by Dwight Casimere
Made from grapes that are native to Protugal, 36% Tinta Barroca, 31% Tinta Roriz, 10% Tinta Francisca and 9% each of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional (Portugal's flagship grape) makes for a uniquely concentrated wine that is full of flavors of dark, ripe plums, small juicy berries that have been turned into jam and a lingering note of smokey barbecue. This is a terrific wine to have with ribs or a grilled steak. One of my favorites is steak au poivre, which is a strip steak covered with green or black peppercorns, then quickly sauteed in butter and then smothered with a sauce made with the pan drippings, minced shallots, garlic and mushrooms and then finished with a generous gob of butter to give the pan sauce a smooth, shiny finish. Be sure to add a dash of the wine in the sauce to bring out its richness. The concentrated flavors of the wine meld perfectly with the peppery flavors that emanate from the steak and the condensed flavors of ripe fruit and soft tannins will cut through the richness of the meat to give you a pleasurable finish on the palate. This is a great wine for any hearty winter time meal. From a meat lover's pizza, to Momma's lasagna or Sunday meat sauce to ribs or a fine steak.