I have a strong memory of a wine I’m afraid I’ll never have again. It was a bom vinho da casa served in a churrasqueira in Peso da Regua, in the Douro region of Portugal. In a locals’ restaurant with no written menu we let the hostess choose our meal — grilled chicken with piri-piri sauce, onions, salad, rice and potatoes — and wine. She really pushed the bom vinho, and I’m glad she did. It arrived extremely chilled in an unmarked bottle sans cork and smelled like white port without the brandy. It had a tangy apple-y aroma, and a wild character. Unfiltered, it had an extraordinary amount of flavor and sediment — the sediment was something I enjoyed, but would no doubt be an unwelcome presence for most white wine drinkers. The wine was an excellent match for the warm day and highly flavorful chicken.

I intend to use this blog as a forum in which to discuss real wines like this, full of character and interest. I reject the high alcohol, low acid, clean and fruity, “international” wines made from the same 5 grape varieties. Give me Pineau d’Aunis! Trousseau! Romorantin! Prié Blanc! Grapes from climates that produce lower alcohol wines with lots of acidity, and interesting savory and mineral qualities in addition to fruit. Wines that smell great and encourage you to finish the bottle with dinner. I’ll also talk about food, travel, and general activities and how they pertain to these sorts of delightful wines.

I’ll leave you with a view of the terraced vineyards of Peso da Regua:

Terraced vineyards of Peso da Regua