Try This ‘Everyday’ Red with Any Savory Dish

Try This ‘Everyday’ Red with Any Savory Dish

Portugal delivers some of the world’s best values

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496030Today’s review comes with a twist. Even if you can’t find today’s wine, I heartily recommend that you go to your nearest wine shop and pick up a bottle of reasonably priced Portuguese Dão. This regional wine has been a favorite of mine for decades, and it continues to be a best buy in characterful red wine. Made from three indigenous Portuguese grapes, it offers a complex wine experience worthy of higher-priced examples from elsewhere. Besides today’s estate, Casa De Santar, also look for Caves Aliança, Quinta De Cabriz and Terras do Dão for value. I paid $9 for today’s example, but expect to pay in the $9-$12 range. Any vintage from 2010 on will do fine. (The younger your choice, the more time it needs to sit uncorked before drinking.) Good luck, and let me know if you agree that these are some kind of value!

2010 Dão, Casa de Santar $9-$12 srp

Brilliant ruby color. A complex nose of cherry compote, raspberry and sweet earth with a myriad of overriding elements including smoke, violets, pepper and dark chocolate. Flavors are medium-bodied but chock-full of tar, spice and leather surrounding the dried cherry component. “Meaty” and rich with a mineral edge, this drinks beautifully upon opening. (35% Touriga Nacional, 35% Tinta Roriz, and 30% Alfrocheiro Preto grapes.) Any savory dish will welcome this red.

90/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.