Andre Ribeirinho | Food, Wine & Travel

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An Amazing Night with Portuguese Michelin Star Chefs

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Dieter Koschina and Matteo Ferrantino

A dinner with a Michelin starred Chef is (normally) something of an experience. When you put 12 of them together and add some great wines you prepare yourself for one of the meals of your life. That’s what happened last night and it blew me away.

The mood was set early. The 2nd day dinner of the International Gourmet Festival was going to be held at the Vila Joya’s fantastic restaurant room which sits just on top of a sandy beach and has a great sea view (where you can actually hear the waves).

Vila Joya is a highly respected 2 Michelin star restaurant located in heart of the Algarve in the south of Portugal. A cathedral of fine dining and number 37 in the The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list.

Portuguese Michelin Star Chefs

Then, a line up of some of the best Chefs working in Portugal (or being Portuguese and working abroad) was nothing short of remarkable. The host Dieter Koschina and his right-hand men Matteo Ferrantino (in the picture) and a list of names that rarely get together in such an impressive setting: José Avillez, Ricardo Costa, Leonel Pereira, Vitor Matos, Benoît Sinthon, Hans Neuner, Albano Lourenço, Vincent Farges and George Mendes (who travelled all the way from NYC)!

Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004

And finally a wine list that included such stars as the fantastic Dom Pérignon Millésime 2004, the 2003 Pelada, the Niepoort Batuta 2010 or the Pintas Vintage Port 2007. The pairings would most probably make each of the night’s courses shine even more.

Expectation was at the highest possible level but what followed simply blew past it.

Cocktail First a premium Olive Oil tasting, with homemade grissini, salty focaccia and Oliveira da Serra’s brand new and truly delicious early harvested Portuguese olive oil. Then it was cocktail time! Grabbed a Port tonic and visited the very busy Vila Joya’s kitchen (with 12 Chefs and and their staff inside) preparing the 10-courses menu. Time for some interesting amuse bouche and we’re off for the dinner.

Chefs table at Vila Joya

The Chef’s Table at Vila Joya. Available for sponsors and for those paying 600 € to attend the dinner.

The Portuguese Michelin Stars Dinner For 4 hours we indulged in a sequence of food masterpieces. Each of them paired with a specific wine and enjoyed with good conversation and even better company.

Fresh Gillardeau oysters

1. Fresh Gillardeau oysters. A great start to an amazing Michelin-starred dinner. Prepared by Chef Benoît Sinthon and produced since 1898 by the Gillardeau family and their small company near La Rochelle and the (gorgeous) Île d’Oléron in France. Brilliantly paired with a crispy and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from Cortes de Cima.

Perfectly cooked octopus by George Mendes

2. Perfectly cooked octopus by George Mendes, the Portuguese Chef running @aldeanyc. One of my favourites of the night.

Tuna Chūtoro

3. Tuna Chūtoro, the tastiest fatty part of the tuna. Here cooked masterfully by Hans Neuner (Restaurant Ocean, Algarve). I’ve been transported to another dimension. Absolutely amazing!

Marinated Scottish Salmon

4. Marinated Scottish salmon with Imperial Caviar by Henrique Leis. Paired very well with an oaky white from Herdade da Calada Reserva.

Red mullet and scallops

5. Red mullet, scallops and carpaccio by Ricardo Costa, the Michelin-starred Chef from @Theyeatman. A superb mix of amazing flavours.

Wild turbot & White truffles

6. Wild turbot & White truffles, a match made in heaven by Vincent Farge of Fortaleza do Guincho. Plus hazelnuts and Jerusalém artichokes (not really artichokes!). Totally blown away by the pairing with the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004

7. Black Truffle Cappuccino with chicken sot-l’y-laisse. Exciting textures and flavours in a dish created by Albano Lourenço. Also a great pairing for the Dom Pérignon. (no picture, sorry)

8. Roe Deer Back and Horseradish. Served early than what was listed one the menu because (they said) Chef Dieter Koschina thought the meat was perfectly cooked and ready to be served. A timely decision. The Roe Deer Back was one of the best meats I’ve had this year. Amazing balance in amazing dish. Dieter and Matteo (Ferrantino) rock as a team. Again a perfect pairing. The Niepoort Batuta 2010 is showing beautifully and together they are a match in heaven. Great stuff! (no picture, sorry).

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9. Fois gras with onions and cauliflower. Beautifully presented but unfortunately the only uninteresting course of this otherwise great meal. After a set of quite amazing course this one lost its place. I’m sure that wasn’t intended. Maybe have it sooner next time?

Slow cooked hare

10. Slow cooked hare, goose liver, white beans and mushrooms. A heavier but oh-so-delicious slow cooked dish. The sauce added extra thickness. Perfect pairing with the 100% Baga from Campolargo served in a Magnum bottle and also with the fantastic Álvaro de Castro  Pelada 2003. Two great Portuguese red wines. Two of the best pairings of the night!

