by Jeff Hoyt
George Sandeman, the eldest of the seventh generation of the port-making Sandeman family, recently visited Los Angeles and told the story of the mysterious character who graces every bottle. The figure, decked out in a Portuguese student’s cape and wide-brimmed hat, came to life in 1928 in a poster signed by G. Massiot.
French poster artists were very much in vogue at the time, which is why the real artist, George Massiot Brown, hid his Scottish roots behind the French-sounding name. The Sandeman became the first iconic logo for a wine, jumping from the poster to the port labels, and living on to this day, more than 80 years later.
At our lunch in the private room at Crustacean, right next to the impressive wine collection, we had the privilege of tasting some vintage Sandeman side-by-side. We discovered we appreciated the 30-year-old Tawny much more than the 40-year-old, and learned that some ports can be enjoyed on the rocks with a twist. To learn more about port, wine, beer, spirits, and more, check out our latest wine newsletter. Cheers!
You can click on each photo to enlarge.