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Tag Archives: Vinho Verde

Pairing Wines with Portugal’s Faithful Friend: Bacalhau

Editor’s note: In 2009, Catavino contributor Andrea Smith dove into the origins, popularity and over-fishing of cod fish or “Bacalhau” in my native Portuguese. Today, I pick up where Andrea left off with a greater focus on how to prepare the dry, salted version of this flavorful fish, featuring four dishes and a few wines to pair it with. Often referred to as “Rei dos Mares” (King of the Seas), dry, salted cod is quite popular in Mediterranean countries, like Italy and Spain, and especially in Portugal where they boast 1,000 cod fish recipes. Bacalhau or “Fiel Amigo” as the Portuguese nicknamed it meaning faithful friend, picked up in Portugal during the Age of Discovery when navigators took the unrefrigerated […]

Petiscos: The Portuguese Cousin of Spanish Tapas

In the American restaurant scene, the Spanish small plates, “Tapas,” are no conundrum. But say the word “Pinxtos” (generally bread topped with a fish or meat mixture, especially popular in the Basque region of Spain) and you’ll lose a few people. Say the Portuguese word “Petiscos” and you’ll get a whole lot of blank stares. Are they all the same? Yes, kinda. Are they different? Yes, kinda. To make it more confusing, there are several other names by which these “small plate dishes” in Spain are called. But no synonyms for Petiscos come to mind. There certainly are Tapas bars in Portugal, but they’re an adaptation of the Spanish fare and not interchangeable with Petiscos. In America, I have yet […]

Pairing Portuguese Wines with Roasted Fowl

On cold winter evenings there’s nothing more heartwarming for this writer than a chicken roasting in the oven. The scent of herby seasonings enchant my senses and transport me to my mother’s kitchen in New Jersey where she roasts to perfection just as she learned to do back in the Old Country. In America, roasted turkey is considered one of the coziest meals in this country’s culinary repertoire. To meld the flavors of the Old and New worlds in my own kitchen, I need only to turn to my mother, Maria do Ceu, who along with her seven siblings was raised in the sleepy village of Bemposta do Campo in the interior Beira Baixa region of Portugal where roasting in […]

A Vindima: A Geologist’s Take on the Grape Harvest in the Minho

Editor’s Note: A few months ago, Fiona Lynch and her husband Jonathan, two passionate geologists, moved from Scotland to the Lima Valley in Minho region in Portugal. And having unexpectedly participated in a Portuguese grape harvest last fall with their neighbor, Manuel, they kindly offered to share their story. We’re very appreciative of their willingness to share their experience, and hope this will be one of many we can expect from them in the future. It was autumn in the lush Minho region; an area of mist and granite of northern Portugal hard up against the border with Spain. Our elderly neighbour Manuel was calling over to us. It was mid afternoon and time for a drink. He carefully poured […]

Vinho Verde Wine Selection Reverts to Regional Portuguese Recipe

I’m pretty certain my father-in-law buys an extra dozen clams just for me each time he whips up his special recipe for the family. It’s not uncommon to catch him staring over at me as I devour mounds of the shellfish and sop up the garlicky sauce with Portuguese rolls. “Soninha,” he says, teasingly. “Come on that’s it? There’s more in the pot.” Without hesitance, I dump more clams and sauce into my bowl and pour another glass of Casal Garcia vinho verde. I can go all night. For 16 years now, my father-in-law (or Mr. Ze as I endearingly call him) has been feeding me his version of the popular Portuguese petisco “Ameijoas a Bulhao Pato” in his Jersey […]

Arinto: The Chameleon of Portuguese Whites

When drinking a Portuguese white wine, it’s difficult to encounter one that doesn’t express the lovely flavors of Arinto. Arinto’s big, compact bunches, made up of small or medium-sized yellowish berries are grown and cultivated in just about every wine region in Portugal, but happens to be the most readily available from the regions around the Lisbon area, including Estremadura, Tejo, Terras do Sado and Alentejo. In fact, just for Portuguese whites tasted on the social tasting note site, Adegga.com, Arinto is the number one white varietal with 164 wines currently listed, followed only by Moscatel at 137. However, Arinto is known by many alter-egos depending on who you speak with and where you’re located. In the North, it is […]

The Big Tasting: LIVE Portuguese Wine Tasting with Oz Clarke TONIGHT

As you all know, Catavino is rather smitten with Portuguese wines. We tend gush endlessly about their diversity, quality and personality, with the occasional quip on how difficult it is to get your hands on them internationally. That said, over the past few years, we have been collaborating on several projects with Viniportugal in an effort to increase the international exposure of Portuguese wine. And there is no better opportunity to help spread the good word than an online tasting with one of the world’s leading wine experts, Oz Clarke. Tonight at 7pm GMT, Oz with the help of  our friend Charles Metcalfe, will be tasting 6 Portuguese wines LIVE online from the Lord Cricket’s Ground; the tasting will also […]

How do you like your Iberian Whites? Fresh and Vibrant or Old and Wise?

A few years ago, we visited a small wine shop hidden in the back roads of Lisbon. Having perused the bottles, we decided to enjoy a little wine tasting in the deli across the street, nibbling on a few stinky bits of cheese on the side. The waitress, who also worked in the wine shop across the street, asked us what we were interested in exploring beyond the traditional menu. Now, if you know us well, then you’re aware that we always ask for recommendations, preferring the more unusual and unique wines. Having told her our thoughts, she responded with a tone of curiosity, “Ok, so do you like old Vinho Verde?” Whaaa? Huh? Hello? You mean that light fresh […]

Winemaker’s Take on the 2009 Harvest in Portugal

Good news! The 2009 Portuguese wine harvest is gushing positive reports, which only entices our eager palates to get our little mitts on some of its loot. How did we hear this fabulous news through the Iberian grapevine? Yesterday, Viniportugal provided us a summary of the 2009 climate conditions in Portugal, which were said to be warm with regular precipitation throughout the year, leading to a healthy and happy harvest. Production is up 9% from 2008 across Portugal, in large part due to the Azores and Peninsula de Setúbal regions which have seen an increase of production up to 25%. Below are winemaker’s quotes by region giving you their take on how the 2009 harvest shaped up: Vinho Verde Manuel […]

Planning A Trip To Lisbon? A Food and Wine Lover’s Perfect Day

Like Gabriella in Barcelona, I too have received several emails wondering what my ideal foodie day in Lisbon would consist of. And although Lisbon is comparatively smaller than Barcelona, the options for encountering incredible food and wine experiences are both various and plentiful. So allow me to take you on a tour of Lisbon taken primarily from my experience visiting the city 3 years ago by none other than a local native Portuguese. In this tour, you’ll explore Lisbon’s high-end, riverside district of Belém (pronounced “buh-lime”) followed by a tour of Alfama, and ending at Sao Jorge’s castle at sunset. We begin our day with a simple, yet typical, Portuguese breakfast at one of the many pastelerias generously positioned throughout […]