Wine and Weed: Chocolate is Always a Plus


Cocoa alias Cacao in Spanish
This is the real thing. Cocoa beans from the Caribbean.


Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

There is always someone who will look at you when enjoying a glass of wine and dark chocolate. One of my favorite chocolates are Forteza from Cortés. Cortes was the very first chocolate of my childhood. Yes, I know it was when I was over 6 yrs. Old. Chocolate and I had a very rough beginning. I was alla to some debris left in the process from cocoa to chocolate. In my prehistoric knowledge of chocolate, that hot chocolate and queso de papa from my abuela Sole’s kitchen had the most amazing smell ever.

So, I made it to that sad part of my life, enjoying every chocolate I couldn’t take before, on the precise moment. Since I have taste knowledge, I have always love very dark, tanic and sometimes bitter dark chocolate. So I have tasted some good Cabernets from Napa and Chile with chocolate. Also, chiantis, tempranillos –like the one I’m pairing with the Forteza Milk chocolate as I write this paragraph, a pretty dark milk one– and so many others. Just for the thrill of tasting!

It is not only about this chocolate, the Seis de Luberri Cosecha 2014 –not even a crianza from Spain, just a more simple one– goes well with the chocolate and the weed.

Tonight I have chosen a new hybrid Critical Kush. It is a very high one in THC, so it works perfect for me. The flavor of this kush is more terroir like. I really mean earthy, creamier and spiced weed in my tasting buds. With the chocolate goes very well. The cannabis enhances the some sweet flavors of the chocolate. It shows the spicy notes of the wine. So it is no big deal, a good hybrid, a good table wine and a good hybrid go together.

There is a reason why they match so perfectly. There are similar components in all 3 that work wonders on your brain. Let me keep this simple, the 3 together have a blast “on your feel good part of the brain”.

So keeping that in mind, you can work on how to pair foods, spirits and cannabis for you well being.

Let me add a disclaimer: You must be at home, relax, do not operated any machinery or social app, and do this in moderation. Be responsible with yourself and others.

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.




Weed, Wine and Travels: It’s complicated

The prime suspect to induced a pairing with Purple Kush.

Some days ago, I came from a family trip on a cruise. For a couple of weeks I was so freaking scare because of my  cannabis treatment. My mantra for this was:

If there is no weed, use wine, if there is no wine, use beer. If there is no beer, use water. If there is no water, you are dead and you need nothing.

I found out an emergency plan that worked very well. I will use my medical cannabis only if necessary while on cruise ship.

This is funny but some information reviewed for this blog, suggested not travelling with cannabis plants. A U.S.A. Medical Cannabis site provided the info.  Isn’t this funny? If you cannot travel with water, com’on people.

All I needed was just a small amount for my treatment. Any how, I’m the one with cancer for the second time in my life. No one else in my family has been so lucky.

The same day I was leaving on the cruise, I had my blood tests back. The results were fine. Later my hematologist confirmed my opinion.

One of the nights at sea we had a very nice wine from  Fatima, Portugal. It was a fair priced wine, that went well with my lamb. Then I thought of the locally hard to find Purple Kush. I mean in Puerto Rico. It will be a good pairing for Don Antonio, Reserva 2014.

The intense flavors of the blend –Alicante,Bouschet, Trincadeira and Aragonez– with the tannins were strong enough to hold the Purple Kush aftertaste. After thinking about the structure of the wine, the complexity of the meat, the aromatic notes of the steamed vegetables, it will also handle very well a strong THC presence hybrid.

I had on my mind so many questions that I will love to ask a Cannabis Chef, from a Fine Dining Restaurant, for my blog. Anyone out there?

I went to Customer Service of board, to ask if in the smoking area you can use a vape. I did not have mine, something I deeply regret.

Sounds really odd to me to go to a designated smoking area. The least I want to inhale is second hand smoke from a fucking cigarette. That is the only way you can use a vape for now on a ship if you are a medical cannabis user. They have to really update their laws and guidelines as more countries are accepting medical cannabis. as cancer therapy.

Besides the U.S.A., in the European Union, quoting an article published on on January 2018 by Caterina Tani, she writes that “only Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Poland and Spain currently authorise marijuana’s use as a medicine – while a few other states are planning legislation on the issue”.In the Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Luxembourg, a small amount for personal use has been decriminalized.

