Tag: portuguese wine

5 Great Wine Bars in Lisbon

bars, drinking wine, Portuguese food, wine tourism, Portugal, Portuguese wine

Recently Lisbon has transformed into a must-visit city. Some of its main tourist attractions are amazing cuisine, art, and streets full of life. But we should not forget that Portugal is also a country that makes great wines. Therefore, we suggest that you visit some of the best wine bars in Lisbon. Find your favourite and note it down for your next trip to the Portuguese capital!

Vestigius

Vestigius is located in an old winery and it is much more than just a wine bar: it offers an extensive program of cultural events, giving you the opportunity to spend a pleasant time while enjoying good wines and wonderful dishes of both national and international cuisine.
You will find Vestigius in the area around Cais do Sodré. The bar has a privileged view of the Tagus River, with a fabulous esplanade area to enjoy the outdoors. It is an ideal place for cultural exchange and ideas over a glass of good wine or a cocktail.

The Old Pharmacy Wine Bar

What would a pharmacy and wine have in common? Some might say that both can provide relief for sorrows and pains… But in the case of The Old Pharmacy Wine Bar, it means that an old pharmacy was lovingly converted into a wine bar. This charming place offers some 200 different wines of Portuguese origin. You can also order a selection of cheeses, hams and other tasty snacks to perfectly accompany the wine you have chosen

On top of that, it is also one of the most striking wine bars in Lisbon. You will no doubt find the opportunity to immerse yourself in the exciting world of Portuguese wines. The Old Pharmacy Wine Bar also offers the opportunity to enjoy a coffee or a tea should your heart desire something less intoxicating…

Winebar do Castelo

If you are a true wine lover, this is one of the must-visit wine bars in Lisbon. You will find Winebar do Castelo on one of the hills of the city, Castelo de São Jorge, located in the historic centre. The interesting selection of wines is usually rotated and the vintage port wines stand out.

Winebar do Castelo also offers another attraction: the guided tastings give you an excellent opportunity to learn more about Portuguese wines. Of course, the bar also offers dishes based on cheeses and delicatessen to accompany the wine. Highly recommended!

By the Wine

It is one of the best-known wine bars in the city, as it is the flagship store of José Maria da Fonseca, one of the most present wine companies in the country. When you visit By the Wine, you will find all the wines from this winery’s portfolio as well as a wide selection of tapas, including Guijuelo ham.

By the Wine lies in the heart of Lisbon, but this is not the only selling point. You will also be captivated by the interior architecture of the place. This bar is an excellent option if you want to eat and drink good wines in a pleasant atmosphere.

Tasca do Chico

We would never forget to mention Fado in this selection of wine bars in Lisbon. Tasca do Chico is a tavern where you can eat, drink wine and, above all, listen to Fado.

It is an intimate and special place, although somewhat small. It is one of the best places to drink a glass of wine while listening to the melancholic rhythm of a music genre that, like good wine, reaches the soul.

 TAGS:Gazela Vinho Verde

Gazela Vinho Verde

The Gazela Vinho Verde: a white wine from Vinho Verde produced by Gazela vinified from alvarinho and shows an alcoholic strength of 9%. The Gazela Vinho Verde is the ideal white to combine with salmon salad and crab.  

 
 TAGS:Azul Portugal Dão 2013

Azul Portugal Dão 2013

The winery Azul Portugal elaborates this Azul Portugal Dão 2013, a red wine from Dao that contains grapes of 2013 and shows an alcoholic content of 13%.  

Portugal, land of wine: Dão and Beiras

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“Terras do Dão” is synonymous with ‘Lands of Wine’ and people say, that you can even smell the roses in Beira Alta wine. The Beiras Region crosses Portugal from side to side, from the Atlantic to the border with Spain; to the North by the Minho and the Douro river and to the south by the Alto Alentejo and Ribatejo, counting on five designations of origin.

In 2011, the appellation called ‘Terras da Beira‘ was created, containing three designated regions: Dão, Bairrada and Beira Interior.

