Blog: Taste of Lisbon with Esporao Wines at The Delancey
A crisp glass of fine wine and a rooftop view of the city pair together in a way that only New Yorkers can truly understand. Fortunately for a sold out crowd, this urban paradise came to fruition on Monday evening at The Delancey, the popular Lower East Side bar and venue who opened their stunning rooftop space to host an evening with Esporão Wines. The highly notable and award winning Portuguese winemaker would fill the space to capacity for an evening of tasting, eating, and basking in the early summer weather in celebration of a ‘Taste of Lisbon.’
Shortly after 7pm, we ascended the stairs to the rooftop which was already half full with wine enthusiasts kicking back after a sweltering day at the office. As soon as we arrived we immediately filled our glasses with pours of “Espumante 2010, Alentejo,” a Portuguese sparkling wine. Unlike Cava, the wine is produced solely in northern climates, presenting a smattering of ripe citrus and an ideal level of carbonation to refresh. This first example of Esporão’s catalog paired brilliantly with the live music being performed by Nathalie Pires, above the energetic crowd noise atop the roof. The acoustic guitar and outstanding vocals only complimented the collection of wines and eats offered on this night and as such, it was time to jump aboard the food line. The delectable ‘Taste of Lisbon’ spread including the likes of two different empanadas filled with shrimp and meat respectively, cod fritters, and helpings of cheeses and charcuterie with decadent slices of cured ham and spiced sausages, just to name a few. We were partial to the cured ham, which was carved directly off the bone and the combination of savory fat and cured meat melted in our mouths. After all that salty goodness, another glass of wine was in order and our next choice was their Rose- the “Defesa 2011, Alentejo.” Each sip was uncommonly bold and creamy with strong notes of freshly picked strawberries- ideal for a summertime wine.
The late June heat remained in the air even as the sun descended into the night but the breeze on the rooftop certainly provided a much needed respite from the recent change in weather. And in keeping with the idea of staying cool while still sipping some superb wines we ventured back over to The Delancey’s main rooftop bar to sample more glasses of chilled whites. After a short wait while other thirsty guests received their pours, we ordered glasses of Esporão’s “Alandra 2012, Alentejo” and “Verdelho 2011, Alentejo.” Both of these lovely whites are, in our opinion, required summer drinking due to their light body, refreshing flavor profiles, and ultimately- their drinkability.
As the last glass was poured and the final Fado note was belted out, it was time to head out into the New York City night. The Delancey rooftop is on its own, a place to experience and that’s before being paired with Esporao’s tasty selection of wines. If you weren’t able to make it to the event, fear not- Esporão wine is available in every New York borough to show you how delicious the wines of Portugal truly are. And take it from us, they are.
– Jay Rubin