For now, I stick to my plan to enjoy wine on some destinations. My fingers are crossed for reciprocity laws among medical cannabis jurisdictions.  Other privileges for medical cannabis patients must be:

  1. Global Laws to protect the medicinal cannabis patient, honoring the licence issued in his/her country of origin.
  2. Respect and education regarding this issue.
  3. Local laws to prevent the imposition of beliefs against the use of cannabis instead of the scientific and proveen research. And for that matter, all that don’t promote knowledge.

There are many more, I know.  On every destination there will be more to learn about this.

By Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Suicide Mode among Chefs

By: Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

After having written about my encounter with the late Chef Anthony Bourdain for Porthole Cruise Magazine, I remembered Benoît Violier, the French chef who committed suicide en 2016 in his restaurant in France.

Is this a trend or just another mystery? Somethings we will never know for sure. The late Anthony Bourdain was a brilliant mind, you can read his point of view in social media. No problem. But was his death something to do with illness or reputation? It will take some weeks to find out, if scientific research is done and published.

Bourdain is not the only one to take this road. Violier did the same in 2016. The chef, according to an article published in The Telegraph, written by Alexandra Williams, was victim of a huge wine scam by a Swiss wine company. The then best chef of the world was 44 years old.

In 2003, Bernard Loiseau was on the verge of loosing his beloved Michelin stars. Under such stress he took his life. According to, in an article written by Amy McKeever, published in 2013 “the Michelin Guide may have cover up its role in the affair”.

The late chef Homaro Cantu Jr, who mixed in a bowl food and science, died at 38 yrs old in 2015. He was a very creative chef who gained a Michelin star. Cantu worked with the acclaimed chef Charlie Trotter. Trotter died at 54, on 2013 due to a stroke. Cantu was a visionary in terms of food and environment according an article published in the Chicago Tribune, by Mark Caro.

Chefs David Halls and Peter Hudson had a cooking TV show for 11 years in New Zealand before moving to London. Then BBC was their home. According to, with no formal cooking training, they were excellent hosts, cooks and entrepreneurs. Also, they were lovers in an era when being a homosexual was a crime. After chef Peter Hudson died of cancer in 92, David Halls was so depressed that committed suicide in 93.

All of them left behind a powerful statement, not written in a note, but for us to reflect upon. We are all mortals, with ups and downs. There is no true happiness unless you find it within yourself. As a society, we must really research this behavior. We have to learn that uncontrollable stress, ignorance, hatred, bigotry, and the daily excesses lead us to a complicated emotional state. Seek help from health professionals, understand your human nature. Depression is a burden that you can´t handle alone. Do not be afraid to talk about it. It can happen to anyone you know, including you.


© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Vaping with Pinot Grigio

I was reading about the wine pairing with weed today. I was double checking my palate. So, being in Puerto Rico, I had to try a Pinot Grigio which is so citric in aromas and taste with whatever weed I had in hand.  There is mystery in the air. The tropics are humid and hot this evening. So I have to have some Cherry Wine after having King Kong strain in the afternoon.  My strains of choice at night are Rasta Kush, Purple Kush but I went again for the Cherry Wine.

On my wine glass, I have a Pinot Grigio from Italy. After having some hard time with my  rechargeable vape and I really wanted some Mango Kush, I went to the strain with more CDB on. So checking on my pot, I decided to go back to the Cherry wine. For my well-being, King Kong and Silver Haze are just for the day. They keep me very awake and energetic on the bright side but I am beginning to notice that high THC hybrids make me  upset most of the time. I don’t want to be that way. I’m going more into the CDB from now on. This is why you have to listen to your body. There is no standard dose like in pharmaceutical drugs. The rule of thumb I used were the suggestions given by my Dr. Jaime Claudio and my budtenders.

Super Silver Haze, an a.m. sativa strain.

With that being said, I turned back to the acidity on the  Pinot Grigio. The classic mandarin orange notes, lime and mineral hues went well with the wine, even when it wasn’t a very good one.

Then after vaping some of the Cherry Wine, green pears as those from Anjou came forward on my palate. Then a sip of wine and the experience keep on intensifying. Some green grosellas, you have to be here in Puerto Rico to relate to them, even green white guavas come to my mind.

This is a real trip for the palate, mind and body. I’m getting in tune with all the flavors and aromas while their enhance in me. Of course I choose my dry herb vaporizer, the gadget I’m beginning to trust the most because of its effectiveness. So I went to my greens, the Pinot and the Weed.

