Portuguese Wines and Top American Chefs Unite

Staff Writer
Cru Curious: Chefs have created dishes in a variety of styles to highlight the range and versatility of Portuguese wines

Chef Bebber

White Portuguese wines are built for seafood.

Wines of Portugal launched an ambitious and multifaceted marketing campaign in April. The culinary-focused program, titled “10 Chefs/10 Wineries,” pairs Portuguese wineries with 10 of America’s top chefs. The program will culminate in an online cooking series and a limited edition printed recipe guide that will be available to consumers by year-end. The participating chefs have created dishes in a variety of styles to highlight the range and versatility of Portuguese wines.

Click here to see the Scallops with Black Truffle Sauce Recipe 

One of the most compelling food and wine pairings has been created by Massimo Bebber, executive chef at Sirio Ristorante at The Pierre, a restaurant known for its seasonal and traditional Italian cuisine. Born and raised in Roncegno, a town in the province of Trentino, Italy, Bebber attended the Culinary Institute in Levico, Valsugana, Italy. He worked at various luxury hotels and restaurants in Northern Italy for several years before relocating to New York City in 1998, where he worked as sous chef at Harry Cipriani. Bebber served as sous chef and then executive chef at Cipriani locations throughout Manhattan for over a decade. In 2009, he opened Carvaggio as executive chef.

Bebber paired his dish, capesante salsa al tartufo Nero (Scallops with Black Truffle Sauce), with Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas white, noting at a dinner at Oceana, “White Portuguese wines are built for seafood.”

Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas White, Beira Atlântico, 2012 (SRP: $18.99)

This blend of bical (50 percent), cerceal (25 percent), and sercialinho (25 percent) is fresh, aromatic, and nutty, with a flinty minerality, and a touch of herb. Lively, peachy, and rich on the palate, with good acidity. Pairs with fish and shellfish, summer corn soup, chicken satay with peanut sauce, spinach-artichoke dip, and  pastas with cream sauce.

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