Tag Archives: Portugal

Weekly Wine – Vila Regia

28 Jan

SONY DSCSogrape Vila Regia, Douro
13% ABV
$8.00 (LCBO)

Eight bucks.
Eight bucks does not buy much these days.
But at the LCBO, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, for eight measly bucks you can get this wine. It is a hearty wine. Earthy, like many Portuguese wines. But not too much. I think the word is balanced. Yes, this wine is well balanced. It is an amazing wine for the price.
We had this wines with friends and I did not reveal the priced until everybody had their comments in. No one believed that it was eight bucks, except the one that saw the price that I had lightly inscribed on the back of the label. She loved the wine and was amazed that this was available.
Will this wine rival one that costs about ten times as much? No.
But it will put some that cost four to five times as much to shame.
This wine is proof positive that you do not have to spend a great deal of cash to drink quality wine.

Weekly Wine – Quartetto

14 Jan

SONY DSCMonte Da Cal Quartetto
13% ABV
$10.00 (LCBO)

This wine was just laying there in my wine rack for a few weeks before I tried it. Not paying attention to the bottle as I opened it, I was assuming it was an Italian red.
I liked the heavy body. The bold flavour. The rich colour also impressed me. I thought that the earthy taste reminded me of some Portuguese wines I had tasted, but this one was better.
I then looked at the label and realised that this was a Portuguese wine.
Wow! They have really started to make excellent inexpensive wines I said to myself. I looked around and was thankful no one was there to listen to me speak to myself. I took another sip. It is a very nice wine, worth well more than I paid for it. This wine has gone up in price – I bought it for nine dollars and change and then a month later is was up to 10 bucks.
This is a good hearty wine – perfect for a cool afternoon or evening. The weight and earthy tone of this wine suggest that it be had with food – but that is entirely to your discretion.

Weekly Wine – Periquita White

26 Nov

SONY DSCPeriquita White
12.5% ABV
$8.80 (LCBO)

For some bizarre reason I was very apprehensive when opening this wine. This is an irrational feeling. I have had the red. And it is fine. It was quite good in fact. I even drank it in Norway north of the Arctic Circle. And it was good there.
But this is the white.
And it is very OK. Nothing to spectacular. It is fine.
I was looking, and straining, to find something incredible, either negative or positive, to say about this wine. I couldn’t find anything.
It does not have that earthy taste that many Portuguese wines have, so that is a positive – or a negative depending on your taste preference. Like the red Periquita, this is a very nice average wine. It is inoffensive but has a bit of distinct flavour that does make it stand out among the low end white wines.
You can pick this one up when you get a little bored of the inexpensive Italian Pinot Grigios.
You will not be disappointed.

Weekly Wine – JP Azeitao

15 Oct

SONY DSCBacalhoa JP Azeitao Branco
Year: N/A
13% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO) 

I did the red wine a while back, May 8, 2013, and this one, like the red, had a banner proclaiming it the #1 brand in Portugal.
I took this with a big grain of pink Tibetan salt back then as a #1 brand does not necessarily denote quality. But the red wine was fine so I approached this wine without any trepidations.

Consumed well chilled and with a meal, this wine is perfectly good. It has that musty undertone that some Portuguese wines have. It is an earthy kind of flavour. But it is well in the background and does not distract from ones enjoyment, of the meal or the wine. There are sulfites in the wine but I did not notice them. The wine is not harsh and rather mellow with a decent flavour and is quite refreshing on a hot humid day.

Weekly Wine – Aveleda

16 Jul

SONY DSCQuinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde
$9.95 (LCBO)

(This somehow did not get posted when it was supposed to be posted. So I’m backdating it to when it was supposed to be posted.)

