TASTING THE DOURO: A WINE “TOUR” FOR THE PALATE by Frank D. Pond

Douro and Vineyards Photo: Meera Kamra-Kelsey

Douro and Vineyards Photo: Meera Kamra-Kelsey

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Portugal is a magic country as our readers will know from enjoying contributor Meera Kamra Kelsey’s report on her recent adventures through the Douro region.  And nothing enhances that magic more than a great glass, or two, of wine.  As I reported a couple of years ago, Portugal is on fire as a foodie (and fun) destination (Read More: http://bit.ly/XBndMo ) and Meera’s article confirms that it definitely is on fire!  It is time for a visit.  But, until you buy that ticket, one way to appreciate the Douro and Portugal is via its wines.  And, the great news is that you can get some real deals on these unique and delicious sips.

If you travel (online that is) to Wine.com. you will find quite a good selection of Portuguese wines.  Visit: http://www.wine.com/v6//wine/list.aspx?N=7155+1109&s=email_151104_wc_portugal&cid=email_151104_wc_portugal&state=NY&zud=txt0iKjMxQxzuTlHrPeStA@3D@3D
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Joao Portugal Ramos Lima Vinho Verde 2014

One of the unique varietals from Portugal are the “Green Wines.”  These are wines meant to drink while they are young, fragrant and flavorful.  Some note grassy or herbaceous qualities but I find that too limiting in a bottle like the Ramos Lima–yes, there is a beautiful hay like color and one will pick up some herbal notes but this is a wine that is meant for food.  It really stands up and its grassy acids bring out the savory in fish and especially shellfish or stews.  At $15.99 this is a great wine to have in your cellar though it is tasty enough that it might not last there all that long. Get the wine here:

Moving on to the reds–be prepared to be surprised at how good some of the Douro wines are.  They also can last if you cellar them and will develop into a wine drinking qualitatively at far above the purchase price.  One of the keys is the Touriga grape that is somewhat unique to the region.  It is a grape that is bold and supple at the same time–with tannins that don’t overwhelm but don’t back down either.   A couple of special options are:

Aveleda Follies Touriga Nacional 2010.  

This wine is a steal at $16.99.  Its deep redness is like drinking in a ruby or a garnet glass.  As a 2010, the tannins have resolved to provide some velvet to the tongue and throat but the wine doesn’t whimper just because it is soft.  There’s some vanilla notes and a bit of leather with the fruit.  I think this one could cellar for any number of years but wouldn’t be bad to open and try right now.

Dourum Colheita 2012.  

Here’s a red very different than the Aveleda Follies yet definitely a gem.  It packs a lot of fruit into the sip yet it doesn’t fall prey to being jammy or without structure.  It, too, is a wine that could cellar for quite a long time.  The wine is dark in color and deep in taste.  It pairs beautifully with meat and game.  There is finesse here.  At $24.99 it is a tad higher than the others featured here but it certainly warrants the price point.  From my vantage, one could not properly do a “wine tour” without this one in the mix.

Drink up my Friends! To get these and more great wines from Portugal visit the following link. Get 10% off 6 Portuguese Wines when you USE CODE: PORTUGALROCKS
http://www.wine.com/v6//wine/list.aspx?N=7155+1109&s=email_151104_wc_portugal&cid=email_151104_wc_portugal&state=NY&zud=txt0iKjMxQxzuTlHrPeStA@3D@3D
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Read More:

Nothing Dour About the Douro By Meera Kamra-Kelsey

En Chamas: The Food and Wine of Lisbon is on Fire By Frank D. Pond

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