Movie & Wine Pairing

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Aluado Alicante Bouschet 2017
Lisboa IGT, Portugal

Love Affair (1939)
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Leo McCarey’s original version of Love Affair (it would later be remade as An Affair to Remember) is one of the great Hollywood love stories. Like this highly honored red wine, McCarey and stars Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer were all previous Oscar nominees, and the film picked up six nominations of its own. This bottle’s home country of Portugal also makes an appearance, providing the setting for one of the film’s pivotal and most touching moments.

THE WINE

Alicante Bouschet is one of the only known grapes to have red skin and pulp – this rare characteristic imparts deep color and structure to blends, so it’s highly prized by winemakers. But when José Neiva bottled it solo (not in a blend), his friends called him aluado – crazy, or moonstruck. José had the last laugh though: this inviting red has earned a slew of coveted golds. Last vintage, it won three international gold medals and an 89-point, Best Buy rating from Wine Enthusiast. Here’s the equally delicious 2017 release, brimming with rich dark berry and complex mocha notes.

THE WINEMAKER

José Neiva is “better than anyone at delivering ripe, New World flavors from traditional grapes,” writes Tim Atkin, MW. José’s talent has earned him heaps of international acclaim, including the Red Wine of the Year Trophy at the International Wine Challenge (an award he won not once, but twice). He crafts this vibrant, modern red at his own estate, Quinta do Porto Franco, where he’s the fourth generation of his family to make wine.

THE REGION

WM_JoseNeiva_BarrelsWine Spectator recently wrote that in Portugal, “prices are superb and quality has never been better.” Small, family-owned estates (like José’s) really prove their point. Quinta do Porto Franco is near the Lines of Torres Vedras (fortified blockades built in the early 1800s). The vineyards are sun-drenched, but enjoy cooling coastal breezes off the Atlantic, giving the grapes a very long time to ripen.

WITH FOOD

stew_heartybeansoupThis is a great example of the kind of versatile, extremely drinkable reds that Portugal does so well these days. With layer after layer of flavor, it’s very satisfying to enjoy sipping on its own. Delicious food pairings include peppery roast beef or herb-encrusted rack of lamb. For a hearty Portuguese twist, try feijoada (a traditional bean stew usually prepared with sausage or ham hocks).

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