Duas Quintas, Douro – White wine from Portugal

December 23, 2014

It was already late when we walked along the river on the lookout for some food in Lisbon the other day. We were a larger group of conference participants. We were hungry and not very picky. That’s the reason that I do not remember the name of the restaurant. However, it turned out to be a good choice. As so often, the group wanted me to select the wine. Not an easy undertaking when everybody is fancying different types of food.

Fortunately, the waiter was very helpful in the selection of wine. It is years that I have visited Portugal, and I am not on a sure footing regarding it’s wines.

Duas Quintas 1

2013 Duas Quintas by Ramos Pinto, Douro

The white wine I choose was from the Douro, one of my favourite wine region in Portugal. I had visited with my family in 2008 and treasure the wonderful memories of the Douro valley.

Ramos Pinto is a well know producer of mainly port and red wines.
Casa Ramos Pinto produces since 1880. Since 1990 it is part of he Roederer Group.

João Nicolau de Almeida joined Casa Ramos Pinto in 1976 and is one of the main architects of its success in modern time. The American magazine Wine & Spirits chose him as “Man of the year 1998”. Since 2001 he is managing director.

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2013 Duas Quintas, back label

Also the whites of Casa Ramos Pinto are of great significance. Duas Quintas is a blend of traditional varieties (50% Rabigato, 40% Viosinho, 10% Arinto), has 13% alcohol, a ph level of 3.12. and an acidity of 5.8%.

Golden in colour, bright and clean, the aromas of citrus and ripe fruit are very pleasant on the palate. The wine is full bodied and has a good structure. 2013 was a ripper of a vintage which shows in the wine. It was the right choice.

Duas Quintas 3

My appetizer

Even my at times spicy appetizer, grilled peppers with chips, was well suited to the wine. And the main dish, pieces of white fish, went also very will with the fine citrus aromas of the wine.

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The white fish

I wish we could have stayed longer. I have to find the restaurant again. It is near the congress centre, one crosses the main road and walks upriver. Easy.
Furthermore, I should visit again the Douro region. I have such fond memories. I know, there is never enough time to explore all the fabulous wines of a place.

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Food and wine pairing: Sushi and Sashimi with Vinho Verde from Portugal

September 8, 2012

A selection of sushi and sashimi

We had a kind of quick lunch today. We bought a selection of sushi and sashimi. The question was what wine to have with it? Well, we had not much choice because my wine fridge is almost empty.

So I picked out of distress (I did not want to take one of my great Riesling wines) the last bottle of Vinho Verde we had, a bottle by Casal Mendes, which can be obtained in Bangkok super markets at relatively low cost.

Casal Mendes Vinho Verde

Woh, what a surprise: it worked wonders, I thought. The Portuguese Vinho Verde with its low alcohol and freshness was just the right wine with the raw fish and the rice. What an excellent choice this was. I highly recommend to try this pairing of Eastern food with Western wine.


The art of blogging and wine from Caves Alianca Dao, Portugal

July 11, 2012

No blog entry for two weeks, goodness me. Why I am so busy? It seems this is a terible time. No time for my blog. Moroever, I am going on an extended trip to my hometown Trier, Germany (this time on vacation), where I have very ittle access to the internet. Therefore the prospects are grim. Please bear with me. I plan to continue my blog despite the odds.

Today I have a last entry before the blog-free seasons starts. The good news is that I will be visiting the Mosel and its tributaries. This also means that I will probably visit some wineries and taste some delicious wines. I should come back to Bangkok with many more stories to tell and share.

A beautiful dark red colour

Last night, we had with our meal a beautiful red. It was a ‘2009 Caves Alianca Dao Reserva’, a blend of various Portuguese grape varieties (the label says: Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro, Jaén, Touriga Nacional).

The Dao wine region is consistently producing outstanding wines. Ever since our holiday along the Douro river, I am a big fan of Portuguese wines.

Caves Alianca Dao Reserva

With 14% alcohol this wine is big and mighty. It is also very smooth with lots of forest fruit. There is some hint of vanilla (from the oak). The wine has a good mid-pallet weight and a long finish.

The back label of the Alianca Dao

In Europe the wine retails for about 7 Pounds.

We had this beautiful and delectable wine with very spicy green beans and a beef fillet. Woh, that meal was super delicious and the wine was just a perfect match. I wish we had more of it. Well.

Soon we will be at the shores of the Mosel river and ive into the tasting of Riesling. What a consolation.


Vinho Verde in Bangkok – a Portuguese delight

February 18, 2012

Vinho Verde from Caves Alianca Casal Mendes, Portugal

In the tropics (with its warm and humid days) a wine with low alcohol content is one of the most enjoyable day drinks. So when I found Vinho Verde by Casal Mendes in our supermarket, I was thrilled.

I bought all the bottles on offer despite the fact that I did not know what I was buying. It reminded me of the many happy days we had when visiting northern Portugal some years ago. With 9% alcohol and the typical Vinho Verde character, this wine is a treat.

Vinho Verde

I also liked the shape of the bottle, this voluminous, round and low bottles just fitted into my hand. I had to pay about TB 600 (12 EURO) for it. Internet wine dealers offer the product for 5 EURO in Europe.

I could not find an English website explaining what “Caves Alianca Casal Mendes” is all about. I mean there is a small English section, but not a very evocative one (“problem loading page”, said my browser).

From the Portuguese one, I figured that the winery is more than 80 years old with about 5 “quintas” or vineyards/wineries. My uninformed guess is that it is a mass producer sourcing grapes from different locations and vineyards.

Some bread, ham and olives helped to make this a special occasion today, leisurely relaxing on my terrace. Join me one day.
Cheers to Portugal and its Vinho Verde.