Have you ever tried Portuguese sparkling wine? This was the first time I’d seen it – well done Oddbins! And if you are expecting something similar to Cava then think again. Like Cava (and Champagne), it is made via the traditional method, so has much more depth and complexity than the average prosecco, but is crisp and refreshing: lemons, grapefruit, nectarine with whispers of smoke and musky white blossom. Perfect for summer drinking – and £15 (at time of writing) is a great price for a sparkling wine of this quality.
Producer Filipa Pato is a rising star in the Portuguese wine making world and akin to her famous father, is determined to put the region of Bairrada on the map. Her strapline is “authentic wines without make-up” reflecting her belief that wine making (and drinking it) should be fun, encompassing a balance of traditions with new technologies. This wine is made from a blend of three white native grapes of Portugal – Arinto, Bical and Maria Gomes – which are all quite zingy and aromatic (and relatively easy to pronounce unlike many of their peers!).
Bairrada is in the north of Portugal, the coastal area south of Porto and the famous Port area. Despite seeing so little of it in the UK, at least, it is Portugal’s most renowned area for sparkling wine. Maritime breezes help keep the grapes nice and fresh, in other words, good acidity – which is even more important for sparkling wines.
At a glance
- Style? Sparkling white wine
- Where is it from? Bairrada, north west Portugal
- What’s the grape? Arinto, Bical and Maria Gomes
- Tastes of? Lemon, elderflower and a hint of marzipan
- What food would complement it? Nice on its own or with a summery salad such as Feta & Watermelon Salad