I recently watched a CBS Sunday Morning segment titled Rick Steves, Stuck at Home. It featured how the eponymous European travel guide, sidelined from his European travels has discovered new domestic passions like cooking and playing trumpet. With the pandemic forcing so many American travelers to postpone their European vacation, they (like Rick Steves) are recreating Europe in their own kitchen. Inspired by this news story, I set out to find a tasty European red wine during my latest CO-OP Run. I had heard wonderful things about Portuguese reds both in terms of affordability and taste. So, I scoured the shelves and believe I found the solitary Portuguese red out of the entire red wine selection: Contos Da Terra. Knowing very little about wines from Portugal, I had to do some research to see what I was getting into. The “DOC DOURO” on the label showcased it received Portugal’s highest wine classification and that it was produced near the Douro River: a region also known for its port production. I also discovered Douro varietals are known for an inky purple color brought on by the thick skinned grapes that survive the intense summer heat of the area. In terms of flavor, it was rather dry, acidic, but noticeably fruity with flavors of cherry, plum, and blackberry. I was pleased to sample it alongside some light hors d’oeuvres shared amongst family. We all agreed that the full bodied red would be better paired with a heavier meal such as pasta or grilled red meat. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable, affordable, and obtainable. Hopefully travel restrictions will ease soon and a proper European vacation will be obtainable too.

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