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 at the “minibar”, displaying their “by the glass” selections on chalkboards. The back wall is decorated with their labeled wine selections, while a large cutting of an old grape vine balances out the center.
Beyond the cushy interior, the wine bar offers international selections! Now, I have to tell you, non-Portuguese wines are pretty hard to find here, especially at a low price, or by the glass, as import and transport costs run high. However, as the three partners who founded the company in 2005 have traveled to over 500 wineries and vineyards themselves, including: France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, to hand-select unique and undiscovered high quality wines, the selection speaks for itself! The wines are imported directly from the winegrowers in order to retain both authenticity and style from well-recognized international wine regions.Os Goliardos also changes their by-the glass selection daily; whereby allowing customers to sample different red, white, fortified and sweet wines.
Entertained by the Arab-Gypsy music playing in the background, and service from the Bohemian styled wine-bar guy, we began our evening with a 2006 Dão Reserva, from a producer none of us had heard of. The flavors, though were typical of a Dão red, showed mixed dark fruits, leather and earth with a smooth palate all of the way through, which I love. We followed with the 2003 Domaine d’Aupilhac Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux, an unfiltered red which turned out to have a great rustic flavor and showed a similar flavor profile to the Dão. We sampled from a selection of Portuguese cheeses and cured meats which paired very well with out wine of course.Â We also ordered a special Portuguese chouriço called Alheira, which is a soft, rich sausage that’s fried up and served warm with the meat spilling out of the casings so it can be easily enjoyed on some warm and fluffy fresh bread; definitely a favorite of mine!
Not until we were getting ready to leave did we discover that Os Goliardos is not as tiny as we thought! They have an attractive outdoor seating area located in the courtyard at the back of the cafe with brightly painted walls and little tables made from antique sewing machine tables. The back hallway was decorated with two gigantic black and white collages with photos of the hundreds of winemakers visited from across Portugal, France, Italy and Spain, complete with labels of their names and the wineries/vineyards.
In addition to a quaint interior and vast wine selection, Os Goliaras hosts several wine events, including “1001 Noites de Provas” (1001 Nights of Tastings): a workshop on Thursday or Friday nights which consists of a tasting of a minimum of 5 unique “surprise” wines with petiscos, as well as a visiting wine professional conducting the workshop. They also offer various wine courses for all levels and price ranges, from a 4 night wining and dining intensive course to a “Babá do Vinho” or one night beginner tasting with petiscos. And if you don’t have time to drop by the wine bar frequently, Os Goliardos has “The Goliards Academy”, offering monthly wines packages delivered to your home consisting of a hand-selected half-case from a variety of different regions, ages, styles and backgrounds for your tasting pleasure! You can pick from several themes such ranging from “The Serene” ( 1 white, 3 reds for 30 euros) to “The Pragmatic” (2 whites, 4 reds for 35 euros), and all the way up to “The Greedy” ( 2 whites, 3 reds, 1 sweet for 75 euros). And if you decide to sign up for a quarterly or semi-annually subscription, you receive a free bottle upon registration. What a great deal!
Hence, although Os Goliardos isn’t fancy or chic like many popular wine bars in Lisbon, its eclectic ambiance, dynamic wine selections and variety of offers and events for customers to taste and learn about wine, will certainly bring me back for another visit, especially when it’s warmer out to enjoy that incredible patio!
To Great Discoveries,