$10 Douro Red, Anthony Bourdain & Bifanas
It was a “wet” night, and the following morning I felt less than “sparkling.” The early afternoon pangs of hunger entered with a growl. In moments like these, only seasoned meat, exquisitely aligned between fresh bread, can quell the hammering in the head and quiet the rumbling in the stomach.
In the hungry recesses of my mind, I remembered Anthony Bourdaine in Portugal. He was wolfing down Bifanas, the country’s famous pork sandwich. For a few moments I quietly fantasized how amazing it would be to have such a sandwich in my hand, and a comforting bottle of Portuguese red wine to wash it down. Nothing cerebral mind you, just something simple, pleasing and red.
Sadly, my reverie was broken by the reality that I would not be able to find a Bifana in my neck of the woods. My imagination then drifted on to a more attainable image of a Five Guys burger, complete with a side of fries. Soon, my Bifana fantasy devolved into a beef-on-bun fantasy with all the trimmings.
All was not lost. As Walter Sobchak from the Big Lebowski has taught me, “If you will it Dude, it is no dream” (Paraphrasing Theodor Herzl).
What was on my mind and in my glass was Calcuda Wine Estate’s, Lago Douro Valley Red 2015. This Portuguese beauty is a sumptuous red wine. Aged 3 months in French and American oak the wine is comprised of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinto Barroca. In the glass the wine radiates with smoldering chocolate, black cherry, dried fig and overripe plum. The wine has cabernet like weight but without fatiguing oak accents. There’s a concentration with this wine that always seems to channel Valpoliclello Ripasso. Swigg has carried this wine for several vintages, and though this wine has been quite popular, the 2015 is truly a knockout. It’s a delightful little wine that helped take the edge off and flesh out my “meat laden day dreams” even if they didn’t include a Bifana.