I believe that right now, Portuguese wines are having a moment.
This spring we took a trip to Portugal, where we discovered a culture full of great food and wine. We spent most of our trip in Lisbon, and by the end we were navigating around the city like pros.
We recommend in Lisbon:
The Must Eat and Drink of Lisbon
Baccala is a must (paired with a good Vinho Verde).
Mercado da Ribeira
We went there almost everyday to eat something or just to relax. The atmosphere is more laid back than other cities’ Central Markets, and the variety and quality of the food was excellent! I recommend to get the surf and turf sandwich (shrimp and beef panino) at Café De São Bento. Or try any of the meatballs (they sell all types) at the Croqueteria, located not in the main dining area, but just around the corner closer to the fish market.
In the Mercado da Ribeira, we popped into the wine shop and ended up staying there for an hour talking with the shopkeeper about Portuguese wines.
A specialty wine; Vinho Verde – from Northern Portugal, the Alvarinho grapes are what most Vinho Verde are made from. The usual characteristics of this wine are citrus, crisp, refreshing, and minerality. I particularly like it because it has a fizzyness to it.
Palácio da Brejoeira Alvarinho Vinho Verde White
Dry and well balanced. It’s a pretty simple wine, but with a strong personality.
Arcas Conde Villar Alvarinho 2013
We paired it perfectly with pan fried Baccala with a hint of garlic.
Quinta do Pinto Viognier & Chardonnay 2012
Was very good as well, especially with any type of fish or seafood.
For dessert, we were lucky enough to stumble upon a artisanal chocolate shop called Bettina & Niccolo Corallo at Rua Da Escola Politecnica. It is pricey but well worth it!
For breakfast or coffee – go to Pão A Mesa at Rua Dom Pedro V 44. They have freshly squeezed orange juice and an amazing cake baked with vegetables. One day,
we went and they were closed, and I literally started to cry.
We are excited to discover more about Portuguese food and wines so stay tuned for our Portuguese feature.