If you’re not familiar with Portuguese wines, or even if you are, it would be worth your time to try a bottle of Giesta. I acquired two bottles of the 2014 vintage red blend wine from a wine club we were trying out and opened one on a recent Saturday evening to drink with a seafood pasta dish that Paul was cooking “ala minuto” (meaning he was making it up with whatever ingredients we had on hand).
First, the bottle itself is very attractive. The black Giesta label with gold lettering says classy and sophisticated all over it (this would easily be a nice gift to bring to a dinner party especially at about ($16.00 a bottle). Open the bottle and pour a gorgeous deep red-colored wine into the glass. On the nose, there are aromas of earth and spice. Tasting the wine, the deep red berry fruit coupled with spice melts in your mouth with a smooth, mild and dry finish.
Winemaker Nuno Cancela de Abreu crafts Giesta with Touriga Nacional (star Port grape), Tinta Roriz, and Jaen which is also known as Tempranillo and Mencia.
The Dao DOC Region
The Dao DOC region of Portugal is one of the oldest wine regions in the country even though only about 5% of the land is planted with vines. The region is surrounded by mountains that protect the land from severe climate changes including cold wind and storms. Vineyards, most of which have been in the same families for generations, are planted on sandy soil with granite underneath resulting in wines that have intense minerality, and rich color.
Foods to pair with Giesta can include pork or stews, or in our case, it was the perfect accompaniment to Paul’s “ala minuto” dish of pasta, shrimp and scallops in a fire roasted tomato sauce with a splash of balsamic vinegar, marinated artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and kalamata olives.
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