One of the tough things about moving to a new city is discovering its culinary and wine gems and finding something you can peg as a favourite. I haven’t had time to properly explore the magic and beauty of Portuguese wines and my meager attempts thus far have been sporadic. I suppose part of the reason is the lack of continuity and motivation.
Ordinarily I would have bought a few samples and brought them home to taste and discern, but when you live in a shared facility with no proper wine storage place it is all a bit pointless. Unless you stumble on a classic wine bar and are blessed with the company of friends and an unpretentious and friendly sommelier who knows his pairings.
Fado & Wine is an exquisite little nook tucked away in the Baixa district which is a haven for pubs and restaurants that are cosy and hip at the same time. There is something for every budget and palate in this area and the same applies to Fado & Wine. If you throw caution to the wind and let the sommelier loose among his own stock, he will place the one or the other treasure on the table that you are not likely to forget any time soon.
While I don’t have the luxury of entertaining at home yet, I have the perfect excuse to explore places such as Fado & Wine, and it worth every moment! You walk in hoping to be blown away by a damn good wine and when everything exceeds your standards and expectations, the evening becomes a memorable experience.
I’ve been to wine tastings in Italy , France, Spain and of course Germany, so my tastebuds are seasoned and demanding. I won’t settle for a run-of-the-mill bottle when I can get my hands on a superb vintage and bouquet. Oh my, the sommelier delivered when I limited the selection to Portuguese wines to pair with a charcuterie board!
I arrived early and ahead of my guests, so I had a chance to chat and photograph. The good man was highly amused when I explained the nature of the evening, giving him a few instructions. After a while he interrupted me to ask where the hell I was from because he just couldn’t figure it out other than I must be Latina of sorts. He was tickled pink when I gave him my card and background before scurrying away to prepare the food and wine, but not before setting the stage and mood by turning the music on.
As you can surmise by the name Fado & Wine, there is only one type of music played here. When the sorrowful lyrics flooded the empty room, I felt so at home and peaceful. Fado is the Portuguese equivalent of the American Blues, full of yearning and lamentation, sorrow and love intertwined in a way that bring you to tears but heal your soul at the same time. You can well imagine what was going through my mind while sitting in the winebar and simply soaking the energy in.
Suddenly they were there, two very special people in my life who have been personal and professional constants over the years with whom I share precious memories with. We go back 30 years, the roots of our relationship deeply entrenched in development work, the Philippines, Germany and India. We have witnessed each others life paths and growths, and somehow always found a way to meet up somewhere. I won’t go into detail about the liquidity of the evening, suffice it say that if we had not been constrained to catching trains for the long journey home, we could have gone on for hours on end.
CW & SdB – I raise my glass and look forward to our next meeting. Thank you for the memories! Prost!