The aftertaste is flavor full, citrus fruits, green apples, pears and lime come together as only one fruit. Then the Cherry Wine strain turns out really creamy, herbaceous and mineral. After some vaping, no pain and pure relaxation. At last, with the use of medical cannabis I’m feeling stress free. Yeah!

This is a great sensorial experience!

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wine and Weed: Cherry Wine Strain plus Real Wine


Cherry Wine Strain. I took the picture!

My body is my lab. I have this scientific approach to everything in life nowadays. I really appreciate all my years as agricultural communicator for the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. A plus is my background as wine writer and humanistic approach to everything. This is not a CV just plain reality…so I write as nobody reads, that’s my philosophy.

Being an open book, true to my feelings I decided to shift to wine and weed in my Paquecepas blog. I write from the heart!

With this disclaimer or whatever it is, here I’m analyzing the flavors and effects of the strain cherry wine and Prophecy Red Blend, vintage 2015.

To increase my well being and knowledge, I had to take some steps. When I decided that my CLL was going to be treated with Ayurvedic medicine, spiritual guidance, pharmacological medicine and cannabis, I started out by contacting my dear friend and wine lover Dr. Jaime Claudio Villamil. And in my health ship, a great friend, Dr. Jose Caldera Nieves, is on board, as well as the understanding of my family. This is the great coupage not to a cure for leukemia, I do not expect that, I just want dignity. With that being said, my journey to a better life has been a learning process.

So I’m having a blend of wines from Washington state and California, I’m tasting the  cherry wine strain.

Let me make clear that I’m convinced that this is a hybrid, dominated by sativa. On this century, there are no pure strains due to evolution and breeding. I haven’t had this agricultural issue explained to my bud tender from my professor point of view.

I grinded my flowers and started trying them for the  anti inflamatory properties.

My taste buds are trained for wines and spirits, but here after vaping some of this cherry wine strain, the earthy, humid soil, a little flowery taste comes to mind. After some vaping, I felt a nice up feeling, very relaxed and there is no pain in my neck nodes.

I will have to see it the accumulative results of this strain will really alleviate my neck nodes. But there is something I am proud of, it goes well with the coupage. I really bet on this strain to pair with Zinfandels from California, Primitivo from Italy and even Priorats from Spain.

For now, the after taste is clean and long.

Remember, I’m not a weed guru, just a cannabis user and wine blogger. I came from the sublingual drops to cartridges to grinning. This is better understanding of what cannabis can do for you.

Be you, be well.

Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wine and Weed: Kush Anyone?

By: Amanda Díaz de Hoyo


Be flexible. That´s my lesson for today. I was running some errands, my husband´s car was on the repair shop. A friend of mine was asking for some advice and I was texting about medical cannabis. Busy morning, thinking I´m sort of Mrs. Sativa Indica. As you read on my latest blog, I´m a medical user. I really do not judge you if you use it as a patient or a recreational user. You are my guest in this site and I respect you as you are. This morning, I found myself answering some questions and one is like a highlight. What does kush means when you get your weed? For a common consumer like me, it´s always good to know what are you taking for your condition. Also, how does it fit to your life style. I love wine, good food, travels and sharing information, bona fide.


When you go to a dispensary you are always going to get some hybrid, a combination of the best cultivars available. Strains, that is. So you personalized your treatment. This is why Medical Cannabis is a revolution now days. It goes to a more preventive and ecological way to dignify your medical condition. Mainly you can get sativas and indicas blends. That is what hybrid seeds are all about. Two different strains produce a hybrid. Now you get it. If the word kush appears somewhere on the name of your favorite cannabis hybrid, there is a descendant of the Hindu Kush mountains strain. If you read something about Haze, remember Jamaica. Haze is a primary type sativa. The kush comes from India and there is some called Durban Poison, that according to site comes from Africa. It is very interesting how the best characteristics of each strain have been modified according to patients needs. That´s why many big pharmaceutical and agricultural monsters are trying to get a hold of the market. I really prefer a much artisan like, less corporate approach. From my taste buds experience, kush has a more grapey character that goes well with wine. This time, I´m having an Australian free school wine with my Rasta Kush. It is not about how indica or sativa is in competition. It is all about well-being.

Be safe, be well and be responsible.

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wine and Weed: Tannins vs. Terpenes


Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

Some years ago I sent an email to my grown kids. If cancer comes by again in my life, no chemo or things like that. I had enough radiation for my neck while facing a thyroid cancer that I prefer to use a more logical approach. As a wine lover, enthusiast and journalist on enological matters, I surely prefer wine instead of medicines.

