I’ve been really getting into Portuguese wines over the past few years. My passionate appetite for them was initially fired up by Portuguese wine enthusiasts such as Charles Metcalfe, Jamie Goode and Sarah Ahmed. Moreover, I’ve been lucky enough to visit the country on a couple of occasions, meet winemakers and discover their wonderful wines. In particular, I’ve grown a bit of a fondness for the fresh and vibrant whites, such as Vinho Verde. This wine style is produced in the northern part of Portugal, quite close to the Spanish border. The whites tend to be fruity, slightly petillant, pleasantly low in alcohol (hovvering around 10%) with prickly acidity and are best drunk young.
Recently, I was given a bottle of red Vinho Verde. For me, this was very exciting, as I had never tasted a red from this region before. In fact, such is my ignorance of Portuguese wines, I thought that Vinho Verde produced only whites. Of course, I’m very happy to be proved wrong and always like enjoy another wine experience and potential discovery.
My friend, Nicola Thomson, is very passionate about Portugal and its wines. She recently returned from a trip there and the bottle of wine that she gave me was 2011 Quinta de Gomariz “Vinhao Colheita Seleccionada“.
According to the back label: “Made from the native grape variety vinhao, this wine is characterised by its deep, intense purple colour. This young wine has intense fresh red fruits on the nose, with a uniquely soft tannic feeling in the mouth. This unique wine is meant to be enjoyed with rich dishes such as roast pork or grilled red meats“. We enjoyed it with a nice juicy steak for supper.
I would whole-heartedly agree – this wine had an intense purple colour and was bursting with rich and fragrant blackcurrant and spicy black cherry fruit. At 12.5% alcohol, this wine, even though it packed a flavoursome punch, was very nicely balanced and had plenty of freshness. In fact, if I were to generalise (something I don’t really like doing) – I would go as far as saying that freshness is the signature of Portuguese wines.
So, go on, enjoy wines with an open mind. You never know, you may make an interesting discovery. Portuguese wines are also great value.
More wine reviews, blog articles, food and wine matching ideas and sommelier stories will follow soon. Follow my tweets and updates on Twitter @rovingsommelier
In the meantime the epicurean odyssey continues…