Portuguese Wines Climb to New Heights at Annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

Jul 16, 2018

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Top trade professionals, journalists, and wine-savvy consumers flocked to the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen from June 14 to June 17, 2018, and the wines of Portugal were ready to greet them. Throughout the much-anticipated, three-day series of events, Portuguese wines stood out in the crowd. Showcased under the tent at the grand tasting pavilion, in dedicated seminars, and at an exclusive dinner hosted by Wines of Portugal, Portuguese wines surprised and delighted attendees with their diversity and quality.

Portuguese wines, which have become a fixture at the Classic, were represented by nine wineries from across Portugal at the Classic’s cornerstone grand tasting tent.  Throughout the weekend, 5,000 attendees had the opportunity to sample wines from Douro, Porto, Vinho Verde, Alentejo, Madeira, and Bairrada. Wine personality and author Leslie Sbrocco, along with Wines of Portugal U.S. Ambassador Eugenio Jardim, also hosted several sessions of a dedicated seminar titled “Portugal’s Perfect Pours,” exclusively featuring wines from Portugal. Trade, media, and consumer attendees were led through a tasting of six Portuguese wines and received an educational overview of the country’s wine styles, regions, and grape varieties.

“The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is a phenomenal opportunity to reach the wine industry’s most important sommeliers, writers, and influencers,” Sónia Vieira, Head of Promotion & Education Departments for ViniPortugal, says. “Whether attendees were already familiar with Portuguese wines or being newly introduced, all were thrilled to discover the wide range of wines that only our country’s vintners can produce.”

Away from the enthusiastic masses of wine lovers, Wines of Portugal also hosted a Saturday evening, invitation-only dinner at Element 47, the private dining room of Aspen’s finest hotel, The Little Nell. Select members of the press and trade were taken on a three-course journey, led by Eugenio Jardim, Wines of Portugal U.S. Ambassador, and David Ransom, East Coast Editor of the SOMM Journal, through Portuguese wines paired with traditional dishes from Portugal, like bacalhau, pata negra and pasteis de nata. The menu was specially designed by Executive Chef Matt Zubrod and MS Wine Director Carlton Mc Coy. Among the 35 attendees were legendary chef Jacques Pepin and his daughter, who happily sipped and dined the night away Portuguese-style.

All weekend, Wines of Portugal brought the Food & Wine Classic to Portuguese wine lovers across the U.S. via social media. Wine blogger and influencer Alyssa Vitrano of @Grapefriend, who has over 165,000 followers on her own Instagram account, took over the Wines of Portugal social media accounts @wptusa, recording live from the seminar sessions and posting photos of Portuguese wines from the grand tasting, private dinner, and more using the hashtag #AWorldOfDifference.

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