“It’s like getting a hug.” That’s how Rute Goncalves, manager at Adega Wine Shop (127 Main St, Ossining 914-432-5829), describes drinking the Douro wine that owner Antonio Da Silva imports from Portugal. The Douro Valley has been upping its game in the last 10 years, says Goncalves, producing “full-bodied, intense” red table wines using the same grapes found in port to accompany rich Portuguese dishes.
Douro is just one variety found at the small shop, where 80 percent of the stock is Portuguese, including Vinho Verde from the northern part of the country, perfect for pairing with seafood, and the sweet Madeira wine most people associate with this part of Iberia. “Our whole idea was to introduce Portuguese wine to the American wine world,” says Goncalves. There are, after all, more than 250 varietals native to Portugal. The remaining 20 percent of the shelf space at Adega represents the best of the rest of the globe: Chilean Carménères, Argentinian Malbecs, Spanish Riojas, and German Rieslings, to name a few.
New to Portuguese wine? Goncalves recommends an entry-level Douro like Duas Quintas ($14.99/750 ml), which uses five different port varietals for a full-bodied flavor, with a red fruit flourish. “It’s what Portuguese people would bring to a party and know everyone would love it.” Works for us.