Tasting Mediterranean

Wine & Olive Oil

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Nuno Encarnação's best tips on the Alentejo

The charismatic chef reveals his favourite things about the Alentejo

Nuno, what do you do on a day off in the Alentejo? What are your “hot spots” in the Alentejo?

For me, a potential day off in the Alentejo should – as you’ve probably already anticipated – entirely revolve around eating and drinking. As a foodie, my free time is spent on good food and good wine, and for this pastime, the Alentejo is a good place to be. Évora is my favourite city.  A UNESCO world heritage site, it’s wonderful city with many sights, an impressive surrounding landscape and full of the still unspoilt, Portuguese architecture that I love so well. Fantastic restaurants, such as the Taberna Tipca Quarta-Feira, favourites of the real Portuguese and Alentejan cooks. These are places where you can taste the difference made by good quality, fresh products. Fantastic! Otherwise, there are, around Évora, impressive wineries that you can visit. I particularly recommend FUNDAÇÂO EUGÉNIO DE ALMEIDA , producer of Pêra Manca. Pêra Manca is, for me, a true icon of Alentejan wines.

What makes the Alentejo region so special for you?

It is the combination of the landscape, the lifestyle and the leisure. The Alentejo is a region truly worth living in. And Évora is a great city. And yeah, I love the food here.

Wine and olive oil are after all a good combination – or rather what do you think about this?

In our restaurant “A Casa do Avô”, we try to promote authentic, Mediterranean cooking. Wine and olive oil are essential elements of Mediterranean cooking. We are also keen to demonstrate this at fun-filled tastings at our restaurant, for example at our wine-food pairing dinner or at our olive oil tastings. Moreover, our restaurant is on the Mediterranean cooking route that leads through Portugal and shows the whole variety and abundance that is coined as the Mediterranean diet.