At the most we organize just one Jantar Vínico (Wine Dinner) each year, so they are rare events that we try to make special.
The dinner on 4 December 2021 was no exception. The night was cold and damp, full of seasonal atmosphere, the houses were glowing in the light of the fires and lanterns. We had a wonderful group of 120 guests, as usual an eclectic mix of people, including Quinta staff with their partners and regular and new Quinta Sant’Ana fans who came from near and far.
To initiate our palates, we started with the our crowd pleasers: the Branco and the Tinto, served with canapés in the adega surrounded by the huge barrels and outside around the fire with Marco singing some country classics in the crisp night air.
When everyone had arrived, we moved into the salão that had been decked in seasonal branches and berries from the organic flower garden. The room was filled with christmassy aromas of freshly picked oranges and gingerbread houses the kitchen had produced to decorate the tables. Being two days off St Nicolas Ann had made this the theme.
James welcomed everyone and spoke of the wines during the dinner with the big highlight being the chance for everyone to taste our new unlabeled Arinto 2018. The dinner progressed through the most delicious German inspired courses, each paired with wines that married perfectly with each other: scallops on a hazelnut pureé with Riesling 2019 and the music pairing of “Sitting at the doc of the bay” by Otis Redding. The next course was Finkenwerder Scholle with bacon and shrimps with the new Arinto 2018. This is a relatively new wine to our portfolio and we are realizing what a star it is, producing such amazing acidity that it takes beautifully barrel fermentation long ageing. “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie seemed to have enhanced those complex flavours.
Ann used an old family recipe for the meat course: tender beef roulade with carrots and chard fresh from the vegetable garden which combined perfectly with the Reserva 2016, one of our fresher reds from a cool year but with the amazing concentration and depth. “Back to back” from Amy Winehouse enhanced this experience from the acoustic side.
In line with our theme we naturally had to finish with a twist of a tangerine strudel with peanut ice cream accompanied by the Late Harvest Riesling 2016, the sweetness of the strudel and wine balancing beautifully with the acidity of the citrus. For this course Marco performed a country version of Ace of Spades by Motörhead, which got our tasting buds searing even higher.
To a great section of oldies the night even finished with some dancing and plenty of chat and catching up after so long without meeting friends.
We parted with a bit of that candlelight in our hearts as best friends…