Above: Selection of wines at Winebar do Castelo, Lisbon, Portugal

Where the Wine Flows in Alfama: A Rustic Surprise

I felt skeptical that Winebar do Castelo, recommended by the Palacete do Chafariz D’El Rei, would be worth much attention, considering its location on a touristy Alfama street just below the Castelo de São Jorge. But I was wrong. I explained to our server, the knowledgeable Rui, that we preferred to try tastes of several different wines rather than large glasses of just one or two. He happily organized an impressively broad tasting, pouring small samples of some 15 wines, accompanied by superb Portuguese cheeses and charcuterie made from local heirloom black pigs.

Standouts included an astonishingly rich Casa do Capitão-mor Alvarinho Vinho Verde partially aged in oak, the elegant Aliás rosé of Baga by V Puro, a deep but focused Oboé Grande Escolha red blend from the Douro and an unforgettable Quinta das Herédias 40-year-old Tawny Port, redolent of caramel and nuts but balanced with eucalyptus-like freshness and ample acidity.

Winebar do Castelo
Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmão 11-13. Tel. (351) 21-887-9093

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