I was interviewed by Noble & Style magazine. Most of the questions were about my career path, wine tips and of course, Portuguese wines! Because of that, I decided to share part of it here. It includes a recommendation of 21 Portuguese wines too, just perfect for you to add to your shopping list.
If you just landed in my website right now, allowed me to tell a bit about my daily work as a Portuguese Sommelier & Wine Educator since 2004, sharing one of the personal questions made by Noble & Style.
What aspect of your job gives you more satisfaction?
I'm very satisfied with my job, whether leading a wine tasting to a large or small audience, crafting engaging social media content or sharing knowledge about Portuguese wine with professionals or enthusiasts.
However, what truly brings me satisfaction is encountering individuals who express that they have entered the wine industry because they were inspired by my journey. Similarly, receiving heartfelt congratulations from wine consumers for helping them navigate the intricacies of the wine world in a more accessible manner is deeply rewarding to me.
It was a very nice conversation and during the interview one of the questions I enjoy more to answer was this one:
Are there any common misconceptions about wine that you would like to correct?
There are indeed various misconceptions surrounding wine, including recent ones such as the notions of mineral or natural wines.
Nevertheless, as a Portuguese, I would like to address a common misunderstanding that persists among many Portuguese people regarding Vinho Verde.
Vinho Verde, which directly translates to "green wine," is not a specific type of wine. Instead, it refers to a Portuguese geographical indication or appellation. Similar to other well-known Portuguese wine regions like Douro, Bairrada, or Alentejo.
Vinho Verde designates a specific area of origin, situated in the northwest region of Portugal. Vinho Verde is known for producing predominantly white wines, along with rosé, red, and sparkling wines.
Wine lovers may be familiar with a style of white wine from this region that is usually light, refreshing, low in alcohol, high in acidity, with exuberant aromas, sometimes leaving a slight sweetness on the palate.
Still, it's important to note that in the Vinho Verde region producers also make white wines that deviate from these characteristics. While they still exhibit notable acidity, they possess more attitude, higher alcohol content, complexity, and a dry finish. In fact, they have aging potential similar to some of the best white wines in the world.
To summarize, Vinho Verde refers to the geographical origin of the wine and does not inherently define the specific characteristics of the wine itself.
I also was glad for this question and be able to clarify that red wine is not to drink room temperature! Not even in Winter!
However the interview happen through Summer, so keep my following tips for the Summer of 2024 unless you are now in the South hemisphere. In that case enjoy!
Could you share a professional tip for wine serving or pairing with our readers?
Of course! During summer, paying attention to the temperature at which you enjoy your wine becomes crucial. To simplify matters, I recommend placing all wines in the refrigerator the day before serving.
Sommeliers, often have temperature-controlled wine cellars at the work place. However, I will share some practical tips that you can easily implement at home. The only item you need to acquire is a wine thermometer.
Keep in mind that red wines provide the most pleasure when consumed at a temperature no higher than 18°C. On a hot day, if you plan to enjoy an unoaked red, a serving temperature of around 15°C is ideal. Take the bottle out of the fridge approximately ten to fifteen minutes before the meal. Alternatively, you can use an ice bucket if you forgot to chill it in advance.
It's important to note that temperatures below 5°C can numb our taste buds. Household refrigerators typically operate around 2-3°C. You might discover that you've been consuming white and rosé wines at excessively cold temperatures. Optimal serving temperatures for these wines in summer are around 7°C, or 10°C if it aged in oak.
From my experience, using a freezer to rapidly cool wines in an emergency is not ideal, as it can compromise their aroma and taste.
Temperature greatly impacts our perception of a wine's quality. In many cases, wine producers provide guidance on the back label regarding the recommended serving temperature. Alternatively, don't hesitate to ask for advice when purchasing wine.
During the interview I was asked about my favorite (at the moment) white, rose and red Portuguese wines including some Champagne.
Could you share your favourite red wines that are suitable for a colder evening? Why are these your choices?
