My good friends Niamh and Denise launched another Guerrilla tasting onto London’s streets – which Niamh reports “it went really well! We had 3 wines at the Green Onions Supper Club in Hackney. People loved them esp the Douro red” – and in deepest Thames-side Oxfordshire I made a stew, grilled some pork ribs and am about to throw some giant prawns on the barbie. Well, it would be a barbecue if I actually had a garden. And a barbecue. A griddle pan will have to suffice.
Failing to source all the wines involved in the tasting a make do and mend session, with two of the reds and the white, and matching them to the foods mentioned made for a fun weekend.
The Portuguese-created social wine discovery site Adegga has a full list of the Big Tasting events wines and you can track the activity on twitter via the #tbt2010 tag.
Of the wines the Vida Nova 2007 from the Algarve (that’s a Cliff Richard wine), a blend of Syrah, Aragonez and Alicante Bouschet, and the Tinto da Ânfora 2007 (Aragonez, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, Alfrocheiro, Cabernet Sauvignon) were cracked open and sampled against a hearty beef stew and a pile of pork ribs that were marinated overnight in a chilli sauce. The one white in the six bottle line-up, a Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde, will be subject to a separate post, is about to be savoured with prawns, simply griddled and served with a little Lingham’s Ginger, Garlic and Chilli Sauce mixed with a dollop of mayonnaise.
Price-wise there is little difference between the Vida Nova at £7.99 and the Tinto da Ânfora at £6.99 but the former was the deeper, richer, more classy, intense and more complex wine of the two. The Ânfora, obviously a different grape mix grown in a different region, is a touch more rustic and more hearty. The Vida Nova has a delicious top note of red berries while the Ânfora offers a fruity upfront sweetness before stroking the teeth with soft tannins and ending on a rustic lick of red fruits. Its combination of fruit, sun drenched earth and wafts of herbs and undergrowth is a winner.
Being hungry while the stew and rice bubbled atop the stove a chunk of Parmesan, being the only cheese in the fridge, was sampled with each. Not a great match with the Ânfora. The cheese stamped aggressively across the red berry flavours. The harder hitting Vida Nova had fewer issues. A rather nice combination.
And with the beef stew? Both were fine, its not a dish that many red wines would disagree with, but on balance I preferred the sweetness inherent in the Ânfora, the flavours melding beautifully with the richness of the sauce. The pork ribs – quite spicy from all that chilli sauce – did not disagree with either wine. A preference? The Anfora.
Tinto da Ânfora, 2007, Alentejo, Portugal [Adegga / Snooth]
Trampling along crumbly red hillside path, crushing wild herbs here, sweating in the dappled sun.
Vida Nova Syrah Aragonez, 2007, Algarve, Portugal [Adegga / Snooth]
Mixed berry throwing contest, who can hit the red tiles at the top of the farm wall? Using those sour cherries is cheating.