The Douro region, steeped in history dating back to the 17th century is rocking with delectable wines today!
Viva Vino Portugal and Spain, a month long promotion at the LCBO is a gift to the consumer; a gift of truly fabulous value wines, a gift of new experience, and of an ancient culture of grape growing with incredible indigenous grape varietals.. Our focus today is on one of the most historic wine growing regions in the world, the Douro region located in northern Portugal. Although the signature fortified wine of Port is what first springs to mind, experts around the world are now touting the elegance and superb value of the still wines coming out of this region.
The dashing, and incredibly knowledgeable John Szabo, Master Sommelier and proprietor of Oasi Restaurant joined us via the phone lines on The Wine Ladies Radio Show CP24 Radio 1050 for a Douro up-date. We could have chatted for hours, as John’s passion for this region is contagious!” The exciting action is in the table wine category” says John. “Every serious Port producer now also makes a dry red wine from the Douro utilizing an incredible number of quality indigenous grape varieties, led by Touriga Nacional, Portugal’s national hero of red grapes” Highlighing one wine as an example, the QUINTA DO INFANTADO 2006, here’s John’s mouth-watering description “A blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Franca and Tinta Roriz, this sleek, modern red is brimming with intense, ripe blackberry fruit, verging on jammy, with loads of polished new wood. The palate is likewise rich and intense, indeed almost port-like in its flavour profile minus the alcohol, with firm but balanced tannins” Ok, ok, John, you had us at “brimming with intense, ripe blackberry fruit”! The wine sells for $23.95 and is currently available LCBO stores; CSPC number 95158. Check the LCBO website for availability.
Above: QUINTA DO INFANTADO 2006, – $23.95 per bottle
Engage and excite your palate further with Portuguese wine and food pairings now being offered across the province at select LCBO stores. Take advantage of a great opportunity to experience some of the fabulous wines of the Douro matched with delicious fare, a little dance and music every Saturday in April. Call your local store for details or for participating store locations.
More about the Douro!
The Portuguese region known as Porto, or Port was the world’s fist wine region to be demarcated in 1756
Ribeira, the historic Centre of Porto, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996
The Douro region enjoys a variety of growing conditions; Cooler and wetter, closer to the Atlantic, hotter and drier towards the Spanish border in the east.
The variability in the climatic conditions allows for good variability in the wines produced.
Approximately half the Douro’s wine production is still wine and the other half is used for fortified.
The grapes used to produce Douro table wines are similar to those used to make Port, of which over 90 different grapes are permitted.
Northern Portugal’s Douro Valley has become a “hot spot” or one of the trendiest spots on the global wine trail with luxury hotels, Michelin-starred chefs and modern wineries designed by celebrity architects.
We’d like to offer you, our readers and listeners a chance to experience first hand Portuguese wines and food at its best, here’s how!
WIN a $500.00 Gift Certificate to the critically acclaimed Chiado Restaurant. http://www.chiadorestaurant.ca How to enter? Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the answer to the question below. The 500th email with the correct answer will be awarded the prize and announced on our radio show on 1050CHUM at 10:00am on April 25th.
Question: Name one of the most popular red grape varieties in the Douro region of Portugal which is also considered to be one of the finest.
Need a hint?