I’m just back from a trip to Portugal where I went to see the sights and sample to local food and drink.
Our first few nights were in Lisbon. Arriving late afternoon we were weary after a day of travelling and just needed to orientate ourselves and have a nice meal.
We wandered down the Avenida da Liberdade which was very lively as the Sunday Market was taking place. There was live music and plenty of places to stop for a drink.
We eventually ate at A Gina. a small restaurant specialising in typical Portuguese cuisine. It is set back a little off the main street in what looks like the back of a parking lot but it is well worth the effort to find it.
Our starter was a mixed platter of cured meats and cheese. For our main course we chose fish. The menu said Scabbard fish ( Swordfish) but what we got was definitely Portuguese Scabbard fish (espada) not what we know as swordfish.
To accompany the meal we had a bottle of the local Vinho Verdes. Gazela, a light, fresh young wine. The wine is not green, as the name may suggest but is made from fully matured grapes which produce a white or red wine depending on the variety used. The grapes are fermented to convert their natural sugars into alcohol. Then a secondary fermentation, known as the malolactic, takes place. What distinguishes the Vinho Verdes is the fact that the by-product of this secondary fermentation : carbon dioxide, is retained This gives the wine its characteristic sparkle.The result is a dry refreshing wine with an alcohol content of 8 – 11 %.
My bottle of Gazela was just 9% vol with just a slight tingle on the tongue – superb.
After the meal we stopped for coffee on the Avenida da Liberdade before heading back to our hotel. It had been a long and tiring day. We needed to rest as tomorrow we set out to explore.