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Baga

If you like medium-bodied Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir or Xinomavro.

One of the highest yielding Portuguese grape varieties, Baga can be found in a few parts of the country, but is most concentrated in the Beiras area, especially in Bairrada and Dão. The grapes come into their own when ripe, showing wines of deep colour, great structure and ample acidity with powerful tannins and balanced brilliantly to evolve well in the bottle.

The aroma starts out with red cherry/berry fruit developing into red/black plum, tobacco and coffee bean flavors finishing with expansive complexity. The grape’s ample acid leads to quality sparkling wine production, and it is often proclaimed as the best in Portugal comes from the region of Bairrada.

Food Pairing with Baga:

Baga, as a red wine, is an acquired taste for many as it’s not for the faint of heart. With the vibrant acidity and ample tannins of Nebbiolo, balanced by some nuances that are clearly more like Pinot Noir, it is absolutely magic with food. locally it is traditional to pair with rich suckling pig (and it is stupendous), else where any other rich food will do fine- from pork belly to duck, from rich pastas to ribs sticking stews. Baga’s acidity enables it to pair with some seafood including squid and red-wine focused shrimp dishes. Cheese wise, it matches nicely with milder and high acid examples (goat, feta, etc). As a sparkling wine, the sky is the limit – from tapas to spring rolls, samosas to varied crudités.

Asian duet: Fried rice with Chinese sausage, char siu pork, and bok choy

European duet: Roast suckling pig (leitão, cochinillo, cochon de lait, etc.)

American duet: Slow-smoked southern BBQ beef ribs with mustard and vinegar