On Monday, June 6, Wines of Portugal is hosting a Perfect Portuguese Pairings Duo Chef Luncheon, hosted by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein and featuring dishes from République’s Chef Walter Manzke and Portuguese Chef Telmo Faria. We will be pairing 3 flights of wines with both an American-rooted dish and Portuguese-inspired dish with Wines of Portugal’s US Ambassador, Eugenio Jardim, speaking on behalf of the wines.
Wow, that invite above sure got my attention. As wine writers we are blessed to be invited to attend many tastings – a great way to share information with our readers, and continually educate our palates – but we usually have to balance a glass, spit cup, pen, paper, pen and camera. Getting to sit down, learn from a Master Somm, taste wine we may not be familiar with, and have the benefit of a chef – or in this case two – with food pairings? Well that is wine writer heaven.
Now, without further introduction my coverage starts with a 15-second slideshow from this tasting and a couple of others I attended the same week: https://www.facebook.com/140201804492/videos/10154207300324493/
From Goldstein we learned that Portugal has 250 indigenous grapes, bordered by Spain on three sides and is 11th in the world for wine production.
Jardim told us that Portugal is “not just about Port and Madera, or red wines” alone. The country is “capable of making brilliant white wines…(with) an uncanny ability to (appear) full-bodied. He suggested that the wines of Portugal can be paired with foods from “chicken to lamb chops.”
Wines of Portugal Shows How @PortugalRocks
(Note: I did not score any of the wines with Eve pts. due to time constraints. I will say that in general all the wines presented were very pleasing, and a real eye opener for me on the versatility of Portuguese wines.)
Herdade Do Esporao 2015 Verdelho
I could see why this wine won the white wine of the year in Portugal. Tart with lemon zest aromas and flavors it was my favorite white wine of the tasting too.
Quinta da Aveleda 2015 Vinho Verde
Scents of fruit cocktail, wet cement and mown grass followed by tart lemon-lime, manageable acidity and a nice mouthfeel.
Quinta De Azevedo 2015
Tropical fruit, honey and jasmine aromas, and lemon juice and pear on the mouth.
Vertice 2013 Reserva Branco
Perfumy with rose petal, white peach and cheddar on the nose; pale fruit notes of grapefruit and green grapes on the palate.
Terra D’Alter 20112 Reserva White
Up front I got pencil shavings, kiwi and Meyer lemon. The taste was all lemon zest, white pepper and steel.
Vinhas Velhas 2011 Tinto, Luis Pato
Dried blackberry and leaves on the nose, then bone-dry black fruit, grilled meat and tannins on the palate.
2011 Follies Touriga Nacional
I got black olive, grilled mushroom and charred wood on the nose, and dry, Cabernet Sauvignon-like, tannic and dried black cherry in the mouth.
Cortes De Cima 2012 Vinho Tinta
“Hello blueberry”, pungent, plum and black fruit hit my nose, then dry and dark tasting with musty black fruit.
Quinta Do Vallado 2012 Touriga Nacional Douro Red
Aromas of black plum, ash, raisin and menthol; then I got hit with spice, black fruit, black currant and bark in the mouth.
Casa Ferreirinha 2013Vinha Grande Red
Lovely dark chocolate, cigar and blackberry jam enticed me in for a taste that was black and dark with notes of prune and black licorice.
Duas Quintas 2013 Douro Red
I got a bowl of black fruit, sweet Luxardo cherry and red rose petals on this one, followed by flavors of smoke, char in a nice balance with fruit and tannin.
Post Scriptum Douro 2013
Candied plums, mushrooms and dust on the nose; then a blast of dark toasted oak and dried fruit on the palate.
I have posted the photo of the menu so that you can see the exact detail of ingredients that were painstakingly put into three courses by two chefs. The remarkable part for me wasn’t just how yummy everything was, but to see the two chef’s expressions of dishes – very different from the other – that paired perfectly with the wines. It sure was a treat to taste all of the dishes, I had no favorite, they were all that good. Made me think that this would be a fun way to do a wine tasting with dishes from where the wine originated, alongside our own ideas of what to pair with. Bravo to the Duo Chefs that won us over here.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com