Dão white wines are rather fruity while reds are full-bodied with a velvety taste. In this plain region, which is beautifully surrounded by mountains that protect the vines from the winds, there are properties many centuries old, cellars, agricultural cooperatives and associations devoted to the production and tasting of wine.

This is also the case of Quinta do Cabriz in Carregal do Sal, one of the country’s leading wine producers. Several times awarded, their white, red and sparkling wines (with Touriga Nacional rosé) ensure a good relationship between quality and price. The exception to low price is its ‘vino de topo‘, the Cabriz Four C, produced with 4 Portuguese strains of great quality. Another major wine-producing property in this area is located on the slopes of the river Dão. The Casa de Santar has been producing prestigious wines for over 300 years.

White wines from Beiras are fresh and fruity; red wines are full-bodied with an intense colour and show great ageing potential.

In the list of wine producers, there is also space for the production of organic wines. For instance, Casa Mouraz in Tondela is very devoted to red, white and rosé wines of organic production.

In 2003/2004, another wine type (or another concept of wine) emerged: Kosher wine. The Terras de Belmonte is a wine produced according to Jewish rules in Belmonte, where in the past a large Jewish community had established  itself. The big difference of this wine is the production process itself, where only Jews can intervene without the use of yeast and additional products of animal origin.

Our recommendation today comes from Bairrada. It is a rosé partially aged in oak, a very aromatic wine with balanced acidity and structure: The Filipa Pato 3B. Its producer and oenologist, Filipa Pato, does not accept the current designation of origin, and simply prefers to call her product “traditional method” while waiting to get her own appellation, something similar to the history of Cava in Catalonia.

 

 TAGS:Julia Kemper Tinto Bio 2009Julia Kemper Tinto Bio 2009

Julia Kemper Tinto Bio 2009:  A red wine from Dao DO of Julia Kemper cellar of vintage 2009. 

 

 

 TAGS:Quinta de Cabriz Selected Harvest 2013Quinta de Cabriz Selected Harvest 2013

Quinta de Cabriz Selected Harvest 2013: A wine red with the Dao DO of 2013 and 13º of alcohol strength.

 

Photo: Guy Moll

Portugal as a land of wine: Azores and Madeira

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Madeira wine, or just Madeira, is also known as Generoso Madeirense or Vinho de Torna-Viagem and is produced on the island for over 500 years.

Departing ships loaded with wine, considered second-class, made possible to discover the power and impact of fermentation. The wine was stored in the cellars of the ships for over a year and the accumulated heat in the tropical region cruises transformed it into excellent nectar.

When fermentation happened on solid ground, two types of technique that originated 2 kinds of wine were developed: the “canteiro” wine, fermented in barrels stored in the top storage during the early years, which lower floor as they aged (you can drink them from the 4th year); the “estufado” wine heated in vats at 55° C for 3 months, which can be consumed from the 3rd year. In the Azores of the XIX century, the “estufado” wine was a strong-tasting drink and colour similar to Sherry.

Madeira is a fortified wine, rich, with an alcohol content between 17 and 22º, which remains in oak barrels through a slow and concentrate oxidation process. This type of wine is divided into: Blend, wines of varying age, with an average of 10 years and from the same strain; Colheita (vintage), wines from the same vintage and a single strain. They can be consumed from the 4th year; Vintage, which ages at least for 20 years and then must pass a test that determines the authorization to be bottled or not. These are wines of great age, great acidity and freshness. There are some Vintage 1975 in perfect condition.

However, the fame of the islander wines do not spread to all the islands in the same way.

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Wines from Azores“Pasado” wine (Malvasia strain) and “Seco” wine – produced on the island of Pico, had a vinification process similar to that of Madeira, where the fermentation was interrupted by adding brandy, as with the Port wine, but the wines from Azores were considered lower quality than Madeira wines.

Probably because of the lack of data existing on the issue, for a long time it was believed that the wine elaboration was limited to the islands of Pico and Graciosa, but they were actually all devoted to the growth of vineyards. Although they were rocky islands with very difficult climatic conditions, as a result of volcanic eruptions, the Azores have performed an intensive effort of vineyard planting.

