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Portuguese Vinhos spotlight on-trade range at the Restaurant Show

21st August 2017

Specialist importer Portuguese Vinhos will be showcasing a range of exclusive wines targeting the on-trade at the Restaurant Show.

Headed by chef and hospitality industry veteran Steve Schaffer, the business is putting the provenance and heritage of Portuguese wine front-and-centre for operators looking to add a point of difference to their wine list.

“Portugal has a wine-making tradition going back over 2,000 years, and such was the reputation of its winemakers, it became the world’s first demarcated wine region in 1756, 200 years before the French introduced the appellation contrôlée,” says Steve Schaffer.

“With over 250 grape varieties and incredibly talented producers making interesting, high quality wines in Portugal, there are opportunities for restaurants, gastropubs, hotels and wine bars to offer their customers wines they simply won’t find anywhere else, across a range of price points.”

Wines being featured by Portuguese Vinhos on Stand UN73 at the Restaurant Show include:

·     Quinta Do Perdigao: Encruzado 2015, Rosé 2015, Alfrocheiro 2011. With a vineyard area of ​​only seven hectares, in certified organic production, Quinta Do Perdigao produces a relatively small amount of wine across reds, rosés and whites, due to selective harvesting of the grapes and an extra-rigorous manual harvest. Quinta do Perdigão is one of the most awarded Dão, or wine regions. The red Alfrocheiro matches well with game, wild mushroom risotto, chocolate desserts, and cornfed chicken

·     Quinta Dos Casterlares: Reserva. The Quinta dos Castelares estate preserves ancient cultivation techniques, combined with modern winemaking methods to ensure sustainability and respect for the environment. In the numerous vineyards that make up the estate, each location’s characteristics are used to the greatest advantage in creating the character of the wine. Quinta Dos Casterlares Reserva matches well with mature cheeses, pork dishes, and confit of duck.

·     Martha’s Wines: 10 & 20 Year Tawny ports, Pink and Extra Dry: Martha’s is one of the oldest family-owned Port wineries in Douro, started in 1727. For six generations, Martha’s has maintained the traditions of Port wine making, combined with the highest quality standards. Martha’s Pink Port is the perfect start to any dining occasion as an aperitif, while the 10 Year Tawny should be served slightly chilled at the end of the meal.

Portuguese Vinhos has been set up by husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Steve and Michelle Schaffer. Steve trained as a chef at Westminster College in London, and has a track record including working at the Mirabelle restaurant London, as head chef at Petite France in Cincinnati Ohio, chef at the Hyatt Regency on Grand Cayman, as an Oxfordshire pub owner, and in sales and operational roles with Brakes, Booker, Pubmaster and Nestlé Professional. Michelle has a background in stockbroking and finance, and runs her own company, MK Wealth Management.

Steve Schaffer says: “Consumers have never been more interested in food and wine, and when they eat out they are increasingly looking for something different in a world of wine lists full of mediocre merlots, cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays. In contrast, Portuguese wines offer on-trade operators distinctive wines that match superbly with food.

“These range from green wines from Vinhos Verde in the north, through the smooth reds from the Dao region in the centre, and on to Biarrada on the Atlantic coast which makes some stunning sparkling wines.”

On-trade operators already working with Portuguese Vinhos include renowned chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE, who features Portuguese wines on the list at Café Spice Namaste in London. He says: “At Café Spice Namaste we’ve always been interested in the synergies between food from Goa and Portugal, and in turn its wines. Unfortunately they have not always been the best at promoting their great wines, leaving people with the image of a country that just supplies Port.

“This is far from the truth - Portugal is developing into one of the most interesting and diverse wines countries of the world, and we are happy to serve wines from Portugal and Portuguese Vinhos.”

The full range of wines exclusively imported by Portuguese Vinhos can be seen at www.portuguesevinhos.uk

Pictured: Steve Schaffer and Michelle Schaffer, co-founders of specialist importer Portuguese Vinhos.

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