Vinho Verde is a light, somewhat fizzy, wine that should be drunk chilled on a hot summer day. And it works so well.
It is tart. Which is great because it refreshes without the sweetness that makes you want to drink more. There is an earthy background to this wine, similar to many Portuguese wines. In some it is a distraction but since this is a light white wine there is just a hint of it. It works very well in this instant.
It is low in alcohol – so it is a great summer drink. High alcohol can send you reeling in a hot summer sun. This wine works well balancing the thirst quenching properties, with the alcohol content and the quite interesting flavours now that they have truly enveloped me.
I didn’t have an overpowering sensation of sulphites but I checked the lable to see if they were present.
It said, “Contains sulphites and milk.”
How bizarre…


Weekly Wine – Alianca

9 Apr

SONY DSCAlianca Bairrada Reserva Sangalhos
14% ABV
$8.85 (LCBO)

I’m drinking this wine while busy with other work.
Naturally, I am distracted. Male humans are not the best mulitaskers and they this skill/gift deteriorates once the age gets north of 30. That’s when I noticed it going.
I’m sipping this wine and I’m not really noticing it. Is it because it is generic? Is it because it lacks any personality? Does it have a flavour?
These thoughts strike me and I have a seat.
I taste the wine.
There is flavour. It is not overbearing. It is light but with presence. There is a bit of bite – it is not sulphites. The bite is pleasant.
The wine is pleasant.
There is a bit of an after taste but it only comes around to signal that you need another sip of this fine wine.

Weekly Wine – Aveleda

26 Mar

SONY DSCAveleda Vinho Verde Fonte
$8.95 (LCBO)

As soon as I cracked this bottle open I knew I was making a big blunder.
This is a Portuguese Vinho Verde. This is very young wine and what is properly termed as effervescence – bubbles. Tiny bubbles.
Traditionally the wine is not carbonated but the effervescence comes from malolactic fermentation, a secondary fermentation that naturally occurs in the bottle. Now the stuff has a bit of good ole’ CO2 pumped in.
I like these wines because they tend to be light, low alcohol and quite refreshing on a hot summer day when drunk cold. Room temperature in a coldish basement is not the best way to present this wine.
Be that as it may I poured a glass and had my way.
Right off the bat, I got these earthy tones and major off flavours. The wine needed to be chilled. A while in the freezer and it got to a suitable temperature.
This wine fared better when cooler, but a nice hot summer day would have made it even better.

Weekly Wine – Alandra

22 Jan

SONY DSCFinagra Alandra Red
13% ABV
$7.75 (LCBO)

I don’t know why I have not seen, nor tried this wine earlier.
This stuff is is inexpensive. Cheap even.
It is under eight bucks for crying out loud.
I was expecting some real rot gut but was surprised. It is not that bad at first taste. I guess that is what you get when you put your expectations real low. And in real terms, what can you really expect from a wine that is perhaps the least expensive in Ontario? I’m not gagging as I drink this. I am not making a sour face. But then again I am not thinking – WOW.
This stuff is drinkable. After the second glass I have an after taste in my mouth that is not too pleasant. It is not disgusting mind you, it is just a taste that lingers and makes you think about your toothbrush and the selection of toothpastes that might be had in your bathroom.

Weekly Wine – Periquita

27 Nov

SONY DSCFonseca Periquita
$7.95 (LCBO)
13.0% ABV

This is a very inoffensive wine.
It is quite light but has a nice flavour. It does not have that earthy flavour, that heavy aftertaste that is a prevalent feature of many inexpensive Portuguese wines. It is nice to drink. It is actually better than many wines that cost cents, and even dollars more.
The label is nice and elegant. Not too flashy. Actually not flashy at all. It looks like a label you would find on a more refined and expensive wine. That’s always a bonus.
Lets not get carried away, this is not an excellent wine. It is a very nice average wine. There is no distinctive character to this wine. It is, a bit forgettable. Characterless. As I mentioned initially – inoffensive.
I should point out that
saw this wine in a liquor store in Narvik, Norway where it was over twice as expensive. But all alcohol cost more north of the Arctic Circle. It was just as good in the land of the midnight sun as it was here – in the Centre of the Universe.


Weekly Wine – Gazela

14 Aug

GazelaSogrape Gazela Vinho Verde
9% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)
A good friend introduced me to this wine and a good thing too. This is a great summer wine. Light and refreshing. It has a bit of fizz to it but not like sparkling wine, champagne or soda pop.
The carbonation is more like that of a beer that has had an in bottle second fermentation. Like those of some artisan breweries or home brews. The mild carbonation is a nice balance with the light flavour.
I will repeat that it is a refreshing sip of wine on a hot day. I’ve had it in winter and it only worked when I was hot because of the crush of people or because I was by a fireplace. It needs to be cold and drinker needs to be hot. I can’t really comment on the flavour because of the lightness of it. When drinking you know it is wine, you have a bit of fizz, and you are refreshed. What more do you want?