About the last thing you’d think I’d be recommending after 4 days in Portugal last week would be a wine pairing for sushi - but that was the outstanding match.
It was at a restaurant called Shis in Foz (prounced Shish and Fosh - Portuguese is famously difficult to pronounce), a resort on the edge of Oporto that bizarrely specialises in Japanese food, apparently prepared by Brazilian chefs. It was some of the best sushi I’ve had all year.
The wine was a relatively inexpensive Vinhas Velhas Branco 2009 from Luis Pato in Bairrada* which costs about 8-9 euros in Portugal and £13.50-15 here from merchants including Highbury Vintners and Roberson. It’s a blend of Bical, Cerceal and Sercialinho, aged in chestnut casks but the wood isn’t overwhelming. It was lush but light with a slightly nutty flavour and a streak of citrus. At least the second bottle was. Embarrassingly for my hosts who represented the cork industry the first bottle was corked or, as I am sure they would prefer me to put it, showed traces of TCA, cause unknown.
I’ve always gone for crisp unoaked whites with sushi but this worked really well with the innovative sushi that the restaurant serves. Well worth trying again.
* Though Pato uses the denomination Beiras, apparently having had a fallout with the Bairrada authorities