Chanfana and Touriga Nacional
Although the home of some renowned seafood, the Portuguese do love their meat, and it is this that stars in our next local dish. Chanfana is a comforting stew of roast goat, with plenty of red wine and the odd spice or two.
Traditionally cooked in black clay pots, this slowly roasted stew is the ultimate winter warmer. Expect succulent sweet meat falling off the bone and a subtly spiced gravy.
Such a hearty dish calls for a robust, full-bodied red wine. Luckily, the Douro has wines aplenty to fit the bill! Touriga Nacional is one of the most widely planted grapes in the region, used in the production of both Port and dry red wine. Most Portuguese reds are blends, but those with a large proportion of Touriga Nacional will be the perfect accompaniment for Chanfana.
Think complex spice and dried herb aromas, and intense dark fruit and plum flavours. A bit of age and time in oak will also help the story along, so look out for Garrafeira or Reserve on the bottle label.
Pastel de Nata and Tawny Port
For those with a sweet tooth, I haven’t forgotten about you – and neither have the Portuguese, it seems! The standout sweet treat of the country has to be the wonderful Pastel de Nata.
Originally created by Catholic monks in Lisbon, these little egg custard tarts are heavenly! A buttery pastry case holds silken set custard and the whole lot is topped off with a light dusting of cinnamon. Whether as a naughty breakfast indulgence, at the end of a meal, or eaten just because, a Pastel de Nata will not fail to bring your mouth joy!
This makes a wine pairing all the more challenging. Step up, Tawny Port. The most mature style of Port, it is aged in wood which gives the wine nutty, dried fruit characteristics. It is this nuttiness that brings out the brown-butter flavours of the pastry, and the warm caramel spice compliments the vanilla and cinnamon nuances of the custard. This is a food and wine match that truly resonates as distinctly Portuguese.
Has this whet your appetite for Portuguese food and wine? Why not try some... in Portugal!? Here are our lists of top wine tours, wineries and hotels.