Pairings | Portuguese
The new generation of Portuguese wines deserves greater attention from consumers and restaurant buyers alike. While successive waves of wine commentators have celebrated the broad spectrum of original flavours and styles the country’s renascent industry is producing, they remain too little explored. What’s more, compared to the big, clunking fist of much Australian Shiraz, or the twacky, juicy-fruit quality of many a New Zealand Sauvignon, they are demonstrably food-friendly wines.
Our roving gastronome Lucy Bridgers puts Portuguese wine through its paces with a succession of small plates from the inventive Nuno Mendes.
A new series for the Wine Pros section on what’s been happening in the world of food and drink pairing over the past few weeks:
Of all the different aspects of wine and food matching I write about, wine and Indian food is the most controversial. What type of wine works best, and indeed whether you should drink wine at all is the subject of endlessly heated exchanges. The subject has recently come up again with the introduction of a number of wines that are specifically designed to go with spicy food. Was this, at last, the solution?
Spaghetti puttanesca - or 'whore’s spaghetti' to translate it literally - is a full-flavoured pasta dish with strong, punchy flavours but which wine should you pair with it?
You might think sushi would be tricky to pair with wine but surprisingly that’s not the case. And there are other drinks that work too . . .
I posted this last year after trying Rijsttafel - the Indonesian speciality that’s widely available in Amsterdam. Translated literally as ‘rice table’, it’s an elaborate array of curries, salads and pickles which present a tough challenge for any wine.
Although there's not quite the feverish frenzy there was about kale a couple of years ago there's still a lot of kale lurve around.
The hype that accompanies almost every new restaurant launch these days is crazy. We all swarm in, pronounce it the best opening this year then swarm off to the next hotspot.
Salt cod, a popular Good Friday dish in parts of the Mediterranean, is cooked many different ways which suggest different wine pairings.
Freshly caught grilled sardines are a treat at this time of year but how easy is it fo find a wine that will go with them? Look to the French and Portuguese for inspiration!
An archive post from a fascinating tasting with maître fromager, educator and author Max McCalman, one of the US's foremost cheese experts, back in 2009.
It’s not often you have a wine flight with a tasting menu in which every pairing is so perfectly constructed that it’s almost impossible to say which was the best. Every match at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw deserved to be a match of the week but if pushed I’m going to go for this one because it was so unexpected.
You wouldn’t necessarily expect an Italian dish like pumpkin ravioli to pair with a Portuguese white but the match was just perfect.
Xisto Wines is a husband and wife team who through a passion for wine and adventure have imported artisan wine from Portugal using traditional cargo ships. The voyage by sail is fossil fuel-free and leaves minimal impact on the planet, meaning we are the world’s most sustainable wine importers of Portuguese wines!
As the best summer for a barbeque for some years it’s been a frustrating time for us flat-dwellers but when I was sent some fresh sardines* the other day I knew I was going to have to find some way to grill them outside if the flat wasn’t going to smell of fish for days.
Octopus seems an unlikely ingredient to be on trend but you’ll find it on a lot of restaurant menus at the moment. It’s far from an easy creature to cook (like squid it’s classified as a cephalopod rather than a fish) and it’s a measure of the kitchen’s skill as to whether it turns out tough or not.
I’m having a bit of thing about Portuguese wine at the moment - it’s so great with food and such brilliantly good value. Especially on restaurant wine lists where it’s invariably underpriced in comparison to better known wine producing countries and regions
If you’re a fan of Spain’s fashionable white wine albarino you’ll almost certainly like its Portuguese cousin alvarinho which is made just over the border.
The Wine Society held its summer tasting yesterday where the buyers pick out six bottles they’re particularly enthusiastic about. Normally it’s a social event - a chance to get together and chat over lunch - but inevitably this year it was on Zoom.
For obvious reasons* I was all set to recommend a handsomely bottled Irish whiskey I’d discovered this weekend but then I tasted it and actually didn’t rate it so here’s a fantastically good value wine deal I found in my local Co-op instead.
One of the best sources of good value reds right now is Portugal and if you like full-bodied styles the Douro is the region to look out for. This 2017 Glorio Douro is almost porty which should come as no surprise as it’s made from three of the grapes - tinta roriz, touriga nacional and touriga franca - that are used to make port.
There’s a long story behind this week’s match but it’s a good one so bear with me . . .
If you don’t like fish don’t go to Olhao! Restaurants in this bustling fishing port on the Algarve serve almost nothing else which is fine with me but less good for people, like my friend J, who has a real phobia about fishbones.
This weekend is the last in the current promotion at Waitrose which they’re trumpeting dramatically as a ‘last chance to save’ on their collection of spring wines.