Back to End of November 2012, Lisbon, #Winelover s Flat.
It still mushroom season so it’s the right time to talk about it !
During the #Winelover’s week , organized in Portugal, among the multiple magic excursions and tasting, our host Andre Ribeirinho from Adegga, invited the Young WineMakers of Portugal and a great Portuguese Chef (“ just a bit crazy !”).
The Young WineMakers of Portugal brought their wines to taste and the chef was preparing for us all together, a “Crazy Mushroom #Winelover” dinner with some interesting wine pairing.
As a sommelier, I was really intrigued and fascinated by this idea, since mushrooms are not the easiest ingredients to pair.
Mushrooms are one of the most difficult foods to match with wine.
The various panel of wild fungus are so rich and different in flavors and aromas.
Some of them can be very neutral, some need to be prepared in a right way to be eaten, others will develop more nutty touch, some umami notes can be present, mineral, fruity, meaty, spicy, wood notes,… The number of bricks in this flavors and aromas wall is so vast like the wine world. Ceps, Portobello, Chanterelles, Morels, Truffels,…
It is an ingredient that can really confuse many wine aficionados and some times people get straight in mind to get beer for it. But why not take up the challenge and try to find a good wine pairing?!
Most of the time like a classic ingredient, the mushroom (“the meat of vegetables”) will be applied the rule of the cooking method rule, sauce, fried,… you need to find a wine that will fit the character of your dish and not overpower the dish or rune it ! You need to think right and gentle to please both wine and mushroom!
And at this dinner, it was served no fish, no meat,.. just mushrooms !! A little awkward moment for our friend Simon Woolf, who doesn’t eat mushrooms. Thanks to our kind “Crazy Mushroom Chef”, he had prepared a special menu for him, even if at the end he took time to taste a part of mushroom!
Young WineMakers of Portugal: Who they are ?
Young wine makers of Portugal consists of Joao Cabral de Almeida – Chameleon;
Luis Patrao – Vadio; already catching attentions and high points from the International wine commenters; Rita Marques and her - Concept , Diogo and Pedro Campilho Pinion – Hobby , Pedro Barbosa – Clip.
They all produce distinctive wines, and show a new way of differentiated and uninhibited winemaking. Learning from tradition and bringing new methods.The group covers almost all the regions in Portugal: Douro,Vinhos Verdes, Bairrada,Tejo, Lisboa, and Alentejo.
The Menu served was covering different styles and recipes:
-Fresh Mushroom Soup
- “Magic Mix” not really a recipe but a creation from our chef with vegies
- Risotto of Mushrooms
-Fresh Cheese with Mushroom Jam
Vadio Brut Bairrada, a nice elegant sparkling I guess based on Bical and Baga, very gentle for a nice aperitif and was compiling nicely with the mushroom soup, with his fine bubbles, lemony and nutty notes. Bringing light fruity and marying with this austere side of the mushrooms.
Clip Do Monte Da Vaia Vinho Verde Loureiro 2011, fresh citrus aromas, refined, gentle, vibrant acidity and a dry profile. On the same vibe of the first wine, pairing nicely and making the soup richer, also with the risotto bringing a light exotic side.
Conceito Branco Douro 2010, nice intensity, can really feel the womens touch in the winemaking more refined, very delicate and gentle, very citrus aimed with spicy tons, nutty, and well aimed acidity. Looks like a Burgundy influence on the style, very charming. Matching perfectly with the mushroom risotto and the “magic mix”.
Avesso, Sauvi and Verdelho, tasted as aperitif those wines were really distincts and had much character. Nice wines but didn’t get a chance to pair with the food.
Hobby Tinto Alentejano 2008: A nice wine, but slightly to overpowering the mushroom dishes.
Vadio Tinto Bairrada 2005: Powerful wine since based on Baga grapes, but nice profile and playing nicely with the risotto. Would be nice to see in a few years.
Conceito Tinto 2009: Fruity notes, well balanced and very gentle, expressive tannins but well structure pairing nicely with the Risotto and the “magic mix”. A fresh palate, and rich wine with much softness and floral notes.
Dao Jaen 2000: A rich and mature wine, that was more evident to pair with some meat wish we had Simon Woolf to comment on it with his personal menu.
Winelover Douro 2008: A #Winelover cuvee so no comment !!
Some Special also #WINELOVER’S Vintage 2010, Winelover Douro 2008, Conceito Vintage Port & 20 Anos, fortified wines of a great quality ! But didn’t match with the menu, it was just a dessert by itself! A moment of delicacy !
Some other bottles where also on the table Esporao Garrafeira 2000, Quinta da Lagoalva de Cima 2003 and a lovely Italian Vigneti di Torbe Ripasso Valpolicella of Domini Veneti 2008 brought kindly from Italy by our #winelover friends Giampiero Nadali & Elisabetta Tosi
Back to general mushroom / wine:
- Mushroom risotto – Dry whites soft with a fruity side eventually Conceito. Or if more character can get to some Camaleo or even sparkling wine.
- Mushrooms with tomato sauce – for Portuguese wine I would go for some Dao wines matured.
- Mushroom soup – look out for your soup consistence, if creamy and silky goes to Chardonnay or Burgundy style, if much mushrooms in the soup goes to sparkling style, the Vadio was nice.
- Mushrooms raw greek style lemon olive oil– you can aim directly to some aromatic wine such as Vinho Verde, Sauvignon Blanc.
After for the mushrooms I know what to pick, but if you don’t know much ask a specialist if you go to pick yourself mushrooms since many species and varieties are not eatable !
Cheers to all of you #winelover s!!
And for more pictures get to my FB album !