Monday, July 20, 2020

Silk & Spice 2018 Red Blend, Portugal

Silk & Spice 2018 Red BlendFrom Portugal’s Spice Route comes an exotic wine with robust flavors.

Wine Tasting In A Pandemic

Wine tasting with friends is sure different than it used to be. In days gone by, before COVID-19, friends would arrive, we’d share appetizers or a meal while carrying on conversations, giving hugs and handshakes and sharing plenty of wine.

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Now a wine tasting involves methods previously reserved for handling radioactive materials. When our friends stopped by the other night, we had chairs on the patio spaced out for social distancing and disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer strategically located. Filling a wine glass meant placing the glass on a table between us, then I’d fill it up and retreat before our guests grabbed their glass. Sharing food? That involved tongs, individually wrapped food and elaborate maneuvers.

Of course, the evening with our friends was worth all the safety procedures. Everyone needs to be safe these days, not only for their own sake but for the sake of others. The wine we tasted certainly justified the effort.

Enjoying The Indigenous Grapes

We uncorked the 2018 Silk & Spice Red by Sogrape Vinhos from Portugal. The Spice Route was created by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century to bring exotic spices like clove and nutmeg to the Western world. This wine aims to capture the mystery and flavors of that famed trading route.

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Silk & Spice is a blend of indigenous grapes: 40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Alicante Bouchet, and 30% Baga. For whatever reason, I thought we’d be sipping a light-bodied red. I was therefore surprised by my first sip of deep, silky wine. This wine would do well with a nice steak or a big cheeseburger. Have I mentioned I’ve really been craving a cheeseburger lately?

The flavors are intense and the body is lush. There are rich extracted notes of raspberry and leather. The fruit is bold and there are pleasing vanilla highlights. The finish is long and lingering. The wine is finished in stainless steel to keep the brightness.

This is a wine to drink now, although it could age for up to five years. You can find Silk & Spice for less than $15, quite a bargain.

After finishing the bottle of Silk & Spice, I resolved to drink more wine from Portugal. We already enjoy wines from Spain, but we’re eager to seek out vinho from its Iberian Peninsula neighbor.

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

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