Sardine Memories: Portugal’s Vinho Verde Wines and My Sardine Blues

Vinho Verde is in the Minho region just north of Opporto and actually some of the Minho juts into Spain. Vinho Verde can be made from 25 grapes or a combination of them. Traditionally these wines were so acidic you could see a slight fizz to the wine. Over the past few years they have improved into more, shall we say, serious wines.

Dinner at Postigo: Photo Robert K. Stephen

The wine I have chosen is a Muralhas de Monção. Monção and Ponte de Lima are the two areas for some of the best Vinho Verde I have tried.

When in Opporto I always drop in and see my friend Alex at his restaurant in old Opporto immensely popular with locals and tourists. The restaurant is Postigo do Carvao which in my mind is one of the best seafood restaurants in Portugal. It is non pretentious, down home and my go to restaurant for sardines. No not the ones in the can but grilled fresh. Mention you like grilled sardines to a Portuguese and their face will light up.

If you do go to the restaurant reservations are definitely required but given COVID how quickly Opporto will recover is unknown as it increasingly seems to rely on cruise ships which we know are petri dishes for COVID and the Norwalk virus. Also go hungry as the appetizers are incredible and many! And the roast potatoes!

Well my go to wine for the sardines I eat and miss so sorely is the Muralhas de Monção which suits sardines and all the white fleshed ocean fish on his menu. Yes there are meat dishes on the menu but please this is Portugal right on the Atlantic.

The wine is a blend of Alvarinho and Trajadura. And you can see the tiny spritzy bubbles especially after you have poured it. On the nose this golden coloured wine has notes of lime, lemon, and melon with a slight hint of butterscotch. On the palate the acidity is not going to scrape the enamel of your teeth but it pairs well the oily sardines. Some bare bones apple and pear on the palate with a short finish with a hint of milk to it. Alright as a wine it is not going to get a rave review from me but with Postigo seafood it is a killer.

Yes I have The Sardine Blues and the only vaccine for that for me is a plate of sardines at Postigo.

(Muralhas de Monção 2019, Monção e Melgaço Vinho Verde DOC, Adega Coop. Regional de Monção, Monção, Portugal, $ 15.95, LCBO # 80374, 12.5%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen Set The Bar Rating, 87/100)

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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