Tasting Tuesday- A Big Portuguese

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Finesse and Elegance

Once your palate becomes more sophisticated with wine, you will begin to develop your own likes and dislikes. When a bottle of Chryseia 2003 Douro DOC was presented as one of six wines back in January 2010 at a small tasting, I knew it was time for me to branch out and grab this one by the…

Chryseia is the Greek word for ‘Gold’ (as well as Portuguese translation), and this is the perfect description of experiencing this wine twice in the past year. Once at a Portuguese tasting back in January with a group of wonderful wine enthusiast and Michele Heaton at the helm of our education, I discovered Portugal had more to offer than just port.

Once you begin to look at the history of the area, especially Douro Valley in Portugal you being to understand, or possibly wonder exactly why it is almost kept secret. Portuguese wines are not so widely known in some tasting circles, they are mostly know for their Port Wines. These red wines can be a little difficult to find, but bottles dated ’03 are hard to come by, except on-line (Michele Heaton, fellow AWS- American Wine Society member does an excellent job scouting out such things).

Tasting Notes, January 2010- I had the ’04, but ultimately, it may come down to your style preferences, but I felt this was good, but the ’03 was better. The tannins were more present, but again with the fatty meat and cheese paired with this wine brought out something, and being decanted for several hours before we gathered and it continued to open up- ‘Gold’ on the taste buds.

Tasting Notes, May 30th, 2010- We barely decanted the ’03 before my marinated flank steak was cooked, along with grilled chicken and a mustard/dill potato salad, but as the meal began and progressed this wine once again was pleasing on the palate. Just as I remembered in January, the unique deep berry-plum flavors, an incredible nose had everyone at the table speechless. This paired will with the fatty beef, chicken, richness and bite of the potatoes, as I had remembered from the first experience.

All agreed I had made the right choice in ordering two bottles of this beautiful and elegant wine. The second bottle will sit at least another two years, and the plan is to report back!

Chryseia & Port: The Douro wines, cultivated in an inhospitable climate under a scorching sun, with their low acidity and residual sugar levels, were always difficult to transport. It was for this reason that the region invented fortification, a process which involves adding brandy to the wine before fermentation is complete, providing the Port with its distinctive alcohol-sugar balance, together with a remarkable potential for aging. In addition, fortification requires the rapid and energetic extraction of tannins by the traditional method of treading.

The six most widely used grapes for red Port wine are Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão and Tinta Amarela.

Chef Elizabeth Stelling, Restaurant & Wine Writer, Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

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  1. Love to learn more about Portuguese wines. I’ve enjoyed a few and love Port.
    Thanks and look forward to more info!
    -Doc

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