It all started when our manager, Kathy, asked me to do a project in the Wine Shop. The task involved moving every bottle of wine in our Portuguese section. Oh my! Being the new kid on the block, my knowledge has been expanding as fast as my curiosity in the vast World of Wine. You’ve probably heard of Ports, those justly famous fortified dessert wines, but what about the other wines from Portugal? Portuguese wine production dates all the way back to Roman times, and there are over 500 indigenous grape varieties. I chose this very affordable Portuguese red. At first, the name, Silk & Spice, was a turn off, but I decided to go with it. After all, Portugal is the country that pioneered the Cape route, sparking the maritime trade of those goods to Europe. I was instantly intrigued with its very dark ruby color and great legs! The nose is very complex with notes of vanilla, mushroom and a little tobacco. The flavor starts out dry and very fruit forward with plum and raisin. Then there is a following that’s hard to describe—floral, honey, slightly sweet. Finally, on the finish you get a little pepper and mineral. Overall, pleasant sipping, and at $10.99, a definite bargain. Enjoy!