This is an indispensable tool for those who want to follow, in English, what really goes on in the world of Spanish and Portuguese wines – lively, informative and, most important, first-hand, on-the-scene knowledge!
Victor de la Serna

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H3: Where the Ultimate Mouthwatering Hamburgers are Made in Portugal

Many people in Portugal have referred to me as a non-stereotypical American – one that often frequents McDonalds wherever they are in the world. However, truth be told, I love a delicious, well-made burger every now and again. And it is my  personal belief that America is the king of tasty burgers.  So when a Portuguese friend of mine told me I needed to try a specific burger joint here in Portugal, my reaction was, “Burgers? You want to take me to a Portuguese burger joint??”  I already had the unfortunate encounter of seeing the Portuguese’s interpretation of an American 50′s style diner that served some flimsy, pathetic looking tasteless burgers. So you can imagine my skepticism when the offer […]

Folar da Pascoa: Portugal’s Delicious Easter Bread

Ever since I was little, I would look forward to a particular treat during the Easter season. It wasn’t the chocolate candy, or the colored eggs, but the homemade Easter bread made by my Italian mother and aunts.  This sweet bread, traditionally flavored with anise oil and seeds, would be my breakfast every morning during Easter week, lathered with butter. Last spring, however, was the first Easter where I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my family’s Easter bread since I came overseas. Hence, it didn’t look like it was going to be a very happy holiday for me. But on one of my frequent visits to the pastelerias here, I discovered that I didn’t have to go back home to […]

Portugal’s Regional Pastries: A Touch of Sweetness With Individuality!

Over the past year, I have gushed to no end about Portugal‘s delicious pastry industry to you. No matter where you travel in Portugal, you can always find plenty of Pastelerias, the home of the delicious sweet treats that put a smile on my face almost every morning. But what you may not know is that apart from these nationwide recipes, there are many individual cities and towns that boast of their own unique pastries. Below, I have featured two of the most renowned regional pastries in and around Lisbon, along with derivatives from local regions. Yet, despite the regional differences, there is one common theme throughout every pastry in Portugal, egg yolk. Egg yolk is the magical ingredient that […]

Setúbal, Portugal: The Underrated Region

Ahh Setúbal. I honestly don’t believe that I’ve given this Portuguese city justice throughout my past articles with Catavino. For being one of my most frequented cities outside of Lisbon, I’ve only mentioned it as a logistical landmark in reference to other cities. But now it’s time to present you Setúbal, an upcoming city for tourism in Portugal. This little city, situated right on the Sado River estuary about a 45 minute drive south from Lisbon, has failed in attaining a glamorous history. Because of its prime location, Setúbal was an important hub for Portugal’s fishing industry in the early twentieth century. Sardines in particular were the cheapest and most popular fish in Portugal to which numerous factories were built […]

Os Goliardos: An Eclectic Wine Bar in Lisbon Focused on Education and Entertainment

As promised, I’ve hit another wine bar here in Lisbon. In all honesty, I hadn’t been planning on it, but some fellow Twitterers (@catarino, @armandoalves, @jnogueira, @andrerib, @batixa, @Under and @Olifante) of mine were getting together last Friday night for a wine tasting and asked me to join them. Os Goliardos is a tiny little place located just up the street from Praça Alegria, in a quiet neighborhood conveniently situated for a stroll into downtown if so desired. Noteworthy, the wine bar is so small from the outside that we drove past it a couple times while looking for it! Once inside, however, the front area is cozy and quaint with only three tables and a line of high stools […]

Garrafeira Alfaia: A Classic Wine Bar in the Heart of Lisbon

Having lived in Portugal for over a year now, I’m embarrassed to admit that I have only visited one of the many wine bars in Lisbon to date. I don’t know how they’ve slipped past me for this long, but I’ve resolved to make a conscious intention to make the rounds throughout Lisbon in the near future. However, for the record, the only wine bar that I have frequented just so happens to be one of the most renown and traditionally styled wine bars in Lisbon called, the Garrafeira Alfaia. Nestled in the famous historical neighborhood of Bairro Alto, Garrafeira Alfaia is surrounded by a cultural mélange of trendy shops, restaurants, bars and Fado houses. So if you didn’t originally […]

A Lil’ Southern Hospitality and a Lot of Salt in Alcácer do Sal, Alentejo, Portugal

Last month, after a long stint of not venturing south in Portugal for quite some time, we decided to visit a little city in the Alentejo called, Alcácer do Sal. If you take the country road IP-1 south of Lisbon for an hour and a half, you will pass beautiful stone pine forests and houses with chimneys topped with stork nests – two iconic symbols of the region. Eventually, you’ll encounter an ancient city situated along the Sado River, surrounded by a small hill with a historical castle atop overlooking rice fields, rolling pastures and forests in the horizon. Alcácer do Sal has an interesting story behind its name. Derived from the Arabic Al Qasr (the castle) from when the […]

Sesimbra: A Seafood Lover’s Paradise in Portugal

Wine may be one of my favorite things to drink, but seafood is definitely one of my favorite things to eat – especially shellfish.  And as you may already know, coastal Portugal has no shortage in this category! Within a 50km radius outside of the Lisbon cityscape, you have direct access to several other smaller coastal cities for your sun, sand and seafood. I have flocked to almost all of these cities by now, and when it comes to seafood, specifically shellfish, my number one pick is Sesimbra. Sesimbra is a small, mountain isolated town situated on the southern shore 40km outside of Lisbon. Its long, horseshoe shaped beach is cut in half by an old military fort, and surrounded […]

Jose Maria da Fonseca’s 2004 Domini and the Portuguese Black Sausage, Porco Preto

Last month, when my parents were in town visiting, I took them on one of my favorite local winery tours, the Manor House Museum Tour of José Maria da Fonseca. Easy to find on their website, this legendary Portuguese winery offers daily tours of the founder’s original estate and winery located in the town of Azeitão, just 40 minutes outside of Lisbon in the Terras de Sado wine region. For a small price, you can walk through the antique cellars that still hold their famous barrel-aged red, Periquita and their 100+ special reserve Moscatels de Setubal, while learning about their illustrious wine-making history. At the end, you offered a tasting of 2-3 wines, normally consisting of a white, red and […]

Vinho Verde RED, Reexamined

“Red? You sure that’s what you mean?” said the salesclerk looking at me dubiously. “Yes, I do”, I responded. “Sim, Vinho Verde TINTO“, I repeated to each and every retailer in various wine shops while hunting for this infamous red counterpart of the popular Portuguese white wine, Vinho Verde. What surprised me during my quest, for this apparently unpopular style of wine, is that almost a third of the wine produced in the region of Vinho Verde is red. So why is a Vinho Verde Tinto such a bizarre and foreign idea? After trying a few bottles in the past, and literally spitting them out and dumping the rest down the drain, it is not difficult to understand people’s apprehension! […]