Milestones and The Weather Part 2.

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Snow in Denver, Colorado. Do not miss it!

I have slept through January and most of February.
When it is cold, I prefer to stay in bed and hibernate.
Having followed the sun to Portugal, I have been following the sun into my bedroom as well.
The rays do not hit the windows until between ten and ten-thirty AM.
That is when I start to consider raising the shutters.
We have added curtains and two heat and A/C units to our place. These additions have helped immensely with temperature control.

Our new curtains. Even Jiva likes them. 😉


I guess I should just stop trying to be like my Portuguese neighbors and admit my failings as an American; we like things to be easy and comfortable.

And, happily, this has been the warmest and driest winter in Portugal since 2000.
This is good and bad, of course. It has put the entire country into a drought situation.
That pesky climate change thing again. Yesterday it was 70+ degrees in Porto.
Most unusual for this time of year.

And yesterday was a milestone for us.
The third anniversary of our arrival in Portugal.
It is hard to believe it has been three years already. We have never looked back and are so thankful because life is so much better here.

I still have to laugh that Portugal was never on our radar as a possible place to live until it was pointed out to us. And it has turned out to be the best possible place to live!
There is no comparison to the states because everything is so superior.

Meats and Cheese board with some local wines at Mercado Bom Succeso, Porto.


The quality of the food and wine alone is worth moving for. Not to mention the great weather and low cost of living. The country itself is spectacular.
Covid notwithstanding, I could be content to spend the rest of my days traveling through Portugal alone. It is tiny but so packed with eye-popping beauty.


As much as I love wines from other countries, it is hard to drink anything other than the local wines.
They are so good and can be had for a fraction of the price. Anything you could want can be had here. If you like Burgundy, get a Jaen (red) or Encruzado (white) from the Dão. Bordeaux? A red or white from the Douro. California? Alentejo, Tejo, or Sétubal has drops that compare. Champagne? Bairrada has you covered.
Fabulous sparkling wines, in general, can be had from any wine region in Portugal.

And it does not stop there, dessert wines?
Porto, Madeira, and, Sétubal all have a unique diversity of sweet wines.

Quinta do Tedo award winning tawny Port.

The fun never stops, as I like to say.

I used to say that I could spend the rest of my life exploring Italy, another wine mecca.
Now, I know that I will spend the rest of my life exploring Portugal. Hopefully, I can revisit Italy too. 😉
Meanwhile, viva Portugal!
Sáude.

So many great wines, so little time.

I have been a wine lover, professional and otherwise, for as long as I can remember. I have been a serious student of wine and spirits for the past twelve plus years.

When I was working in the wine and spirits retail business in Denver, I attended a lot of trade tastings. Little did I know back in 2014 that one of them would be a big preview of my then-unknown future.

Wines of Portugal is a collective put together in 2010 to help promote Portuguese wines internationally. I went to the day-long event they put on in Denver and was blown away by the quality and diversity of the wines. And now I live in what I consider to be one of the wine meccas of the world, Portugal. What are the odds? Pretty good in this case, as it turns out. 

Any type of wine you can think of exists in Portugal. Red, white, rose, light-bodied to full-bodied, dry to sweet, and sparkling in every possible form. I have had reds that could pass for Bordeaux or Barolo. Espumantes that could be mistaken for Champagne, and reds and whites that are every bit as good as any Burgundy. It is amazing. The world of wine lives in Portugal. And at the same time, they are totally unique. There are over 250 indigenous grapes grown here that are only grown here. And blends are king. If you like California red blends, you have got to love almost any of the Portuguese reds.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Pacheca Grande Reserva Touriga Nacional 2015.

Pacheca is an epic Douro winery that makes equally epic wines. They are all good. From the whites to the roses, along with the reds and ports, I have never met one that I did not like. The Touriga Nacional Grande Reserve pictured is a powerhouse equal to any great California Cab but with the elegance of a left bank Bordeaux. (No Cabernet necessary.) 

The Pedra do Gato from Vinhas da Passarella is a Dão blend that is reminiscent of Barolo. Light in color, it delivers dynamic power in the flavors, with firm tannins and great acidity. It hails from the Serra da Estrela sub-region, which is famous for its cheese. Together, they are a match made in heaven.

Cabriz Brut Bubbly.

Cabriz is another producer from the Dão region whose wines are all delicious. The sparkling brut is about as refreshing as they come. It has fine bubbles, citrine color, and fruit flavors of green apple and citrus. In a word, delightful.

Even though I am not currently in the wine trade, I plan to keep on tasting and learning about this unusual world of Portuguese wine and writing about it. This could take a while. Luckily, I have plenty of time.