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Vinho Verde: Dom Diogo Padeiro from Quinta da Raza

Dom Diogo Padeiro from Quinta da Raza

Even though it’s designated as a “Vinho Verde”, the Dom Diogo Padeiro from Quinta da Raza is not green or even white – it’s pink!

The Minho province is home to the crisp, dry white Vinho Verde we love to sip in the summertime, but folks there also make pink and red wines from local grapes. Most Vinho Verde rosé is mass-produced, simple and refreshing but not all that interesting. Quinta da Raza is a small winery run by Jose Diogo Teixeria and his wife Mafalda. The winery has been in Jose’s family since the 1800s. The climate and soil in this area are unique in the Vinho Verde, as the soils are rich with granite and schist, and there is less rainfall and more sun than in other Vinho Verde sub-zones. Jose farms organically, growing his grapes for quality, and his wines are more complex than most Vinho Verdes. They are also also more expensive than most, but at $11.95 a bottle for the rosé and $9.95 for the white that’s not really saying much. There are two grapes commonly used in in Vinho Verde rosé but Jose uses just one: Padeiro. Padeiro is an early-ripening grape with a wonderful aroma of ripe, red cherries.

Like his white Vinho Verde, this rosé has a perky little effervescence. From the dark color you can tell that there’s a good amount of body to this wine. It’s not sweet, but it has a ripe fruitiness reminiscent of cherries, plums and berries. Despite a rich body the abundant acidity and fizz make for a clean, refreshing finish.

Sip this tasty rose on the last warm days of summer, preferably outdoors in the sunshine! It’s fine as an aperitif on its own, but makes a great food wine as well. The combination of fruit and acidity here makes the Jose’s rosé a great companion to classic American cook-out foods like grilled burgers and dogs, creamy potato salad and coleslaw.

Julie Cappellano is the General Manager and Wine Buyer at Formaggio Kitchen South End, Boston.

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Clams on the Grill with Chris Schlesinger

We are devotees of legendary grillmaster and renowned chef, Chris Schlesinger. We were fortunate to have Chris as a guest in our classroom in July and he has kindly given us permission to share a couple of his wonderful recipes – the first was for “Grilled Mussels with Mango Curry Sauce.” Sticking with the crustaceans, this recipe features another local delicacy: littleneck clams. (more…)

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Chris Schlesinger's Grilled Mussels with Mango Curry Sauce

In July, we were very lucky to welcome Chef Chris Schlesinger to our classroom not once, but twice! First up, he taught an amazing “Seafood Grilling” class and was behind the grill a second time for “Grilling 101.” Chef Schlesinger, of East Coast Grill fame, is co-author – along with John “Doc” Willoughby – of several grilling classics and is Valerie’s annual challenger in The Great Westport Paella Tournament. This year (the fifth that the tourney has been in existence), Valerie let Chris win for the first time ever (sorry, Chef!). Friendly rivalry aside, we are big fans of Chris’ food – he works the grill with hard-won experience and a natural intuition. The below recipe appears in Chris and John’s book, Grill It! and was one Chris used in his “Seafood Grilling” class – he kindly gave us permission to share this glorious recipe as we savor the last days of summer! (more…)

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