Yes, keeping it to TEN is going to be very difficult.
Tucked away on a small side street in Belem is a cute little wine bar with an inventory that will take you throughout the country of Portugal, compliments of Nelson and Angelo.
So let’s take it a step at a time.
Experiencing Enoteca of Belem was like having your own private wine tour. We started with various whites and several hours later we had tasted a number of delicious reds throughout a variety of regions. We never made it to the ports. That’s for the next visit. Nelson was the perfect host. His knowledge and English were superb.
We were introduced to tremocos or lupin beans. At first glance I think “lima bean” and I’m not a fan of any kind of bean, especially limas. But I’m all for trying something new and was I fooled. A nutty, crunchy, salty taste. A perfect snack with wine or beer. I would call it Portugal’s peanut. Angelo is quick to give instructions as to the proper way of getting to the nut. You pop it in your mouth, softly bite a small section of the skin with your teeth, pop out the “nut” into your mouth and spit out the skin. Addicting!
After a number of tastes from the nectars, some tapas was in order. In my travels, I’m always on the search for the perfect tomato, mozzarella and basil so this was another chance to see if it could come close to my expectations. Local tomatoes, fresh mozzerella topped with..ready for this? Basil ice cream. Yes, basil ice cream made by a local in the area. I’m picky in that I like my tomatoes and mozzarella served at room temperature so I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the chill of the ice cream. It didn’t take long for it to melt and my, oh my. My dad’s word once again came to mind. “SINFUL!”
How do you top off an evening like that? We simply asked where we could make a wine purchase as we headed back to the hotel. Along with a very reasonable tab, out comes a bottle of wine, opened but the cork gently pushed back in for easy access, along with glasses and napkins. Who does this these days? Their graciousness will always be remembered. A return visit before this trip is over is a must!