Have you heard of this very old wine region, with a sketchy reputation but unarguably complex, intense and mysterious wines?
Welcome to the Douro, the wild and crazy wine growing region in Portugal that grows all the wine for the fortified Port. But if you think Port is for old dudes with cigars, dry non-fortified red wines are decided for the in-the-know urbanite. Oh, and for me!
This area is very very hot, so the sun heats up the vines and produces intense and flavoured juice. There are literally hundreds of varieties growing in the Douro, and the neat thing is that they are all cool anted. I’m a fan of the magic of wine, and I do think there is something wonderfully mysterious about the copollinating vines producing wines that are more than a mix of the varieties themselves. This wine they say the main grape varieties are “Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Amarela and Tinta Barroca” … Which means there may be many other varieties, but there isn’t room on the bottle or the website. Or they really have no idea what all is in there.
This bottle (ok, so I bought three,) was picked out by my daughter. The cartoons by Luís Afonso are so cute.. They caught her eye. All of them are below! The modest price tag on a 92 point wine caught mine!
First glance: Inky black ruby colour, very opaque.
Take a deep whiff, and you are just knocked back by the hot, arid and concentrated flavours of the Douro steps: chocolate, slate, anise, squid ink, blackberry pie… If it is black and edible, it’s probably found in this bountiful bouquet of aromas.
And taste. Flavours of sautéed blueberries with a little meat, char and cedar.
High acidity, so a good food wine, smooth medium+ tannins, but only a medium body.
My analogy to my husband is that it has the viscosity of skim milk, but the flavour of full fat chocolate milk. YUMMers.
Truth be told, I drank this gorgeous first glass with a little salted caramel dark chocolate (it was one of those pleased-with-myself nights…) and it completely hit the spot. If I was picking some food to go with it, I would capitalize on one of the fruit or secondary flavours. Maybe grilled portobello mushrooms? Or some grilled pork loin? With blueberry sauce… That would be awesome.
Wine Wednesdays… Ok – I admit upfront that I love wine. I also have been expanding my own wine knowledge, completing my Advanced level of the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) course in 2013.
So what better way (other than in person, over a glass of wine) to share my love of with you, than to have a series dedicated to favourite wines? Cheers!