11. Wild berries, violets and grand cru chocolate. A surprisingly fresh dessert and actually the only way a dessert would fit in after 10 courses. The balance of ingredients was just perfect. The Wine & Soul Pintas Vintage Port from 2007 was fruity but elegant and powerful enough to pair with the last item on the menu. I was too busy with my Port to take a photo. After all a superb food night simply cannot end without a great Port Wine!

While slowly sipping through my glass of Port I remember thinking to myself that this was an one of the best food and wine experiences I’ve ever had. How wonderful of an opportunity to enjoy in one night the amazing food masterpieces created by some of the best food artists in the World. Thank you gentlemen. We’ll certainly meet again in the near future!

The 7th edition of the International Gourmet Festival continues this week with a fantastic programme that includes the likes of Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca), Nuno Mendes (Viajante), Quique Dacosta (Quique Dacosta) and many more Chefs.

Written by andrerib

November 9, 2013 at 17:39

The first ever Brussels Wine Market

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BrusselsWineMarket2013

I’m deeply excited about what I’ve been working on the past 12 months. After 6 exciting editions in Portugal, the first ever Adegga Wine Market outside Portugal will happen in Brussels on November 16th. A giant step for Adegga and a great opportunity to take a 7-year old wine business to a whole new level.

Brussels Wine Market 2013
We have carefully selected and invited 20 great wineries and winemakers from around Europe to present their best wines in the very informal Taste & Buy concept of the Adegga Wine Markets. To help consumers at the tasting we’ll once again present the innovative and successful Smart Wine Glass that allows wine consumers to seamlessly collect information about each of the wineries visited and wines tasted at the event.

The Port Experience
I believe in Port as one of the best wines in the world. I’m passionate about it and I’m crazy about the kind of experiences that Port can provide to wine lovers. We’ve had a special place for Port Wine since the first Adegga Wine Market. In Brussels we’re taking it one step further through an exclusive partnership with Niepoort, one of most respected Port Wine producers and home to extraordinary winemaker and Port evangelist Dirk Niepoort. Old and rare Port wines from 1952, 1977, 1981 and the now famous 2011 will be available to taste in this very special room. Unmissable.

niepoort_logo Niepoort_Garrafeira_1977

Adegga Wine Market 2013
Before the year ends I’ll be back to Portugal for the 7th edition of the Adegga Wine Market, the Christmas wine event in Lisbon that is already considered one of the best in Portugal. The experience of a great team and a curated selection of great Portuguese wine producers will for sure make this Adegga Wine Market one of the best we’ve ever put together.

Plans & Ideas
Lots of planning for the next 2 years as we expand Adegga into Europe and at the same time prepare the launch of new set of Adegga services (news very soon) that will make many wine lovers very happy! Looking forward to what’s coming with many more wine events and the same goal of bringing wineries and wine consumers closer together. Hold on tight! It’s going to be an exciting ride!

Written by andrerib

November 5, 2013 at 20:05

Mosel Valley Wine Tour 2013

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When I visit (and film) a wine region I want to know about the place, taste the wines and the local food but most of all I want to meet the people and the stories behind their wines.

Recently, invited by Jan Matthias Klein (winemaker at Staffelter Hof and Riesling enthusiast) I had the opportunity to do that in the Mosel valley, a gorgeous wine region where wine has been produced for many centuries and stories of wine overlap with stories of family.

Riesling is the main grape variety grown in the Mosel region. As you’ll see on the video vines are typically grow on steep slopes alongside the Mosel river and produce some of the most wonderful wines in the world.

It was a great trip to a great place and I’m definitely looking forward to come back soon.

Hope you enjoy the new video.

Written by andrerib

August 11, 2013 at 23:44

Posted in Travel, Wine

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Episode 2: Handmade Tortellini

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I was recently in the Mosel wine region where, guided by a local winemaker, I discovered some of the exciting places shaping local food and wine culture. Die Graifen is one of those places. Part restaurant, part vintage furniture shop and part winery, this place has a special atmosphere to it that comes from their owners love for what they do.

After two visits and two delicious meals, Matthias Decker (the owner), invited me for an off-hours visit. On a Friday afternoon I joined him in the kitchen while he prepared some handmade tortellini for supper and explained the concept behind Die Graifen and their use of tasty international cuisine with local ingredients. I filmed Matthias making the tortellini and decided to make this the second episode of my food, wine and travel video series.

Restaurant: Die Graifen – graifen.de
Address: Wolfer Weg 11, Traben-Trarbach (Mosel), Germany.
Phone: (+49) 06541-811075

Written by andrerib

April 1, 2013 at 11:21

Posted in Episodes

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Episode 1: Discovering Hungary

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Spent 5 days in Hungary discovering its multicultural food and wine culture. Travelled to Tokaj to taste deliciously sweet wines and fresh white wines. Stopped in Eger to learn about Bikavér and meet a group of fantastic wine makers. Finally wandered around Budapest and visited the glorious food market.

