Theme nights return as we take a bite out of Portugal!

So, for those of you who haven’t yet seen my latest vlog in the “Cheap and Cheerful” series, you can check it out here. It features three wines from Portugal that served as our ‘welcome wines’ at the beginning of our evening. It wasn’t really a warm welcome as everyone agreed they were, at best, underwhelming.

Now, to the main event of the evening! I was unable to find any really good advice online about what to pair with these traditional Portuguese dishes, so I just tried to do the best I could. All the links are clickable if you want to see the entire recipe.

Course 1

Sopa de Grão de Bico

Basically a chickpea soup, and I don’t like chickpeas, but I enjoyed this quite a bit. Lots of cilantro flavor. Everyone really enjoyed this dish, and the wine pairing was OK. The wine was actually better without the food.

Course 2

Shrimp Mozambique with Arroz de Tomate

This was good but the shrimp could have used more seasoning. The directions on the recipe seemed to be indicating to include way more spice than logically possible, but I think it was right and I should have followed it 100%. Still, it was enjoyable and the tomato rice was excellent. The wine pairing was good, but the first wine actually paired better with this dish.

Course 3

Peri Peri Chicken with Crispy Potatoes

A couple of my guests are not OK with spice of any kind, so rather than make the sauce included in this recipe, I used store-bought Nando’s “garlic and herb” Peri Peri sauce. It was good, but it still added a bit of a kick, especially to the potatoes. Wine pairing didn’t work at all.

Course 4

Molha de Carne

This was beef stew with potatoes and it was not any good at all. It tasted of allspice and cinnamon, which are prominent in the dish. I guess it’s a very traditional Portuguese stew, but it’s not to our taste. The wine pairing was irrelevant as hardly anyone ate the stew, but it featured two long-aged wines that are still available at Liberty Wines (or were, recently) on Granville Island, for those of you in the Lower Mainland.

Course 5

Portuguese Prego Rolls

I probably wouldn’t make this again because it’s basically just a steak sandwich and I can make a better one, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. Just different. And it paired well with the wine of the night!



This was my favorite thing of the night. Basically just crushed up Digestive cookies and cream, but it was really fabulous. I’d make this again any day.

We had a Port to pair with it but by this point, everyone was wined-out so it stayed in the wine fridge for another time.

A great night of wine, and the food was hit-or-miss, but it’s always nice to experience another culture. Hopefully many more of these theme nights to come!

That’s it for today! Next up, I finally finish up my Okanagan report (Little Engine coming up), and I have lots more to report on. Stay tuned!


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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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