Taking a break from Champagne, I arrived in Porto this morning, and spent a hot, blisteringly sunny Sunday wandering around Vila Nova de Gaia and the Porto waterfront.
I was completely prohibited from leaving my hotel room tonight, as the Euro 2008 final began at 7.45 Portuguese time. So during the match I ordered room service and drank a bottle of red vinho verde (yes, red!) that I purchased today for the princely sum of €3.50. It was a 2006 tinto from the Adega Cooperativa de Ponte da Barca, and it was delicious: pungent, brisk and lively, it was full of brambly blackberry and black plum fruit, and while it was initially a bit severe to drink on its own due to its forceful acidity, it gained a surprising depth and richness with air. I'm not entirely sure what it's made of, but most likely it contains grapes such as azal tinto, borraçal and espadeiro. (All household names, I know.) It was a perfect match with pork and clams, a distinctly Portuguese combination that I actually don't think I could find a better wine for (except for perhaps white vinho verde). The prominent red fruit flavors handled the pork with ease, while the zesty acidity allowed it to play off of the clams (a feat that few red wines can accomplish), and also contrasted the fattiness of the meat. Utterly delicious.
As an aside, before tonight I couldn't have possibly imagined being so excited about Fernando Torres scoring on Jens Lehmann. Speaking as an Arsenal supporter, that boy scares me.