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Castelão

If you like Barbera, ripe Cabernet Franc or Tempranillo (full-bodied Rioja).

As the most widely-grown red grape variety in Portugal it is still often referred to in Portuguese as Periquita, although that name is legally owned by José Maria da Fonseca in the Setúbal Peninsula outside of Lisbon. It is highly adaptable to different climatic conditions and its remarkable versatility enables winemakers to make a range of wines – from the easy drinking and quaffable reds and rosados to the powerful and intense reds perfectly suited to lengthy cellaring. Castelão comes into its own and is most expressive in the Sétubal Peninsula, where it makes meaty and intense wines with aromas of red berries and blue flowers that marry well with the deft use of oak.

Food Pairing with Castelão:

Castelão is a ubiquitous grape in Portugal found not only in the Setubal region but in the Tejo and in Alentejo. While many styles exist, as a rule it retains a food friendly acidity. Herbal scented recipes (e.g. marinated meats, a stew garnished with fresh herbs), grilled tuna, and dishes with capsaicin (peppers) such as those traditionally from the Southwest (with anchos and pasillas) and indeed Mexican food (a go to grape for enchiladas) are also sublime. When enjoyed a Rosado, Castelão is super with some fuller fish dishes, especially those that include peppers, tomato, and spices (such as the classic snapper veracruzana) or Rhode Island’s version of fried calamari (with sautéed peppers)

Asian duet: Slow-roasted Korean short ribs marinated with garlic and soy sauce

European duet: Assorted French charcuterie, Italian salumi, or Iberian chorizo/linguiça

American duet: Brazilian feijoada of beef, pork, and black beans