Home > Experiences, Food, Port, Portugal, Travel > Study of Port: Epilogue

Study of Port: Epilogue

What starts with prologue, should end with epilogue, right? What was supposed to be may be one or two posts, became a whole series. In case you missed any of the posts, here is a full list for the study of Port series:

Prologue

First Experiences

Food and Wine Tidbits

Great Restaurants

Finally, let’s talk about Port!

What else can I tell you? We had a great week in Portugal. Very short conclusion can be “great people, great food, great wines, great scenery, great time”.

All people we came across were very nice and helpful. Language barrier was never an issue (I also have to mention that a lot of people speak very good English) – one way or the other we were always able to understand each other. Hotel, restaurants, port houses, stores, our numerous walking tours will only stay in memory with great people encounters.

The food? Very good quality, very reasonably priced. Memorable moments? Bacalhau, Francesinha, lots of fresh fish and shellfish of all kinds. Tuna fish spread is served in almost all restaurants with the bread (you need to ask for butter). Port is available at the buffet breakfast in the hotel, next to the orange juice. Below is the best representation for you (sorry if I make you hungry):

Portuguese Seafood

Portuguese Seafood

But probably the most important part about the food in Portugal is the fact that Portugal practically doesn’t import any agricultural products – everything is either produced, caught or raised locally, and you can taste it.

When it comes to wines, the story becomes interesting. First, there are about 80 grape varieties growing in Portugal, most of them are indigenous grapes. Here is a glimpse for you, as captured in the picture below:

Portuguese Grape Varieties

Portuguese Grape Varieties

By the way, these unique grapes are a great find for all aspiring Wine Centurions – I personally added 5 new grapes to my list – here they are:

Codega do Larinho – 2011 Castello D’Alba from Douro

Rabigato – 2011 Castello D’Alba from Douro

Moscatel Galego Branco – 2012 Portal Colheita Branco Douro DOC

Antão Vaz – 2010 Herdade Dos Grous Branco Vinho Regional Alentejano

Donzelinho – 2011 Niepoort Tiara Douro Branco

Outside of Port, very few of the Portuguese wines make it to US, and out of those few, there is even lesser number of wines of notice. Meanwhile, if you will make it to Portugal, you will be literally astonished by the availability of very inexpensive and absolutely delicious wines, both in the stores and in the restaurants. I already gave you my account of great wine encounters in the previous posts (Quinta do Cardo, Niepoort Tiara, Quevedo Vintage Port), but I actually saved the best for last – 2009 Casa Burmester Reserva Douro DOC (blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinto Roriz) was an absolute highlight of the red wines I tasted during the Porto trip.

DSC_0414 Casa Burmester

I don’t want to even describe this wine in terms of berries, chocolate, coffee, spices – it had everything, but the major thing about this wine was an absolute balance of fruit, structure, power, acidity, tannins – all the elements which make you go “wow” after the first sip where perfectly there. I can’t give you one to one analogy for the way this wine tasted, but to give you an idea of how impressed I was, I would safely put it in one line with 2000 Chateau Margaux, Vega Sicilia Unico and Vintage Krug Champagne. In case you are curious about my rating, this wine gets Drinkability: 9.

I believe I sufficiently inundated you with the pictures of the beautiful scenery, but let me still add a few more:

All roads lead to Port...

All roads lead to Port…

Awakening and Anticipation ...

Awakening and Anticipation …

Vila Nova de Gaia

Vila Nova de Gaia

DSC_0215 Calem view from above

Port caves – view from above

Douro River view

Douro River view

Time to finally conclude the series. I don’t know what you think, but I really enjoyed writing all these posts. I also saw a lot of happy comments, including those where people said that they will definitely go and visit Portugal (which will be very smart, if you ask me). If you will actually travel to Porto, I hope you will find some useful information here. And in any case, thanks for reading and cheers!

  1. May 20, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Appreciated the travelogue very much. Portugal is on our list and their wines I’ve loved for a long time. Thanks.

    • talkavino
      May 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! Glad you found it useful!

  2. May 21, 2013 at 12:56 am

    A wonderful series, Anatoli: thank you for sharing your experiences and your knowledge!

    • talkavino
      May 21, 2013 at 6:16 am

      Thank you, Stefano! This was a great experience, definitely worth sharing.

  1. August 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm
  2. December 29, 2013 at 9:21 am

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