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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 Moscatel.

Being my second visit to the estate, and having already savored some of their whites and Moscatels before, I was looking forward to tasting a red. That paticular day, they had the 2004 Domini, their flagship Douro red produced under their Domingo Soares Franco label with the partnership of Christain Van Zeller of Quinta do Vale Dona Maria. This unfiltered wine aged three months in new oak is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinto Roriz (Tempranillo) and is a beautiful deep red-purple with the aroma of dark fruit, leather, earth and wild mushroom, which I love and have come to encounter in many Douro reds – reminding me of lovely right-bank Bordeaux reds. The palate is more of the dark fruit, plums and black currants with smooth but persistent tannins.

Both my parents and I adored this wine, so we each bought a bottle to reserve for a very special occasion. This came recently, when I hosted a wine and cheese gathering, and decided to roast some Portuguese sausage on my “Assador de Chouriço”. This traditional Portuguese roaster is a hand-painted, shallow ceramic dish, normally coming in the form of a little pig with three ceramic “grill marks” on top. It is great for roasting a variety of well-made Portuguese charcuterie by the unique (and very clean) method of flaming ethyl alcohol poured in the bottom. I chose three varieties of sausage; a basic chouriço, some long and thin linguiça and something I hadn’t tried yet, called chouriço porco preto. This “black” sausage, made from the famous Iberian black pigs located in the Alentejo region, ended up being the favorite of the night, with its distinct flavor made even more delicious when eaten roasted and warm. The Porco Preto also paired perfectly with the 2004 Domini. Its earthy notes complimented the “barnyard” flavors of the black pork, while matching in body with the fatty richness of the sausage. This delicious combination left me licking my fingers with greasy chouriço goodness, with intermittent sips of the Domini!

If you love, or end up loving, JMF’s 2004 Domini, try their 2004 Domini Plus, the winery’s high end Douro red, made with the addition of Tinta Barroca and aged 12 months in new French oak. I’m also looking forward to tasting the JMF trademark, Periquita “Classico” 2004, which I have sitting here awating roasted black pork chouriço!

To memorable pairings,

Andrea Smith

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  • http://www.ourwinestory.com Dylan

    That is such a great little cooker you have there. I'm in love with portuguese sausage, my father was born and raised in Brazil until he was 14, so it's a food that crossed over into my own up-bringing here in the states. They don't sell those in America, do they? Yet again, you have me anxious to eat–mini-grill or not, I'll have to look for this wine next time I make linguiça.

  • Andrea

    Haha I know isn't it?? I couldn't believe how fast and easy it was to make perfectly roasted sausage with hardly any cleanup!! Never heard of them before I came here but maybe you can find them at a specialty store if you live near a Portuguese immigrant area like NY, NJ or Boston, otherwise I bet you could even order one online. Check it out and hope you can get one!

  • http://www.emmashouseinportugal.com/?p=371 Fred

    I love the black sausage cooked in firewater!Flambeed at the table the Chouriço is burning strong in Aguardente. Once the firewater has burned off, a charred sausage, almost black in colour, is ready to eat. The content of the sausage is bursting out of its skin, almost falling apart. The flavour is deep, smoky, textured and tender, all at the same time. This sausage works on so many levels that most meat dishes never comes close to. I feel warm, elated, happy and so absolutely thrilled with our choice of restaurant – Wow, I am in sausage heaven with a shot of Aguardente to boot! I had never heard of this Portuguese spirit prior to tonight. Aguardente (firewater) is a Portuguese grape skin- based liquor. It is a bit of Whiskey and Calvados and Vodka all at once! Strong, rich, flavoursome, serving an undeniable punch. What a pleasure to make its acquaintance. How has the world overlooked this clear spirit or is it just me? One of these ain’t going to be enough, bring the bottle back, please!Later, Carlos joins us at the table for a quick drink before he leaves us for a party. His brother continues to look after us from here on, as our feast continues. More red wine, more food and then coffee and desserts. This night will never be forgotten. The night of the black sausage and firewater at Carlos’ place, La Fiesta.La Fiesta, Rua do Carmo, 54 loja 4, 3000-064 Coimbra, Tel 2398 21246check out the video here!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbi659zeJ2E

  • http://www.emmashouseinportugal.com/?p=371 Fred

    Hi wine lovers.Please, check out this video that I think helps to illustrate your post. The great black sausage that we once tried in a restaurant that I think you might like, La Fiesta located in Coimbra.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbi659zeJ2EGlad to see that black sausage from Portugal has got another fan!(chouriço assado com aguardente)