As I now know my diagnostic, CLL, or Chronic Lymphocitic Leukemia, caused by radiation for my previous scare, I turned to medical cannabis. Hopefully, Puerto Rico has the Medical Cannabis Law approved. There is a dispensary nearby my house! I decided without pain but with that stupid catholic guilt that cursed me since childhood, that I was going to use it.

With this disclaimer comes my adventurous wine and weed experience. After my trip to California, I left way behind my mixed emotions about cannabis. On my previous blog is what everybody should now, as recreational user or medical one.


I learned about the Mandarin kush. My guru at the dispensary told me about this hybrid. A 60% indica and 40% sativa. It has a very citrus essence. So being a bud tender giving a review, I decided then to go for this one.

Being into wines, I began to wonder what chemical compound was behind weed. Wine have tannins but cannabis? Then I found out about terpenes.

Wines first, please. Tannins are in every wine. They are phenol substances, astringent, and soluble. They are on the skin and in the seeds of the grape. Winemakers, like my friend Carmelo Rodero, removes the seeds to minimize any harshness in the wine. One of the most renown tannins is resveratrol, good for your health. From heart diseases to stress due to cancer, you can find research studies about the benefits of resveratrol. Resveratrol by its name has been a super tannin since the French Paradox.

How about terpenes? I needed to find out due to my scientific approach to my disease. This is what I found out about them.

As a good student, I turned to Google. One of my favorite sites is So there I went. They have a great article 3 important terpenes on

Ocimene is one of them. You can find it on other plants like mint, mangoes, orchids, basil, parsley, pepper and kumquats. Ocimene is anti everything: antiviral, anti fungal, antiseptic and antibacterial. Of course, is a decongestant. I didn´t know.

Terpinolene, another compound is anticancer, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti fungal. It mainly comes from sativas. The last one, is guaiol, that is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.

You can find this substances in other plants from herbs to spices. It gives their distinctive aromas and affect the mood and the brain. Remember lavender or peppermint? They come naturally on weed and other plants.

Right now, I am pairing my Rasta kush, more sativa than indica hybrid, with a Bordeaux, 2011. No problem with that.

© Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amanda Díaz de Hoyo and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Adeline Backstreet: Symbiosis of Wine and Weed


By: Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

Lately I have been writing some columns in English for a web magazine. On my blog it will not be different, just a practice! I have done that before, doing my own translations, and here I am after an unforgettable trip to California, with my sister.

Wines, of course we will had some with delicious and fresh food; local beers, mainly artisan made and even apple cider, produced on a nearby county. There is no doubt about the array of cultures, food, religions, music and beliefs in California. Now days, when recreational marijuana has been approved, for some people in the wine country is going to be competition, for others more confusion and mental rush, and from an increasing amount of tourists means of pairing sativas and indicas, with Sauvignon Blanc or Zinfandel. What about the cannabis hybrids? Not so quick, please. This is a learning process.

As a new member of the medical cannabis society in Puerto Rico, I have to say that I have learned a lot. Since smoking pot was not my thing, just wine and food, but my body and cells have another point of view, I had to overcome the stigma that my Catholic upbringing –although I am agnostic now—had done in my mind. Catholic guilt, gone like forever. That was the first thing to get rid off.

After having my dispensary and my doses sorted out, and honestly I feel quite a relief from my illness, I was on my way to California for a week or so.

No problem, I thought, since California approved Medical Cannabis more than 20 years ago. Now, it has the recreational part included.

Look what I found out as a cannabis patient in the wine country. If you go to Solano County, the city of Vallejo, according to people from a dispensary, if you are not a resident of the state with a valid ID, you cannot buy medical or recreational marijuana.

If you go to Alameda County, Oakland to be exact, the county´s laws are different. You can have any proof of being US citizen and no problem.


This ambiguity in a new law has many cons for cannabis patients traveling out of their areas. So, counties, states and territories must have reciprocity laws allowing patients with a valid cannabis license to buy their medicine.

In terms of wine and weed, there are several companies in California doing tastings of both. Some of them are: California Cannabis Tours, Sonoma Cannabis Company, MJ Tours. Just google their names.

Many of the tours start in Oakland, as Shawn, from Magnolia Wellness on Adeline Street, explained in my incursion for my pot. “Here we serve medical and recreational cannabis, with different strains, and also hybrids”, he added. Adeline, the name of my godmother comes again to Oakland, I thought.

