Despite several visits to Spain and a deep love for the Iberian Peninsula, I’ve never made it as far west as Portugal. Over the years, I’ve heard countless reports of the famous wine caves of Porto and grapes that are still foot-trodden, not to mention what many claim to be the best seafood in the world. So to me, this country has taken on quite a bit of mystery and allure. (As I write these words, I can’t resist opening a separate window to run a search on flights to Lisbon this summer.)
Researching this edition was a blast. As it turns out, Portugal has undergone something of a wine renaissance over the past few decades, as winemakers (and the export market) have placed increasing attention on dry wine. From what I’ve seen, the results are spectacular. Not one of the bottles that I tasted for this volume was less than delicious, and in this box, all but one are completely dry. There is a lot of very delicious Portuguese wine out there for those who know where to look.
The six wines in this collection hail from six different appellations, and more or less by accident, four of them are mono-varietal. Then again, on the other end of the spectrum, one of the blended wines here contains more than 25 varieties, which were picked as a field blend. (Any guesses what it is?)
On a creative level, Volume XXIV provided me with the opportunity to collaborate with a brilliant artist, Sid Katraggada, whom I was recently introduced to here in San Diego. Sid’s style is both graceful and eye-catching, and I was honored by his eagerness to incorporate wine into his own themes on behalf of Le Metro. I hope that you enjoy this introduction to his work, entitled Vinum Florere I.
Aaron Epstein, Curator