Well if nothing else the blast of Arctic air, and the accompanying snowfall, have given me pause to blog.
It's been awhile since I made pizza and tried a new pizza red but Monday night was such an occasion . It didn't start out that way as Mondays are usually a soccer practice night which means daughter eats large at 5:30ish and we eat light around 8pm but the snow forced closure of the practice facility so I rethought dinner and decided to make pizza. I even got ambitious enough to make the dough from scratch as opposed to frozen dough from Calabria Bakery . For those who have never tried, pizza dough may be the easiest dough to make, just flour, water, salt and yeast provide all you need, though I add cornmeal, olive oil and basil to mine. Anyway with pizza as the main dish the decision became: What pizza red to enjoy ?.
I had a bottle of Portuguese red on hand that I've enjoyed with the braise in the past and decided to put it to the Pizza test and I'm happy to report that the wine passed with flying colours. The wine in question is Porca de Murca, a blended red made from indigenous grapes in the Douro valley of Portugal, primarily Tinto Roriz. The Douro is most famous for producing the sweet fortified Port wines but produces lots of table wine as well, Real Velha produces about 100,000 cases of Porca de Murca red annually.
The wine has a very dark colour in the glass and the nose is a tad dusty with lots of sweet berry fruit, in the mouth there are notes of blueberry and sour cherry and a touch of black pepper and a nice level of acidity which helps greatly with the cheese/tomato/salami combo of the pizza .
Overall this wine is a solid addition to the Pizza Red collection, and is also a good partner to the winter braise, there is an inherent fruity component to the wine which would be difficult if the braise involved too much sweet overtones but if the braise is a robust one then this wine is a solid, and very inexpensive companion . The Porca de Murca is actually on sale this month, down a buck to $10.99, but that doesn't warrant any bulk buying in my mind . However the wine's flexibility, it would also go nice with tomato based pastas and roast chicken, make it worthwhile to have a couple of bottles put aside for wintery nights.
For those who don't speak Portuguese "Porca de Murca" literally means "pig, or sow, of Murca", there is a statue dating back to the Iron Age of a wild pig in the village square of Murca, thought to honour a Celtic like divinity. It looks a lot like a cartoon hippopotamus to me