With a sensorial experience with the one I had, a hybrid infused with tangerine and citrus flavors, mainly sativa, and that´s why I thought about the Savignon Blanc, or perhaps a Verderjo or Vinho Verde, will pair with it.

I have a long way to go, so do laws allowing patients to decide how to treat their conditions. I hope federal government can allow patients to travel with their doses and acknowledge their licenses in every jurisdiction of the USA, territories included.

Next, I suppose, there will be more tourists going to places like California, Colorado, Washington and other states that are feeling this new kinf of tourism. Last but not least, we went to Mendocino county, to visit a couple of wineries and you can smell cannabis on the road to the grapes. Symbiosis.



Paquecepas by Amanda Diaz de Hoyo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Tipicidad y Evolución

Borja Mateos de Bonilla, de las bodegas Nubori, presentó los vinos españoles en el salón de Pan American Grain.



Por: Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

El ejercicio de comentar los vinos llega con emociones siempre que nos toca, ya sea para este blog o para otra publicación. Digo esto porque cada vino es una experiencia diferente, aunque te tomes el mismo caldo, de la misma añada. Todo es cambio y lo que a unos le parece típico, a otros no. Es cuestión de experiencias…

Resulta que hace unas semanas,estuvimos en la presentación que realizó Borja Mateos de Bonilla, el director administrativo de las bodegas NUBORI. El nombre de las bodegas acuña el acrónimo de Nuevas Bodegas Riojanas, y como sugiere el mismo, hay algo de nuevas tendencias en los vinos que producen allá en España , en zonas como la Rioja y Rueda, ambas reconocidísimas en el mercado internacional de los vinos.

Con el Verdejo 2016 comenzamos la conversación de la tipicidad del vino, que en su momento se presentó austero en nariz, careciendo de las notas afrutadas intensas que suelen tener los vinos de esa denominación de origen. ¿Muy frío al servirse tal vez? Esperé un poco, y aunque la mineralidad de los suelos se transmitía en cada sorbo –recordándome la variedad Glera del Veneto– poco a poco despertaron algunos matices de azahares y frutos más cítricos.

Desde mi perspectiva, este vino tiene la llave para abrir la puerta de las nuevas sensaciones. Es ideal para quienes se inician en el mundo del vino sin ataduras y prejuicios. Describo con esto ¿el vino o los consumidores? Ambos. Este vino lo recomiendo para tomarlo relajadamente en la playa como la del hotel Copamarina en Guánica, así tranquila…También para acompañar platos vegetarianos y ensaladas de pollo, salmón, sopas frías como el gazpacho tan propio de la Madre Patria y sus veranos. Con tipicidad o sin ella, me lo tomo de lo más feliz.

Un lugar como este rincón de playa del Hotel Copamarina en Guánica sería mi lugar idóneo para un vino que se sirve fresco como el Verdejo de Nubori. Sin complicaciones y relax.

Degustamos los vinos: Nubori Edición Limitada añada 2014; el Edición Limitada Oro 2012; el Nubori Reserva, 2012; el Nubori Cuveé Especial 2007; y el Nubori Vendimia Seleccionada 2006. Este fue el orden sugerido pero a decir verdad, y aquí es que me meto en líos, el Edición Limitada Oro 2012 debió estar en el tercer lugar de la degustación por su estructura más compleja y post gusto más pronnunciado que el Nubori Reserva del 2012. Los mismos años, con cepas de más tiempo uno que el otro, causan una gran diferencia en copa. Claro, y se lo comenté a Borja, pues tengo entre ceja y ceja que el conocimiento, aunque humilde, se debe compartir.

Mi favorito de la tarde, en materia de tintos fue el Vendimia Seleccionada 2006, porque representa el trabajo de las cepas tradicionales tintas riojanas: Tempranillo, Garnacha y Graciano, con un estilo más definido.

El trabajo enológico está en manos de Jorge Algarabide y estas bodegas, que llevan de fundadas el mismo tiempo que Puerto Rico cambió de ser colonia española a colonia de los EE.UU., 1898 ha ido atemperándose a las transformaciones de una agroindustria dinámica. Al presente cuentan con las etiquetas de los Nubori, Campo Burgos, y Marqués de Campo Nuble.

En Puerto Rico han entrado al mercado con los amigos de Pan American Grain, que by the way, tienen una selección interesante de vinos y con precios muy competitivos, justo lo que se necesita antes de plantearse llenar la planilla de impuestos.

