Today’s meals were fairly typical of my normal diet.
A 10 mile bike ride to Montano and back at 7:00.
Breakfast – a bowl of granola with a cubed ½ of a fresh Manila mango with European yogurt eaten around 10:30.
A bit of drama around 2:00 when the director and staff of “Better Call Saul” came to view our living room as one of the locations for the TV series.
Lunch – A late lunch at around 3:30 to 4:00 of organic salad greens garnished with the last cup of PPI faro, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes, 1 sliced tomato, 1 diced stalk of celery, 12 kalamata olives, and five diced slices of salami with a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of about ¼ lemon. Sort of an antipasto salad.
Dinner - When I arrived home from meditating and stopping to pick up bottles of tonic water and club soda to replenish our drink mixer larder at around 8:20 Suzette had heated the fish chowder she had made on Sunday. She toasted a piece of French Sourdough bread and we ate a bowl of hot fish chowder and the bread with a glass of Espiral Vinho Verde White wine from Gaia, Portugal (Trader Joe’s $5.99). I usually do not buy Vinho Verde, but we toured the Espiral Winery when we visited Portugal this spring and I bought it for sentimental reasons. The thing that requires getting used to with Vinho Verde is the slight gaseousness of the wine and the tart carbonated flavor. In other words, when you open the bottle there is a stream of bubbles that rises to the top. This is due to the fact that the wine is bottled before it is fully fermented and the bubbles are due to the formation of the CO2 formed in the final stages of fermentation.
Although we did not fancy their wine, we loved visiting Espiral. It is a 350 year old winery with 12 acres of garden and park and great old house and tasting room along with a highly sophisticated production facility that produces approximately 25,000,000 bottles of wine per year.
Here is the story on Vihno Verde from Wikipedia:
Vinho Verde is a Portuguese wine that originated in the historic Minho province in the far north of the country. The modern-day 'Vinho Verde' region, originally designated in 1908, includes the old Minho province plus adjacent areas to the south. In 1976, the old province was dissolved.
Vinho Verde is not a grape varietal. The name literally means "green wine," but translates as "young wine", as opposed to mature wine. It may be red, white or rosé, and it is meant to be consumed within a year of bottling. In its early years of production, the slight effervesce of the wine came from malolactic fermentation taking place in the bottle. In winemaking this is usually considered a wine fault but Vinho Verde producers found that consumers liked the slightly sparkling nature. However, the wines had to be packaged in opaque bottles in order to hide the unseemly turbidity and sediment that the "in-bottle MLF" produced. Today, most Vinho Verde producers no longer follow this practice and instead complete malolactic fermentation prior to bottling with the slight sparkle being added by artificial carbonation.
The region is characterized by its many small growers, which numbered more than 30,000 as of 2005. Many of these growers train their vines high off the ground, up trees, fences, and even telephone poles so that they can cultivate vegetable crops below the vines that their families may use as a food source. Most countries limit the use of the term Vinho Verde to only those wines that come from the Minho region in Portugal. In Europe, this principle is enshrined in the European Union by Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.
White Vinho Verde.
The Vinhos Verdes are light and fresh. At less than one bar of CO2 pressure, they do not quite qualify as semi-sparkling wines but do have a definite pétillance. The white Vinho Verde is very fresh, due to its natural acidity, with fruity and floral aromas that depend on the grape variety. The white wines are lemon- or straw-coloured, around 8.5 to 11% alcohol, and are made from local grape varieties Loureiro, Arinto, Trajadura, Avesso and Azal. Vinho Alvarinho is made from Alvarinho grapes, from a small designated sub-region of Monção and Melgaço. It has more alcohol (11.5 to 14%) and ripe tropical aromas. The reds are deep red and tannic, and are mostly made from Vinhão, Borraçal and Amaral grapes. The rosés are very fresh and fruity, usually made from Espadeiro and Padeiro grapes.
The secret to enjoying Vinho Verde, in my opinion, is to let the wine gas off the carbon dioxide, which takes a few minutes. The wine tastes fairly pleasant after it becomes still. We are particularly fond of the white albarino grape (Alvarinho in Portuguese) that is grown in the far north of Portugal.
So we had a fun dinner reminiscing about our time in Portugal this summer and why we do not like vinho verde, but then how likable it was, after the gas subsided.