I really love Catavino – it’s such an informative and innovative source of information on Spanish & Portuguese wines. The food of the region is key, but it’s just as vital to know about the great wines available too. This is the place to find out!
Jose Pizzaro http://www.josepizarro.com

Top 10 Portuguese Wines at Essencia do Vinho 2009

essencia do vinhoLast Thursday, we came to Essencia do Vinho to not only conduct our very first workshop on social media and blogging, but to also participate in the “Top 10 Vinhos Portuguesas”. But before we list the wines, we both want to make it clear that although these wines are considered the creme de la creme of Portuguese wines at this one contest on this one day, please let it be known that these wines only won a jury prize. The wines were all tasted blind, and generally in this setting, some wines do not ‘show’ well. In fact, we both rated wines that we tend to enjoy lower than we might otherwise. 10 whites, 27 reds and 5 ports were poured in 2 hours, with the expectation that all 20+ judges judge objectively. We find this task silly in that the conditions are not conducive to how we drink wine normally, but an interesting practice all the same. Take the winners with a grain of salt, and know that with maybe one or two exceptions, all the wines poured were interesting and worthy of the prize!

That said, just because these wines are considered the “best” should be of no reflection of what you enjoy. We would much rather have you continue to explore wines from across Portugal, regardless of points, awards and medals, savoring those flavors and styles that appeal to you. Hence, although we will list the Top 10 Wines of Portugal, please know that these wines are simply a small sampling of the wonderful wines that Portugal has to offer!

Final note, Ryan sat next to Jose Penin and found themselves in a small tete-a-tete over the quality of certain wines! :) According to the results, Ryan wins! Shhh, don’t tell Jose!

Best White Wine

Soalheiro Alvarinho 2007 from Antonio Esteves Ferreira (Vinho Verde)

Best Red Wines

  1. Scala Coeli 2006 from Fundacao Eugenio Almeida (Alentejo)
  2. Vinhas da Ira 2006 from Henrique Jose de La Puente Sancho Uva (Alentejo)
  3. Quinta Vale D. Maria 2006 from Lemos & Van Zeller (Douro)
  4. Quinta das Tecedeiras Reserva 2006 from Global Wines (Douro)
  5. Quanta Terra 2006 from Quanta Terra (Douro)
  6. Herdade dos Grous Reserva 2006 from Herdade dos Grous (Alentejo)
  7. CV 2006 from Lemos & Van Zeller (Douro)

Vintage Port Wines

  1. Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage from Symington Family Estates
  2. Dow’s Quinta Senhora da Ribeira Vintage from Symington Family Estates

However, I would feel badly if I didn’t give you a very short recap of our workshop here in Viniportugal’s Sala Ogival on the first floor of the Palacio de Bolsa. Held yesterday at 6 in a space dedicated to tasting and not necessarily for a lecture, it ironically went off without a hitch. Approximately 50 people poured into the Kermit the Frog green tasting room (the less known color in crayola crayon box), eager to hear more about…well, I’m not convinced that they had a clue as to what the workshop was on, but I think the word “internet” sparked their interest.

As I jumped between our live blog (read a replay here) and twitter, while Andre walked around the tasting room streaming live video, Ryan did his level-headed best to convey the future of social media and blogging. However, between our array of gadgets, and words such as Able Grape, Twitter, Open Wine Consortium and YouTube, I think our 50 minute presentation turned many people’s concept of wine marketing into swiss cheese. Understandably, this was the very first workshop of its kind in Portugal, and we fully expect to have many people a little confused as to its significance. But with any luck, we’ll be back, providing Portugal with more internet tricks and tools at their disposal. We thank Viniportugal for letting us participate at Essencia do Vinho and will publishing a whole range of videos in the following week.

Please stay tuned…

Cheers,

Gabriella Opaz