A Food Tour in Lisbon: Grapes & Bites

In preparation for my trip to Portugal last summer, I diligently studied up on vinho verde. I use the term "study" loosely, but it made a great afterwork apertif. Vinho verde, literally "green wine", is the term used to describe young wine. It has just a hint of effervescence to it and a low alcohol content, making it the perfect wine to enjoy after a sweltering summer day.

I wanted to learn more about the food and wine history of Portugal so I decided to take a private food history tour of Lisbon, through the tour company Your Friend in Lisbon. In addition to learning local history and sampling specialties (including ginjinha, caracois-- otherwise known as garden snails, and the satisfyingly decadent pastel de nata), my affable guide Alex closed up our tour with a fabulous offering at Grapes & Bites in the Bairro Alto district. 

The friendly owners brought out two boards of amazing meats including pata negra and one with roasted pepper swirls. I tried local cheeses, nuts, and sauces (including an addictive pepper jam, which sadly didn't make it through airport security). Alongside this smorgasboard, I was treated to several different olive oils, fresh olives, and of course, a vinho verde tasting. 
At the end, they brought me a glass of port, though I had my doubts since I don't like dessert wines. Although sweet, it wasn't overly so and it had a smooth finish and a lot of depth- you might even call me a converted port fan. 

If you find yourself in Lisbon this summer, I highly recommend this informative and interactive tour-- it was the best money I spent while in Lisbon. 

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