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Saturday, 5 October 2013

Wines of Portugal

Over 2.5 weeks we enjoyed sampling many Portuguese wines. Before leaving Canada we had mixed experiences with wines from this region and enjoyed a healthy debate with a close friend about whether we would find any quality wines (Port excepted). So at every meal except breakfast we tried to sample local varietals to broaden our perspectives.

Overall we enjoyed many of the wines. We had a few that were delightful and quite a few that were pleasant. But the process of tasting so many wines was lots of fun.

We started tasting wines in the Alejento region, south of Lisboa and close to Evora. This is a somewhat warmer climate and produces reasonably full bodied reds. We particularly enjoyed our dining experience at the Espora winery along with a good sampling of their better wines. There basic wines are available at our Ontario wine stores.

The second wine region visited was Dao. We were less impressed with what we sampled here.

The best wines were found in the Douro Valley. We particularly liked the wines at Quinta do Portal where we enjoyed tastings paired with a wonderful meal while overlooking their vineyard. Best lamb I ever ate! We brought home a bottle of their 40 year old Port.

The most fun tasting we had at Vineologie, a wine bar/store in Oporto. There we sampled about a dozen Ports with vintages as far back as 1968. And then we got to bring a few of these home with us.

The following pictures show some of the bottles, hopefully with their names and vintages clear enough to see. And please note many of these were part of tastings, so we didn't consume ALL of the bottles - just some :)

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