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Escapada Vinho Tinto 2018

Escapada Vinho Tinto 2018

Lisbon, Portugal - one of the top destinations on my travel list. As a whole, I think Portuguese wines are undiscovered. It's not an area you hear about a lot. Personally I'm a big fan of Vinho Verde, a almost effervescent white wine from Portugal as an inexpensive table wine. Reds on the other hand, I'm not especially familiar with... which is exactly what led me to the Portugal aisle the other day.

Cold, wet November afternoon and I wanted something smooth to warm me up. I found this Lisboa red blend, "made from the region's typical grape varieties." Likely, Touriga Nacional, Castellao, Alicante Bouschet... not varietals you hear of everyday.

This medium plus bodied red poured a beautiful deep ruby colour with just a hint of violet. I found the alcohol overwhelmed the fruit on the nose at first but once it blew off (maybe should have decanted for a few minutes) there was distinct aromas of black fruit like black cherry and blackberry with the undertones of cedar and vanilla. The flavours followed suit with the dark fruit and warm spices. The tannins were definitely smooth and well-integrated but I found the acidity fairly well balanced, or maybe just a little low. I'll have to see if I find that across the board in Portuguese reds being the grapes are coming from such a hot climate. The finish was fairly persistent.

This easy-drinking red really doesn't need food... it's a great hot tub wine, or bath tub wine if you're stuck at home in quarantine. But if you're making dinner, this is a red that could go with a food that is just mildly spicy since the acidity won't hurt your tongue after eating something with a little heat. In fact, it might just be a great addition to a bowl of Turkey Taco Soup or my Chicken + Pepper Enchiladas.


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