WINE AS PART OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
Shall we meet at 7PM for a glass of wine?’ - ‘Sure! Where in town will we find the good Petiscos?’ ...this is how you make a date for a glass of wine in the Alentejo – always combined with at least a bite to nibble on. Because that’s one particular thing about Mediterranean cuisine: wine is never drunk on its own, but always with food and in a social setting.
The Alentejo offers a splendid example of the Mediterranean lifes- tyle, with its simple but intensely flavourful cuisine and its relaxed way of living. The most important ingredients in this culinary cul- ture are olive oil, vegetables (fresh), fish, bread and red wine. Wine as part of the ‘cuisine’? Certainly! The famous glass of red wine at mealtimes is an indispensable part of the Mediterranean diet. But that’s what makes this way of living so special – everything is enjo- yed to a purpose and in moderation, including the glass of wine.
Red wines, which make up the majority of wines from the Alentejo, are often considered as a determining factor in cooking, since the wine will be chosen first, and then the appropriate course will be prepared to match with it. Alentejano rosés are particularly well suited to accompany a wide-ranging selection of petiscos, those small Portuguese canapés (sometimes one is even tempted to make an entire meal of them). White wines from the Alentejo, which are mostly fresh and fruity, provide a marvellous accompani- ment to fish, stews of white meat and to soft cheeses.