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 "...A Portuguese Red From Port Grapes" 
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Post "...A Portuguese Red From Port Grapes"
A Wine Lover's Weekly Guide To $10 Wines - A Portuguese Red From Port Grapes
by: Levi Reiss

The Douro Valley of northwest Portugal is particularly well known for its Port wine. This wine is not a Port, but it is made from typical Port grapes such as Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. While this wine isn't organic, the producer has developed an Environment Management System, which it sees as a contribution for sustainable development and the preservation of natural resources. By the way, Charamba is a Nineteenth Century Portuguese dance.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review have been purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Charamba Douro 2007 13.0% alcohol cost about $9.

Let's start by quoting the marketing materials. Tasting Note: Deep purple color with ruby highlights; aromas of plum, black currant, and spice; dry, medium to full-bodied, crisp acidity, with flavors of spice, earth, and red currant. Serving Suggestion: Serve with spareribs. And now for my review.

At the first sips the wine started thin but was quite long. It pleasantly tasted of oak. Its first pairing was with home made chicken "nuggets" with Mediterranean spices to which I added an orange slightly sweet, slightly spicy Thai dipping sauce. With the sauced chicken the wine was powerful with a pleasant taste of oak. It was round and lightly tannic. The wine balanced nicely with the accompanying potatoes roasted in chicken fat. There was also an overly spicy salsa with tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and cilantro that weakened the Douro somewhat.

The next meal involved a boxed eggplant parmigiana that I slathered in grated Parmesan cheese. The wine presented the right combination of acid and tannins. There were plums and caramel.

My final meal was composed of barbecued beef ribs covered in a sweet ketchup-based sauce. This wine was quite powerful and tasted oaky with some tobacco. The accompaniments were the same as in the initial pairing. When it met the potatoes the wine retained its power and washed the grease away. Once again the salsa weakened the wine, but only marginally.

I ended the bottle with two local cheeses. When paired with a relatively tasteless brick cheese, the wine provided some black cherries and cinnamon. It was pleasant but not powerful. When paired with a tastier Swiss cheese, the wine was somewhat acidic with black cherries but it was weakened.

Final verdict. Not bad for a bargain wine. I would buy it again. In fact, you may be lucky enough to find it for considerably less.

About The Author
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but would rather just drink fine German or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches various computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. Check out his global wine website with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.
The author invites you to visit:

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Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:41 am
 [ 1 post ] 

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