I’ve been wanting to do videos of my food and wine discovery trips for a while. This is my first attempt at it. This time I’ve decided to take my DSLR camera to Hungary and film as much as I could. When I came back I edited the footage and this is the final result. Let me know what you think!

Written by andrerib

March 12, 2013 at 10:32

Posted in Episodes

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The Delicious Umbria Food and Wine Competition

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Porchetta di Maialino Aromatica Bardata al Prosciutto

The first ever Umbria is for #winelovers event happened last week in Umbria in the green heart of Italy. With an exciting programme planned for the week this was a great opportunity to discover the region’s wines and their connection to the local food culture.

To make it even more interesting the #winelover group organized a Food & Wine Pairing Competition to better understand the richness of Umbria’s food and wine pairing. Here’s the competition menu with the different Italian dishes and the wines that better worked for each of them:

1. Frittatina Morbida al Tartufo della Valnerina

We started with a Frittatina Morbida al Tartufo della Valnerina, an egg-based dish, similar to an omelette or quiche, enriched with black truffles from the Valnerina valley in Umbria. A rich combination of flavors where the black truffle definitely stood out.

Frittatina Morbida al Tartufo della Valnerina

Frittatina Morbida al Tartufo della Valnerina

Frittatina Morbida al Tartufo della Valnerina

Best wines for this dish:

2. Risotto Allo Zafferano di Cascia e Guanciale Croccante

As a first course the Chef planned a Risotto with saffron and crisp Italian bacon. The crispy bacon added a different dimension to this simple dish and made it extra enjoyable. I could spend a whole day eating this crispy bacon.

Risotto Allo Zafferano di Cascia e Guanciale Croccante

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Best wines for this dish:

3. Porchetta di Maialino Aromatica Bardata al Prosciutto

The main course was the highlight of the food and wine competition and one of the best foods I’ve had in Italy. A fabulous savoury, fatty and juicy boneless piglet roast covered with slices of bacon. Simply outstanding.

Porchetta di Maialino Aromatica Bardata al Prosciutto

Porchetta di Maialino Aromatica Bardata al Prosciutto

Best wines for this dish:

4. Crostata di Mele e Crema Cotta and Cheesecake

Finally dessert time. An Apple Custard Pie and a Ricotta, Chocolate, Raisins and Rhum Cake. A happy overdose of sugar created specifically to match the Umbrian Vin Santo (a style of italian sweet wine).

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Best wine for the Crostata di Mele e Crema Cotta:

Best wines for the Torta di Ricotta, Cioccolato, Uvetta e Rhum

The hosts

Fabien Lainé (a French Sommelier working in Norway) was in charge of coordinating the food and wine competition. With the help of Luciana Braz and other #winelovers they’ve pre-selected 70 wines (from a pool of around 200), organized the tasters in teams and collected the competition results. A great job, explained in more detail in Fabien’s blog.

Fabien Lainé Matteo Barbarossa

Umbrian Chef, Matteo Barbarossa was in charge of creating four different dishes for the competition. With this mission, Matteo created a dynamic menu of local and delicious Umbrian food to match the region’s diverse array of wines.

Overall this a fantastic wine and food discovery experience in the heart of Italy. Umbria is definitely a fantastic food and wine destination and I can’t wait to go back and discover more.

Written by andrerib

February 28, 2013 at 16:08

The Best Portuguese Wines of 2012 by Revista dos Vinhos

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Barca Velha 2004

In an event that is known as the Oscars of Wine in Portugal, Revista dos Vinhos (one of Portugal’s most read wine magazines) has announced their 2012 List of Best Portuguese Wines.

This is a solid list of great Portuguese wines including some out-of-this-world bottles (like the Barca Velha 2004). The 30 wines on the list got an Award of Excellence for having achieved the very best ratings in all of the wine tastings organized by the wine magazine during 2012.

As you’ll see from the indicative retail prices this is a list that includes some of the most expensive Portuguese wines on the market. In general there’s plenty of good wines at lower price points in the market (as you can see by most of my Wines of the Week or the Top 10 Portuguese Wines by Essência do Vinho) but this is mostly a list of high-end wines, even if some – for the quality – can still be considered good values at their price.

As always I’ve marked my favorite wines (and this time also the good values) on the list. I haven’t yet tasted all of them so I’ll do an update on the list as soon as I taste them.

Award of Excellence

Reds

Whites

Port Wines

Madeira & Others

The magazine also selected the top wines by region including a list of Port Wines. You can see the full list of selected wines (in Portuguese) on the magazine’s website.

Written by andrerib

February 22, 2013 at 17:45

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