Yes, I can. If the night is colder, I believe anyone will enjoy more a smooth, full bodied wine, no matter if it’s summer or winter time. If the preference leans towards red wine, opting for wines from hot regions or those with higher alcohol content can provide the sensations I have mentioned before.
Portuguese wine enthusiasts have a fondness for wines from the Alentejo and Douro regions. My preferences at the moment goes for this wines from recent wine projects: Natus (Alentejo) and Firmamento (Douro).
However, if I am seeking wines with more structure and tannins, I would be exploring the wines from the Bairrada region. The Baga grape variety, for example, produces wines that embody these characteristics, such as the wine Giz Vinhas Velhas.
Now, considering a cooler summer night, wines from the Lisboa or Palmela regions would be an excellent choice. Red wines from these regions tend to be more moderate in terms of body, boldness, and alcohol content.
The influence of Atlantic Ocean winds, the soil, the presence of indigenous red grape varieties, and typically generous harvests all contribute to making the red wines from these regions perfect for the summer season. My favorites are Pirata (Lisboa) and Vale de Touros Vinhas Velhas Reserva (Palmela).
Could you recommend five of your favourite Champagnes for memorable moments?
This is a challenging question, due to certain facts. First it has become difficult to find high-quality Champagne in Portugal over the past two years. On a positive note, Portugal has been experiencing a remarkable increase in the production of exceptional sparkling wines, which is truly exciting. Additionally, I have developed a particular fondness for Pet Nat wines.
Given these circumstances, please allow me to share what could be my sparkling wine list for a memorable moment.
1) Gosset Celebris Rosé Brut (Champagne)
2) Vertice Pinot Noir Bruto (Douro)
3) Protótipo P1 Pet Nat Rosé (Távora Varosa)
4) Quinta do Rol Blanc des Blancs Grande Reserva Extra Bruto (Lisboa)
5) Da Pedra Se Fez Espumante White Extra Bruto (Açores)
Again, if you are reading this while there are hot days, enjoy the list of Portuguese white and rose wines below.
What are your five favourite white wines for the summer season, and what would you serve them with?
During the hot summer days in Portugal, the meals are predominantly centered around grilled fish, shellfish, seafood, and occasionally white meat. As a classic post-beach treat, many opt for the choice of take-away roast chicken. And when it comes to family get-togethers, a barbecue featuring pork and sausages takes the spotlight.
To complement these dishes, I always ensure to have a selection of white wines readily available at home during the summer. These wines should have a youthful character, boasting refreshing acidity, a medium-bodied profile, and some, a short oak ageing.
For this particular summer season, my preferred choices for wine are as follows:
1) Bico Amarelo (Vinho Verde)
2) Quinta de Baixo Vinhas Velhas (Bairrada)
3) Purista Fernão Pires (Lisboa)
4) Esporão Reserva (Alentejo)
5) Etnom (Açores)
What are the five favourite rosé wines and what dishes would you pair them with?
I love rosé wine and I don’t understand why they are so underrated. Rosé wines indeed offer a delightful combination of the crisp acidity found in white wines and the tannins typically associated with red wines, making them a perfect choice for summer days.
Here are the last five rosé wines that left me amazed:
1) Saroto (Trás-os-Montes)
2) Assobio (Douro)
3) Allgo (Dão)
4) Magnolia Rosa (Lisboa)
5) Badula (Tejo)
6) Morgado do Quintão Palhete (Algarve)
One interesting rosé style worth mentioning is Palhete, which employs ancestral winemaking techniques and has gained popularity in recent times. Palhete wines result from the co-fermentation of white and red grapes.
In terms of food pairings, dry rosé wines can be wonderfully versatile and complement a wide range of vegetarian dishes. They are also easy to pair when enjoying a variety of dishes at the table, which we refer to as "petiscos" in Portugal. Personally, I always go for rosé wine to accompany grilled sardines, a delightful combination. When it comes to slightly sweeter rosés, I find they pair exceptionally well with spicy dishes.
If you want to know more about Portuguese wines with me I host wine tasting classes and also do wine experiences online. Contact me!