From white wines that accompany cod to red wines that pair with stuffed turkey and desserts, including the rosés and sparkling wines to toast in farewell to 2023, here is the selection of our winemakers from Quinta do Reguengo and Herdade da Lisboa to taste or offer this Christmas season.
Choosing the best wines to toast at Christmas or New Year’s lunches and dinners is not always an easy task. At a time when gathering family, friends or even co-workers at the table is a constant, there is always a perfect Família Cardoso wine to offer to those you love the most, harmonizing with each dish and creating unique moments.
It is in the Vidigueira sub-region, in Alentejo, between the vineyards and olive groves, that Herdade da Lisboa exists. With a wide range of wines, capable of pleasing different tastes, this property produces iconic wines that surprise with each bottle. Furthermore, its sustainable practices in grape and wine production were also recognized with certification from the Alentejo Wine Sustainability Program.
Ricardo Xarepe Silva is the winemaker at Herdade da Lisboa, but also at Quinta Dom Rodrigo, the Família Cardoso most recent launch in the Tejo region. Between tastings and tests, he put together a set of suggestions to try this festive season. On Christmas Eve, to accompany the traditional roasted or boiled octopus, with potatoes and vegetables, the winemaker suggests the Paço dos Infantes Reserva White 2020 and the Paço dos Infantes Garrafeira White 2019, due to their complexity and strong gastronomic character. “These are fresh wines, with excellent acidity and good structure – an excellent pairing for this type of dish”, he highlights.
As for the stuffed turkey, the main character of Christmas dinner in several areas of the country, Ricardo Xarepe Silva suggests the Paço dos Infantes Reserva Red 2019 and the most recent wine from Família Cardoso, the Quinta Dom Rodrigo Red 2019. “These are wines with notes of red forest fruits, spices and light balsamic notes, present good volume, structure and excellent balance that harmonize perfectly with a meat dish such as stuffed turkey.”
For the last night of the year, the wine options are different and best paired with starters and rich fish or meat dishes, including the famous raisins for when the clock strikes twelve. “We can start the night with the Paço dos Infantes Rosé 2022, to accompany the starters and seafood. We then continue with Paço dos Infantes Trincadeira 2021 for the main meal, a very versatile wine, with a smooth and elegant texture, which goes well with both rich fish dishes and meat options. At midnight, we toast to the New Year with the Sparkling Wine Convés Branco 2019, a citrusy and fresh reference, which adapts very well to a more relaxed and festive moment.”
It is between the fresh winds of Spain and the warm air of the Douro River valley, the clay-schist soils and a heavenly landscape, that Quinta do Reguengo is located. This property in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, is a place full of history that once belonged to Queen D. Amélia, where a range of wines are now produced from more than a dozen grape varieties, with emphasis on Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz, Gouveio, Rabigato or Viosinho.
Pedro Silva Branco is the winemaker at Quinta do Reguengo and for the famous cod dishes, whether disguised in dumplings as a starter or boiled – in the more traditional version, he suggests the Cais do Reguengo Branco 2022 and the Cortes do Reguengo Branco 2020. “Due to their freshness, unctuousness and minerality, these wines balance perfectly with cod. Such a rich and strong ingredient calls for a white wine with a very pronounced structure and acidity, but which has enough persistence to combat the robustness of the seasonings with olive oil and garlic.”
For the winemaker, Cortes do Reguengo Premium 2018 is the ideal wine to pair with the traditional roasted goat on Christmas Eve. “Made from our oldest vineyard plots, this wine ferments in a press, where all the flavor and structure are extracted. At the end of the bottle aging, we obtain a harmonious, delicate wine with a persistent aftertaste, which allows us to make the most of our goat in the oven.”
Finally, the desserts, filled with eggs, sugar or chocolate, are essential to finish the meal. For those with a sweet tooth, Pedro Silva Branco recommends Cortes do Reguengo Red 2019 as the perfect pairing to enjoy a classic chocolate mousse. “This wine, with notes of red fruits and toasted wood, balances harmoniously with the sweetness and creaminess of a rich dessert like chocolate mousse.”