In the first half of the nineteenth century the islands suffered an aggressive outbreak of powdery mildew, which forced the replacement of strains such as Verdelho (white Verdejo), and instead some American vines were planted, especially the strain “Isabela” (banned today in Europe for its high content of methanol).

The elaboration of spirits suffered a considerable increase, and flavours multiplied, from molasses brandy of the island of S. Jorge, to the dark spirits of Terceira, and the red fig, loquat and peach liquor, from Pico Island.

White wine recovery was gradually achieved and one of the examples of the history of wine in Azores is the Cooperative Winery of Graciosa Island.

In Madeira, the Madeira rum, white and aged, has won a role that can even be visited – the “Engenho do Porto da Cruz” is a museum centre, near the “Casa del Ron”, where you can drink some exceptional reserves.

Among the strains traditionally used in the islands we can find:

  • Malvasia – One of the first strains that reached the islands of Azores and Madeira during the first half of the fifteenth century. This strain produces a sweet wine, with aroma and flavour of nuts and notes of honey. A perfect pairing with cheeses and chocolate.
  • Verdelho – It produces a semi-dry wine, taste of ripe pineapple and tropical aroma. Good pairing with cheeses and soft broths. This strain is used in the two archipelagos.
  • Cercial – With this strain is made a dry wine, with citrus and caramel aromas. It is ideal as an aperitif or combined with nuts or olives. This strain is used in the two archipelagos.
  • Boal / Bual – The result is a semi-sweet wine, with honey aroma and taste of caramel. It is ideal in the pairing with fruits, cheeses and desserts. High quality strain in the Azores and used in the two archipelagos.
  • Tinta Negra – Some say that this strain is the result of crossing Pinot Noir with Grenache. In Spain it is known as Negramoll and is cultivated mostly in the Canary Islands. Pairing with vegetables, rice and white meat.

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Madere Cruz: a fortified wine with DO Madeira which blend contains negramoll.

 

 

 TAGS:Blandy's Madeira Malmsey 10 Years OldBlandy’s Madeira Malmsey 10 Years Old

Blandy’s Madeira Malmsey 10 Years Old: a fortified wine of the best of malmsey grapes and presents an alcohol content of 19º.

 

 

Origin of port wine

 TAGS:Great Britain not only made famous tea and whisky. Despite barely not producing wine, it also made great contributions to the development of global viticulture: British were the ones who discovered port wine. The history of this Portuguese wine dates back several centuries in the past, but it was only in the seventeenth century when English imposed it on the rest of the world. Great Britain was at war with France, which forced the Crown to declare the embargo on products from that country. It was in search of quality wines to replace the French that its citizens found that different drink, with a greater than usual alcohol content and a dry or sweet flavour, which surprised even the most demanding.

Its secret lay in the addition of several liters of brandy per barrel during fermentation in order to retain some of the natural sugar in the grape. The interest aroused in England by port wine made many investments from that country to establish in the area surrounding the Portuguese city of Oporto, giving great impetus to viticulture in the region. Some of those wineries still retain the English names of its founders, ?Croft?, ?Offley?, ?Gordon rahams?, ?Sandeman?, ?Dow?, ?Warre?.

By the mid-eighteenth century, the port wine received a final boost when the Portuguese Crown created by law the current Real Companhia Velha, the oldest winery for elaboration of port wine, and immediately after, between 1758 and 1761, delimited the region for port wine production, giving birth to the world’s oldest appellation, prior to that of French wines. From that date are definitively established the processing methods that are still respected today.

The wines, made from over 12 varieties of grapes, white and red, are fermented in the cellars located in the alto Douro (name given to the Douro River as it passes through Portugal), near the terraced vineyards installed on the slopes of the hills. After development of the fermentation, when the yeast still have not consumed all the sugar, it is added brandy (spirit of wine), preventing the further fermentation and sweetening the drink. Once completed, the port wine is moved downstream to aging in the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia, facing the city of Oporto, near the Atlantic Ocean.