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Vinicola Portugal, wine tasting

Today we were getting a taste of Portugal, through its wine at Vinicola Portugal. A Popup wine tasting and shop held at Heritage Hall on Main Street, during Main Street’s annual car free day.

This was a ticketed event and we had ours ahead of time, but given the occasion, show runners were also allowing guests to walk in off the streets and attend the festivities at door pricing.

Walking in with no expectations, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that this would make for a memorable location to learn more about Portuguese wines and not just port. For the enthusiasts, a learning which included which region yields what kind of grapes and what that means for the outcome of the wine. It also served as a weekend’s worth of good time, for those who were attending for plenty of sips and tastes in lieu of ounces.

70 different wines, 34 producers, and 14 diverse regions ranging from the north to south of Portugal. “Wines from top boutique importers bringing engaging festival style tastings in a vibrant atmosphere.” This event was for everyone. From the “wine lover looking for value wines off the beaten path, a seasoned veteran looking for wines worthy of cellaring, or you just want to learn more.” (As taken from the event page.) “From the robust reds of Douro Valley to the crisp whites of Vinho Verde, each bottle tells a tale of passion and tradition.” (As per the press release.)

For those peckish, small bites and snacks were available for purchase from Arc Iberico Imports. They had customizable charcuterie boards from their carved to order Ibérico Arcon-fed Pork Ham 50%, and collection of hard cheeses to pair with it.

The venue offered plenty of breathing room as ticket holders, travelled table to table in a circular direction; engaging in conversation and sipping from that vendor or importer. The most popular strategy was to start with white and work your way around the room, then hit up red next round. There was even some spirits represented, for those considering a third go around.

And the best part, of what you tried and liked, you were able to pick up a bottle or two to take home with you. Limited bottles from the on location pop-up shop, presented by Sutton Place Wine Merchants. I would learn the hard way that most were while quantities last, and the more popular items, like the port advent calendar were quick to sell out. Here, it is advised to grab what you like, soon after trying it and wanting more for later.

Naturally, I won’t be able to document all that I tried, but here are some standouts.

I found that Vallado Douro 2029 had an interesting top note of durian, and being a fan of the fruit, I was a fan of this.

I was drawn in by the labels of Duckman “ART-isanal” wines. Their motif of ducks featured artistically stuck with me. From a spray paint duck silhouette to a scene of a pink duck taking a bubble bath.

As a brand of natural, biodynamic, and vegan wines it was no surprise that their wines were organic and musky, reminding us of kombucha. “Quaaaq Quaaaq” in particular drank like a wine to start, but ended on an ale aftertaste.

We were impressed by the gold medal winning 2022 Alvarinho Trajadura with its sweeter candy notes. Quinta da Raza takes pride in their manual de-stemming process, where their wines are aged in stainless steel and have carbonation to end on.

Not wine, but I liked my taste of Licor Beirao, an orange flavoured liquor.

In short, this was a fun way to get better acquainted with wines from Portugal and a great time.

For those who missed it, I have included the link to their eventbrite page, should you decide to follow the event organizer to ensure you are available for the next one, or any similar events.


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