I just spent a few days in Lisbon, Portugal. I recommend you do too, it’s a great city that really underplays its hand. There’s oodles of history, fantastic galleries, cool people, great bars and the most divine seafood. There’s plenty of fabulous wine too.
Vinho Verde was everywhere, at all sorts of price points, and it was good.
It’s always tricky to fairly assess any wine you drink on holiday, when you’re drinking wines in the country or region in which they’re made, when you’re relaxed and having a good time. All of that holiday feeling goes into the wine, and some that taste fantastic in a little family restaurant on a European hillside are just plain weird when drunk at home.
We had some Murganheira Superior Reserve Brut 2006. I’m not normally one for drinking wine in a hotel on holiday, because there’s too much world out there to explore, but the good people at the Hotel Avenida Palace had left a lovely note in our room inviting us to enjoy half a bottle on them, so we did.
I didn’t expect much from a freebie, and I’ll be honest, I’d never tried a Portugese sparkling wine before, and I never find that half bottles taste as good as a full bottle, so I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It was nutty and crisp and a tad more-ish, which was a shame with a half bottle. It had a Champagne style of flavour, but with just a bit more of a savoury character if such a thing is possible. I’ll look out for it again to give it a fairer comparison on a dull and drizzly day in the suburbs.