Portuguese Wines + An American Table = #winechat Success
Whenever Mediterranean wine and food comes up, so do cheese and charcuterie. Contrary to popular belief, people in Spain and Portugal eat more than soft cheese and cured ham–shocking, I know.
Recently, I was reminded of how well Portuguese wines can match with foods that are quite opposite to the Omega-3-heavy Mediterranean diet, and all things labelled “tapas,” during a #winechat and pairing party put on by Whole Foods and Wines of Portugal last month where a boatload of Portuguese wine (some I even made @ Herdade do Esporao!) and an inventive list of snacks were put to the test.
Instead of the same old mash-ups of Kale soup, patatas bravas, and the like, the folks at Whole Foods got creative in a great way, and the highlights were distinctly American.
The Crab and Brie Mac and Cheese that the requisite charcuterie was the definition of decadent –and certainly not a Portuguese classic. The combination of sweet crab and rich, gooey brie made cleaning my plate a no-brainer. Forget classic Mac wines like Cali Chardonnay, because Lima by Joao Portugal Ramos Vinho Verde, a light white wine from the cool Northern reaches of Portugal was a fantastic compliment. The lively citrus flavors and light effervescence of the wine cut through this rich dish. (Any wine that makes eating more mac and cheese feel good instead is a gem, so buy a case when you find this one.)
Up next was Carbonara Pizza, an inventive take on the Italian pasta classic–pancetta and egg on a white pizza. Here, the 2013 JMF Periquita Original red simply sang, with its cherry fruit and firm tannins counteracting the pizza’s salty pancetta.
This two dishes show just a snippet of how extraordinarily refreshing and versatile Portuguese wines are these days. Plus, for less than $20, they’re a hard-to-beat choice for dinner tables anywhere, whether you survive on charcuterie alone or prefer a wider variety of provisions.
Portguese Wine Pairing Uncorked:
One of our many mash-ups
Laura Loves: The dry, robust Duas Quintas wines from Portugal’s Douro Valley.
Vinho Verde for all occasions…especially ones where drinking is frowned upon, like community meetings and game-filled baby showers.
The fantastic wine selection at Whole Foods!
Fun Facts: Portugal was the first country in the world to legally define wine regions–check out my version of the events here!
Crazy Combinations to Try: Carmel deLites (aka Samoa) cookies with ruby port.
BBQ ribs with Duas Quintas 2011 Reserva.
Roasted Beets (or bacon-wrapped anything) with Monte Velho White.