Wines from Portugal: A World to Explore For Value and Diversity

Looking back on this post from a few years ago, certainly much has changed in the wine landscape of Portugal and lucky for me, amazingly, I am going to get a chance to see what they are offering now in the Douro. Sometimes dreams do come true…


I initially wrote this article on wines from Portugal following a tasting organized in early April by my friend Aileen Robbins for Gourmet Retailer.

I’m not sure how well the link is working so I thought I would just post the entire article. Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures of that beautiful country. Many years ago I went on a long car trip through the Algarve and I must say I think I am in need of another visit. In the meantime, I can always taste great wines from Portugal here at home.

Anyway, here’s my article:

The world of wine is extremely varied and diverse and nowhere is this more evident than in Portuguese wines. These wines, both white and red varieties, were the subject of a big trade show in Manhattan on April 1 at Cipriani 42nd Street. Professor Michael Weiss of the Culinary Institute of the Arts…

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Isn’t She Lovely….


Happy birthday Maman….

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Lambrusco Montericco


As I said last week, Lambrusco is a subject that is hotly debated online and is one of those topics that seem to have people divided into seriously distinct camps. Personally, I like Lambrusco and always have, even when it wasn’t trendy as it is today. Perhaps it is the year I lived in Bologna, what a wonderful city, or perhaps it is my love of sparkling wine but no matter the reason, there you have it. I am unabashedly a huge fan of Lambrusco. This week’s Lambrusco is Lambrusco Montericco, A red grape that is grown in the province of Reggio Emilia. It is sometimes vinified as a monovarietal but is usually blended with other Lambrusco varieties. I found this winery, Ferrarini, which produces a monovarietal wine from the grape and it is labeled as a DOC. Lambrusco Montericco is said not to have too much structure but great acidity and therefore perfect for frizzante versions of Lambrusco.

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Charles Scicolone On DonnaChiara Vertical Tasting Of Fiano d’Avellino DOCG 2007-2015

con Illaria Petitto - Donnachiara at VinoVip Cortina

Today I am posting an article written by Charles Scicolone, a friend and wine expert with a particular affection for Italy. His take on the tasting which I also attended is right on. My favorite was the amazing 2007 which showed beautiful tropical fruit and great acidity. I also favored the 2013 and the 2009. It was very interesting to see how Fiano developed through the years and showed the impact of the vintage. I will be working with Ilaria in the future and my policy is not to write about wines that I represent so I am happy that Charles has written such a great and in-depth post.


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Women In Wine Fridays: Adele Tolli-Capela From ValueVines On Portuguese Wines

As Portuguese wines are on my mind this week, I thought I would reblog this post that I did with a lovely woman who imports Portuguese wines. It’s also time to get back into my women in wine fridays and this seems like a perfect segue.



Today’s post is part of my Women in Wine Fridays series. This week’s post is a question and answer with Adele Tolli-Capela from Value Vines. I met Adele on a recent trip to the Tejo region in Portugal. I was impressed with her spirit and knowledge of Portuguese wines so I asked if I could interview her and here is the conversation.

How did you get into the wine business?

Upon my youngest daughter’s getting ready to go to college, I began searching for something new to do. I was looking for something that would force me to travel internationally and might make use of my language skills. I had been taking wine classes and found the information so interesting and finally took the plunge, acquiring an importer’s permit. I subsequently met a very experienced wine importer who encouraged me to start with wines from Portugal.

What has been the…

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Ferrari At the Emmy’s – Cin Cin


As a huge fan of Ferrari, I am not the slightest bit surprised that it was chosen as the official sparkling wine of the Emmy’s. Lucky for me I am ready with a chilled bottle already waiting in my fridge. Ferrari makes amazing sparkling wine from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Trentino.

Ferrari was founded in 1902 by Giulio Ferrari and their name is synonymous with sparkling wine in Italy. Made in the Metodo Classico style, Ferrari was among the first wineries to bring sparking wine into every Italian household. Giulio Ferrari had studied at the School of Viticulture in Montpellier and dreamt of making an Italian equivalent to Champagne. They produce some 4.5 million bottles a year.

Giulio Ferrari didn’t have any children and chose a friend and local merchant Bruno Lunelli as successor for his winery, who took over in 1952. The company was run by Bruno’s three sons, Gino, Mauro and Franco, starting from 1969 until 2005, and then Bruno’s grandchildren, Marcello, Matteo and Camilla took the reins of the firm. I have met all of them many times and they are a truly lovely bunch. They have a team of eight winemakers, led by Marcello Lunelli, and four agronomists.

Salute to them!

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Wine of the Week: Colheita Kopke Port 1966


Sometimes you try a wine that you know you will never forget, this was one of those wines. It had everything – balance, harmony, great tertiary aromas and flavors, length, persistence, acidity, sapidity. You name it, it had it. It was amazing and I couldn’t believe the price for a wine that is 50 years old. On wine-searcher, these are the prices that were listed. I tried this beautiful wine along with other Colheitas at a seminar during the Society of Wine Educators conference in August.


The line-up was fabulous and got me thinking I should be drinking Colheitas all the time. How do they differ from other ports?
Colheita can also be thought of as a single vintage Tawny Port. They need to be aged for seven years. in oak casks. The ports from this house are bottled when someone wants one with an elaborate system. They haven’t really gotten the play they should yet here in the states but I am sure that is coming soon. The seminar was fantastic and they showed a film of a regatta on the Douro river. I was ready to pick up and move there tomorrow.

What a wine, truly not to be missed. For a much more indepth look at Colheitas and port in general, check out this interesting blog, For the Love of Port.



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