Match of the week | Roast suckling pig with Casa de Saima Bairrada Tinto

Match of the week

Roast suckling pig with Casa de Saima Bairrada Tinto

I recently went to a Portuguese food and wine evening in Bristol hosted by an enterprising wine merchant called Corks of Cotham. It featured the wines of a producer called Casa de Saima, the ports of Niepoort and an intriguing Barbeito Single Harvest Madeira which went exceptionally well with some classic Portuguese custard tarts.

The high spot though was the main course - a perfectly roasted suckling pig served with fine wafers of fried potato and a very good green salad (an accompaniment that’s too often overlooked these days).

Two wines were served with it - the basic Casa de Saima Tinto 2005 and the 2004 reserva, both based on the Portuguese grape Baga. Although the older wine was a fine match I particularly liked the juicy freshness of the younger one which paired perfectly with the delicate meat. (Subscribers can read more on pork and wine matching here.)

Apparently the estate, which is regarded as one of the best in the region, is a very traditional one where the grapes are still trodden by foot and left to ferment in lagares. As often with Portuguese wines I was struck by just how refreshingly different they were in style from the vast mass of international varietals but to give you a reference point they would appeal if you're a Cabernet Franc fan.

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