Summer is vacation season, and I’m locked in a cube. So I seize every opportunity to travel vicariously—using nothing but a corkscrew, a glass, and my imagination—by exploring new and interesting wines from places I’d love to visit. If grapes grow there, I’ll go there—at least in spirit.
Discovering a new wine made from an unfamiliar grape makes these explorations even more rewarding. So I “traveled” to Portugal’s Ribatejo region courtesy of Quinta do Alqueve
winery and its 2006 Fernao Pires
, a crisp, refreshing white with a delightful nose of lime zest and the alluring texture of a Roussane from southern France. It sells for $10 and works by itself or with crab cakes. Looking for a summer red? Try the 2005 Tradicional
, from traditional Portuguese grapes and in the same price range. It features bright raspberry fruit and surprising length.
Quinta do Alqueve wines are imported by Robert Kacher Selections. Kacher is a Washington-based importer, and his wines are available at many good wine shops in the area such as Pearsons's (2436 Wisconsin Ave., 202-333-6666) and MacArthur Liquors (4877 MacArthur Blvd., 202-338-1433).