Vinho do Porto Branco is one of the most versatile styles of Port produced in the Douro Valley. Its expansive range in sweetness gives Porto Branco the ability to be savored in a variety of ways. With five levels of sweetness differentiating each bottle that ranges from Extra Dry, Dry, Semi-Dry, Sweet, and Lagrima. This helps to give a very fresh and bright expression that you find with the Extra Dry to Dry styles, as well as more nuanced interpretations with the Semi-Dry to Lagrima Vinhos do Porto.
The dry style of Porto Branco is the most adaptable and they are served best chilled as an aperitivo or the perfect pairing for dinner. These bottlings offer a style of wine that has racy acidity with an off-dry finish, fused with aromas and flavours of orange zest, lemon, apple and honeysuckle. Usually a traditional collection of native varieties Rabigato, Gouvieo, Malvasia Fina, Viosinho, Códega do Larinho, and Moscatel Galego Branco that are blended together to give these complex characteristics.
I prefer to pair the Dry Porto Branco with spicy foods, one of my favourite dishes is a Goan variation of a Portuguese classic that they call Vindaloo. A spicy curry variation using local palm wine that is blended with tamarind, black pepper, cinnamon, and cardamom. The key addition to this dish is the chilli peppers that were transplanted to India across the Atlantic from the Americas by the Portuguese in the 15th century. The hot spiciness is tempered down by the sweet fruit notes, while the racy acidity cuts through the richness and lets the flavours of the wine fuse with the dish.
6 cloves garlic
½-inch piece garlic, sliced
7 red chilies, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
½ tbsp cumin seeds
½ tsp cracked pepper, fenugreek, cinnamon
2 oz vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
1 lb firm white fish, such as halibut, cubed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled, finely sliced
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can diced tomatoes
Directions: Place large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic and ginger, When the begin to brown add five of the chilies and other spices (mustard coriander, cumin, pepper, fenugreek, cinnamon) and toast. Pour spices into a bowl and top vinegar, salt and turmeric. Let cool. Then blend into a paste. Mix halibut with paste and let marinade for at least 6 hours and up to a day. Heat oil in pan set over medium-low, then add onion. When onion begins to brown, add remaining chilies, tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Add the halibut along with any marinade. Bring to quick boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Test to ensure the fish is fully cooked. Cook longer if necessary.