When our friends posed the challenge of coming up with a Portuguese inspired menu to accompany a few bottles of wine procured from a recent trip to the Douro Valley, we (Jared) rose to the occasion with a multi-course feast!
They visited Quinta das Carvalhas back in May and brought back a bottle of their Branco white blend and their Tinta Francisca red. The winery is located on the left bank of the Douro river and is the oldest Quinta in the Real Companhia Velha portfolio. The Carvalhas brand was launched in 2012 to showcase the best of the best of the 100+ year old vineyards.
The Branco is a blend of Viosinho and Gouveio grapes grown in the higher altitudes of the property, allowing for a great level of acidity and ripeness, aging in oak balances out the blend with a round finish. It was a really balanced wine, and reminded me of some of my favorite characteristics of Chardonnay with similar notes on the nose; the palate was bright, crisp, acidic but with a nice round finish.
The Tinta Francisca is a native grape widely found in the Douro Valley and is often used in Port production. The wine was medium bodied and somewhat resembled a Pinot Noir in flavor profile and structure but more black fruit driven. It was extremely well balanced with a fresh, fruity edge.
Now for the food! Jared cooked up a literal feast and really stuck to the theme! We had an appetizer of bacalao while enjoying the white wine then moved on to a saltcod/potato dish alongside clams with linguica! For dessert, home made pasteis de nata which were devoured so quickly that I forgot to snap a pic!
Portugal is quickly moving to the top of the must-travel list!
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