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Fernão Pires

If you like Viognier, Rousanne or Torrontés.

Another of Portugal’s oldest varieties and by far one of the most cultivated, Fernão Pires is found in virtually all winegrowing regions, being strongest in Ribatejo and Bairrada, where it is known as Maria Gomes. A high-yield vine, Fernão Pires comes under criticism for producing one-dimensional wines lacking in acidity and prone to oxidation, but attentive care can bring out its extraordinary intoxicating aromas and a capacity to produce distinctive strong character. It shows ripe citrus aromas and notes of mimosa, lime and orange tree, putting it in the family of aromatic grapes with Alvarinho, Loureiro and Moscatel.

Food Pairing with Fernão Pires/Maria Gomes:

Picking up on the intoxicating fruit character is a successful approach to thinking about Fernão Pires at table. Examples of dishes that sing with this wine include white fish served with mango salad, a coconut infused curry dish (light on spice), a loin of pork served with apricot chutney, or a pan roasted breast of chicken served with a plum mostarda. Experience the smooth round nature of this wine by playing up elements that accentuate its body. Dishes with macadamia nuts, pine nuts, or cashews work well with this grape. And one need look no further for a perfect white wine for traditional empanadas, onion tarts, or other savory/sweet appetizers.

Asian duet: Peking duck with hoisin sauce, green onions, and pancakes

European duet: Moroccan lamb tajine with honey and raisins

American duet: Brazilian seafood stew with coconut and tomatoes