The World of Portuguese Wines

On March 5th Tech Tastes Wine hosted startups in fashion e-commerce and BT Innovation Labs. Our tasting, led by Victor Amaro, a Master Sommelier with  more than thirty years in the hospitality and wine industry, a career spanning several countries, and who is frequently invited as jury for international awards.  He walked us through the various regions and the rich history of wine making in the country.

I attended his Portuguese Wines Masterclass at Harpers Wine Specialist Importers Trade Tastings UK Wine Fair. An engaging speaker, he answered our questions patiently and reminded us that some Portuguese wines are made to be consumed with the hearty traditional fare and the fresh seafood from the Atlantic.

REDE White (3)

You want to pair the beautiful Rede White, Douro 2013, with sushi, he suggested, or even with a more powerful, spicy Indian dish. The explosion of fresh fruits on this white wine are so light yet strong, memorable, is the word I am looking for – ranging from pears, bananas, and subtle hint of almonds that develop slowly and linger in your tongue – I can tell that they marry perfectly well with curries.

Then we tasted the Encruzado, Quinta do Perdigao, Dao 2012, a white wine made with 100% Encruzado grapes, an organic certified wine. At the Harpers Wines Portuguese Wines Masterclass I tasted the 2011, both vintages offer complex and well structured wines, with floral and herbal notes, at first elderberry, then rose petals, and a mouthful of almonds. It also invites some daring with Asian cuisine.

It is a wine that holds its own next to dishes that have character.

One can well think of enjoying a glass of Encruzado Quinta do Perdigao 2012, or the 2011, with the traditional Portuguese salted codfish dish, Bacalhau, and other simpler seafare, yet noble in its humbleness, the Sardine. Grilled, of course.

Just a dash of fleur-de-sel will do, nothing else needed to reveal the pungent flavours of the mighty Sardine. It will complement well the balanced acidity of Quinta do Perdigao 2011, or 2012.  They are both nuanced, plein de charactere, and can carry their own facing the marvels of the Atlantic that so generously give Portugal an array of textures and flavours.

And last, but not least, we tasted a red wine, Touriga Nacional, from Quinta da Alorna, Tejo 2012. With a beautiful deep purple, striking to the eye, made of 100% Touriga Nacional, a native grape, and aged in American Oak barrels for 6 months, this brash and vivacious wine is an authentic Vin de Garage, artisan wine, ready to be enjoyed with a Summer barbecue or in the Fall with hard cheeses.

If you are ready for more join us on May 12th from 7 to 9 PM, when we will discover more fabulous wines, and hear the founders of tech startups from the fashion and wine sectors.