I’m always on the lookout for something different and likewise I admire winemakers who go against the grain and think out of the box. And so it was whilst shopping at the El Corte Inglés supermarket in Lisbon recently, I could not resist to buy this Moscatel Graúdo from a producer in the Lisbon region.
The Moscatel, or Muscat grape in its various sub-varieties, is mostly associated with sweet and/or fortified wines, especially here in Portugal. But here, the rare “Graúdo” version has been used to make a quite unique orange wine.
For those not yet familiar with the term “orange wine”, it is basically a white wine made like a red wine, i.e. fermenting the grapes with the skin to extract colour, tannins and structure.
Serra Oca Moscatel Graúdo 2018, a tiny production of less than 2,000 numbered bottles, presents a dark straw, almost orange colour in the glass with an explosion of aromas ranging from the intense floral notes typical of the Muscat grape to orange skin, honey and menthol.
In fact, my wife, who enjoyed this bottle with me well paired with some spicy Asian-style spareribs, thought the nose reminded her of potpourri! In the mouth, the wine is medium-bodied with great acidity and a long dry finish.
This really is an excellent wine to pair with rich flavoursome curries, very stinky cheese or many other foods that overpower most wines. I have not seen it for sale here in the Algarve, but it is available online from the ever-reliable Garrafeira Nacional website costing €15.20.