#TastyTuesday: Touriga Nacional

From #WineWednesday to #TastyTuesday, Ava Winery is celebrating another day of the week with wine (as if we need an excuse).

Just like fashion trends (we’re looking at you, bell bottoms), there are wines that are currently trending as if they were the coolest thing since sliced white bread. Then there are those wines that will never see their name is lights because no matter what, they will never be as trend-worthy as “rosé all day.”  

In this #TastyTuesday series, we are shining a light on these lesser known grape varietals outside of the Pinot Noirs and Sauvignon Blancs. So raise a glass of uncommon grape varietals and cheers to these hidden figures of the wine world.

Touriga Nacional, Portugal’s pride, produces full-bodied red wine that sips like a Cabernet Sauvignon. While the grape is usually used as a blending grape in Port wine, it has recently started to gain attention as a dry red. Added dry bold flavors in blends of good value? Surely there’s a trendy catchphrase coming for this one.

 

There are two main regions of Portugal that grow the prestigious grape: Douro and Dão. Touriga Nacional from the Douro region is bigger and bolder with a stronger finish while the sister wine from the Dão region, which is higher in elevation, is lighter with a more flowery finish. High or low elevation, sweet or dry wine, Touriga Nacional may just need a clever hashtag to catch up with rosé.

There is, indeed, flavor complexity in Touriga Nacional. Take a large sip and taste the prevalent fruit flavors like blueberry and blackberry, the hidden surprise of bittersweet chocolate and mint, and the underlying Earl Grey Tea flavor of bergamot. Pair the acidity and body of Touriga Nacional with fatty-rich foods like red meats or enjoy the sweet Port wine as a cocktail wine on it’s own. (We hear wine for dinner counts.)

@AvaWinery

@AvaWinery

This one is for you, bold red wine lovers. Love a heavy Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz? Put down that bottle and try a sip of the similar but lesser known Touriga Nacional instead.

Comment below and let us know- do they compare?