Paquecepas by Amanda Diaz de Hoyo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License


  Porto y Vila Nova de Gaia, cara a cara

IMG_2389 (1)
Algo empinadas las calles en Vila Nova de Gaia y en Oporto.

Por: Amanda Díaz de Hoyo

Esa mañana, luego de caminar por la ribera del río Tajo en Lisboa, recogimos las maletas, y buscamos la estación de Oriente, para dirigirnos en tren a Porto. El viaje duró unas tres horas y a la verdad que la costa portuguesa cautiva tanto que uno quiere regresar.

Una vez en Porto, la ciudad llena de luces, vive con un ritmo tranquilo. Llegamos al hotel en la ribera de enfrente del Douro, en Vila Nova de Gaia. Desde ahí veíamos una ciudad de mil historias, tocada por el tiempo y el vino.

La aventura del taxi por las estrechas calles empedradas que nos llevó al hotel OH PORTO, con solo 6 acogedoras habitaciones, fue todo un proceso de cambio. El hotel, interesantísimo por demás, estilo boutique, nos recibió con habitaciones que tienen las mejores vistas de Porto, los Rabelos o embarcaciones que tradicionalmente se han usado para transportar toneles de vino fortificado –oporto– y las estructuras incluyendo el icónico puente Dom Luis I, uno de los que une el distrito de Ribeira con Vila Nova de Gaia. Incluyó simpáticos desayunos que llevan a la habitación, minimalista y moderna. Se localiza en: Calçada da Serra no. 85, es muy cómodo y céntrico.

En Vila Nova de Gaia visitamos las cavas Ferreira, en la avenida de Ramos Pinto, para adentrarnos en el vino que le ha permitido a la ciudad que la llamemos en español Oporto. Entonces, la historia del viaje de los toneles por el río Duero, Douro en portugués que es el que nace en España y desemboca en el Atlántico, toma una forma tangible con olor a madera, especias y frutas maceradas. Las cavas son impresionantes, y un recorrido por ellas es ver la evolución de Vila Nova y Porto en torno al comercio del vino.

Port glasses
Oporto blanco y tinto, dignos de degustarse en la cava.

Allí degustamos un ruby blanco y uno tinto. A ver si repaso un poco con ustedes algunas nociones del oporto, que es un vino fortificado, es decir se le agrega brandy al vino que previa y parcialmente se había fermentado. Esta práctica comenzó en el siglo XVIII a fin de preservar el vino en la exportación que entonces era casi totalmente a Inglaterra. La mayor parte de los oportos son non-vintages que significa que se mezclan vinos de diferentes añadas.

Los estilos del oporto son: el ruby, que por lo general es el más básico de los oportos y lleva 3 años de añejamiento, tienden a presevar la fruta y pueden ser blancos, elaborados con uvas blancas, y tintos, elaborados con roja; el tawny que se elabora al mezclar oportos blancos y tintos, que pueden ser de 10 y 20 años de añejamiento, y suelen ser complejjos con aromas de higos, caramelo, miel y frutos secos; LVB o Late Bottle Vintage, que se aneja de 4 a 6 años antes de embotellarse; el Vintage, que se produce con las mejores uvas, sin mezclar, solo en años excepcionales y se aneja al menos durante 2 años. Son vinos que no requieren decantarse, con excepción del Vintage.

Los espiritus dentro de la cava.

Concluida nuestra visita a la bodega, seguimos calle abajo a encontrarnos con la ribera del río, donde en una terraza pasamos una tarde relajada, escuchando la música del Blue & White Strings Duet, compuesto por dos talentosos jóvenes.

Así comenzamos a despedirnos de la magia de Porto y Vilanova de Gaia, un rincón de Portugal que no deben perderse.

Antes de que se me olvide, recomiendo el restaurante Dourum a ojo cerrado. Este ubica en la Ave. Diogo Leite, 454, mirando al río. La comida  es excelente, en particular, el pulpo y las lulas o calamares. La oferta de vinos, cómoda al bolsillo y de buena calidad.

Vila Nova de Gaia y Oporto descansan al atardecer, cara a cara con la brisa del Duero.

Ya les contaré más de mis andanzas, entre vinos y planes de viaje. Pronto tendré a California en la mira, a ver cómo la encuentro después de los fuegos que afectaron parte de Napa el año pasado y ojalá que no vuelvan a ocurrir. Fingers crossed.

 by Amanda Diaz de Hoyo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License