Friday, August 7, 2015

Vinho Verde Caldeirada + Pluot-Port Granita for #winePW

Wine Pairing Weekend - #winePW - happens on the second Saturday of the month. And this month - August - Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva is hosting. She asked us to head to Portugal. Click to read her invitation: here.

I decided to go with two food-wine pairings because I wanted to make something with two iconic Portuguese wines: Vinho Verde and Port.

Wine Pairing Weekend Bloggers
Be sure to check out what my fellow bloggers have come up with for Wine Pairing Weekend jaunt to Portugal!
Vinho Verde
In My Glass
I've tried many different vinho verde bottles, but went with a new-to-me one for this event. Casal Garcia Vinho Verde. The wine has a delicate, slightly fruity aroma and a pale, clear citrine color. On the palate the wine is slightly effervescent, smooth and well-balanced. I knew it would pair well with seafood.

In the Bowl... 
Fish stews, or caldeiradas, are ubiquitous in Portugal. And even though it is a relatively small country, there is quite a bit of variation in the recipes from region to region, and even from kitchen to kitchen. It probably relies most on what is caught that day, what vegetables are in season, and - truly - how your grandmother used to make it!

Tomatoes are a key ingredient in a version from Funchal, the capital city of Madeira. It reminded me of how my grandmother's sinigang (a fish soup from the Philippines) begins, so I started with that.

  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 large bay leaves, whole
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, whole
  • 2 C diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 C vinho verde
  • 2 C diced potatoes
  • 2 T fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 pound fish (the cod is traditional, but I opted for a locally caught rockfish)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a souppot, melt the butter together with the olive oil. Then soften the garlic and bell peppers in the butter-oil until lightly browned.

Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes reduce to a thick paste. Add the potatoes, leaves, wine, parsley, cayenne, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer slowly for 1 hour. Uncover and bring back to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.

Add the fish and cook by spooning the hot liquid over the fish. Once it has turned opaque, break the fish into chunks. Serve hot with glass of vinho verde.

Ten-Year-Old Tawny Port
In My Glass
I picked a non-vintage Otima 10-Year-Old Tawny Port. It has the almost indescribable combination of freshness and cask-aged depth. It also boasts a rich amber color and big aromatics. It is a voluptuous, silky tawny port with good concentration.

In the Other Glass... 
I decided to make a granita with the port and some perfectly ripe stone fruits from the farmers' market. Granitas are great because they have so few ingredients and even fewer rules! So play around with different fruits that are in season and enjoy some of the leftover port as you wait for your granite to crystallize!


  • 1 C water
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C port, divided 
  • 1 lb pluots (that's a plum-apricot hybrid), pitted and quartered

Heat water, sugar, and 1/4 C port in a small saucepan. Cook until the sugar dissolves and a syrup forms. Set aside. Place pluots and remaining port in a blender. Slowly pour cooled syrup into blender. mix on "low" to combine.

Pour into a glass dish, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer. Every couple of hours, scrape the crystals from the edge of the dish towards the center. Once it has reached your preferred level of crystallization, serve in small portions along with more port. 

Join the #winePW conversation: 
Follow the #winePW conversation on Twitter throughout the weekend and beyond. If you're reading this early enough, you can join us for a live Twitter chat on our theme on Saturday, August 8, from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Time.

And that's a Wrap...
...on our August #winePW event. We loved the dual pairing! I'll pin this recipe and other posts on my #winePW pinterest board. If you try this pairing - or just the wine - I would love to hear what you think. Comment below or tweet to me at @Culinary_Cam.


  1. Adore this pairing! How fun to do the traditional with the unexpected twist of a granite.

    PS, still trying to catch up on all your great posts - I've got so many bookmarked!

  2. Another amazing post Cam. That fish stew sounds lovely.

  3. Since you are my pairing twin this month I wonder what you thought about the ease of making Caldeirada. I made my base. Turned off the stove top. Went to the gym. And 1 1/2 hours later heated it to a simmer and added the seafood. Makes it a great dish for having company because you can work ahead.

  4. So great that you found a way to pair the two most well known wines of Portugal. You've reminded me I've not had a bottle of Vinho Verde this summer, and I really enjoy that Otima 10 year Tawny. Your Granita sounds amazing!

  5. I've had the casal garcia years ago when I worked in wine retail and remember the slight sparkle to the wine, but it was even less expensive back then about $5-6. Vinho verde can be quite enjoyable, especially for the summer. Nice pairing with the fish stew.

  6. Your Caldeirada looks and sounds just delicious. Just goes to show delicious food does not need to be difficult to prepare. Nice idea to prepare a granita also. Have always wanted to make one. Nice pairings.