Thursday, February 5, 2009

Expectations of Dão Cut in Half (And No, This Has Nothing to Do With the Economy)

There's a great thing in your wine shop that many people overlook: half-bottles. If you find it hard to get through a full bottle before it oxidizes or if you want to try a wine that would otherwise be too expensive if bought in the 750 ml bottle, then this is a good opportunity. There's a lot of different wines available in 375 ml bottles, although to find them you would have to go to a good wine shop.

I found this half-bottle at my local wine store, Cardoza's. Southeastern Massachusetts has a lot of Portuguese immigrants, so we have two amazing things that are easily available and make my life more amazing: chorizo and Portuguese wines. I saw the half-bottles located at the front of the store. They had wines from many different areas: California, France, Italy, and Portugal. As I'm more of a red wine drinker and the other wine drinker in the house prefer whites, I'm usually alone in my red wine drinking pursuits. For me, buying this makes sense as I'm sometimes working at night and am the only one to have reds. Usually, full bottles of red tend to oxidize before I can finish them, even though I use Vacu-Vin.

I had the 2005 Quinta dos Grilos from the Dão region in Portugal and it was $6.99. It was a gorgeous purple color. It smells like black cherry soda, kirsch, fig, cassis, graphite, and a hint of rubber. On the mouthfeel, the wine had tons of black fruits, cherries, vanilla, but it lacked an intensity that I look for. It was a bit flabby.

This wine reminds me of a movie that's been hyped and you're looking forward to it, but when you sit down to watch, it's a disappointment. For me, this mirrors my experience with "Superbad." I heard "Judd Apatow," "Michael Cera," and "Seth Rogan" and was very excited for a sweet film with some funny, filthy humor. And sure, the whole McLovin thing was funny, but when it came down to it, I was disinterested rather quickly and half-watching, went to do other things. It was the same thing with this wine.

I've had some really kick-ass Portuguese wines before and had expectations that this would be a continuation. However, upon drinking it, I was semi-disappointed. It was really a bad wine per se, just lackluster, like "Superbad." This wine was in no way a "Wayne's World"- something I will continue to quote until I've left this Earth. Cause seriously, I hate when movies bore me.

"I once thought I had mono for an entire year. It turned out I was just really bored."


"Okay, how 'bout F: You're a gimp."


  1. "Lost in America" is that movie for me. All kinds of critical praise, and it was completely "meh". Do you like the Vacu-Vin? I use the gas thing (Preservino?), and am dubious as to its effectiveness.

  2. Yeah, I've used Private Preserve and Vacu-Vin and I prefer the latter, although neither is foolproof.

  3. For Portuguese wine, you should go where us Lusitanics go. Just follow the Virgin Mary statues, carport vineyards and, of course, the robust scent of deep fried pork belly. That’s right, brave Oenophile, I’m leading you to the heart of Fall Riviera!

    I think Chaves market at the bottom of Columbia and Broadway streets has the best selection in the area. Chaves (along with Amaral’s Central Market and the Seabra supermarket) also has much better prices than Cardoza’s.

    My favorites, for only $5-6 for a full bottle are the Palestra Douro and Berco do Infante. From the Dao, Quinta do Cabriz is the same price. While it’s a good characteristic Dao, it’s pallet is maybe not as solid as the other two. The Palestra has bright red fruit that everyone likes – a great wine, at any price!

  4. Ah Fall Riiive....thanks for the tip Ben! I'll check it out.