We never pass up the opportunity to feature Casa de Saima, a small, family-run winery and one of the best in Bairrada, a region along the Atlantic in north central Portugal. Founded in 1940 with 18 hectares (about 45 acres) of vineyards located on small plots of land, Casa de Saima until recently was run by Graça Maria de Silva Miranda. Sadly she passed away, and her family has continued on her traditions. She was dedicated to showcasing the potential of the regions’s indigenous varieties, which are often difficult to cultivate, and the result is wines that are consistently complex and always great values. Graça was an extremely kind person, and she loved and got a big kick out of knowing that people in Chicago were enjoying her wines.
The Casa de Saima rosé was a natural choice for this month’s wine club, as dry rosé is the perfect holiday wine. It pairs with anything on the table—vegetables, sauces, meats, and dishes made with a range of spices that can be sweet or savory or both. Most important, perhaps, is that it’s also great with leftovers, any time of day.
The Casa de Saima rosé strikes the balance between fruit and acidity that a good rosé should, while still bringing something special to the table. It’s made of 80% Baga, a small, thick-skinned variety that in Portuguese means “berry,” and 20% Touriga Nacional, a variety commonly used in Port blends. The grapes were crushed in lagares (large open vats in which grapes are crushed by foot) to allow for color and flavor extraction, and fermentation was initiated with ambient yeast in stainless steel vats to preserve the aromas of the varieties. The mouthwatering acidity will leave you craving something to snack on, and be sure to serve the rosé with a chill.
Make sure to raise a glass to Graça as you enjoy this, I know I will!
Casa de Saima
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