del Duero in Northern Spain at the source of the Duero River in the Cantabrian Mountains (so you won’t think TB is getting senile – he may be – he discussed part of this are in Vol. 1 No 110), which then flows south through Valladolid and into Portugal where it becomes the Douro, famous for centuries for Port wine growing. The major city of the region is Burgos, near the source. It then meanders down past Valladolid where the two most expensive Spanish wines hail from (Vega Secila and Pesquez), and dozens of other fine and reasonably-priced reds and just outside the boundaries of the appellation one of Spain’s best white wines is made, Rueda, a complex and beautiful wine.
The Duero then passes to the north of the university town of Salamanca and into Portugal where it becomes the Douro for the remainder of its 550 mile journey to the Atlantic. It is in Portugal that it becomes navigable and the Port growers used Daδ’s (small lateen-rigged sailboats) to transport the barrels down to the Port Lodges near the sea across from the beautiful town of Porto (I just learned that there are 8 day river cruises up the Douro and the views look incredible).
While TB loves Port (just as he does Pedro Ximénez sherries and Madeira’s), our interest here is on the unknown Reds that come from here (and slightly above it the whites called Albarinho’s which are labeled Vinho Verde – the only similarity to the old Vinho’s is the name as the quality is equal to Albariño’s and they are less expensive – try one, you’ll like it and save some money too!).
TB will revisit the Duero region in October when he returns to finish the northwest edge of the Iberian peninsula (Rias Biaxas, Santiago de Compostello, and Vigo), then down into Portugal to Porto. From their he will fly to Madeira and back to Lisboa to begin a cruise to Marakeesh, Casablanca, and more, then finish in the Canary Islands at Tenerife – one would think it would be easier to fly from there to Madeira but since the Canary’s are Spanish and Madeira, Portuguese, no can do). Can’t wait to take the trip and report back to you.
Last Sunday, TB read a review of a wine named Portada. A 2013 red, that the author said was a $30 wine selling for $10. Intrigued, and anxious to increase his knowledge of Portuguese wine he bought a bottle from a local wine merchant and it is ‘knock your socks off stunning’! What does it taste like? Indescribable – a wine for all tastes as it is chock full of rich berry flavors but with soft tannins to make it a great wine to go with everything from barbecue to ??? But more than that it will even appeal to those of you who are Two Buck Chuck lovers (even though the price is approaching $3!). Don’t misunderstand, TBC has not only enriched the coffers of Trader Joe’s but it has helped eliminate cheap wine from the competition – globally, good wine is forcing out bad because you can’t sell much for under three dollars – that is legal anyway!
That’s all for now, friends! Stay thirsty? – now why would you want to do that? As an old Navy guy running an enlisted men’s club used to say, “drink up, this ain’t no library!”
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How did Trader Bill originate?
It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information.
Who is Trader Bill?
Initially any reference to me was as ‘i’. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience. Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else’s money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an ‘alter-ego’. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai’s! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small ‘I’?
What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren’t even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it?
How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of ‘87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in ‘87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i
attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn’t politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it’s always darkest before it’s pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective.
What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don’t know that it is special, but at least it beats “the market closed down today on profit taking.” What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal…not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide…course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn’t be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend.
So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success.
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2 thoughts on “Vol 1. No 12 …you can call it Duero or you can call it Douro…”
Rueda, thanks Bill, I look for some next time we are shopping in Irun. Question for you: Which are your favorite rosés? My wife really likes rosé; I find that they have an unpleasant aftertaste. We usually buy rosé from Bordeaux. Do you have any favorite Maderias?
Sorry to take so long to get back. Have been on the road. I would not buy rose’s from Bordeaux. Try Provance, especially Bandol or Banyuls. In those you will find the sweetness cut off at the end by a slight bitterness in the back of the mouth and tongue where tannins are felt. It is not lingering but keeps it from becoming cloying.