April turned out more showers than sun, and more travel than time at home. Because we spent a week in Germany, we had some interesting wines from the Bodensee, as well as on our side trip to Liechtenstein, both of which we’ll chronicle on separate pages.

For our Portuguese wines (and one Chilean of note), we can recommend the following.

Villa Oeiras Vinho Generoso

We certainly saved this treasure brought over from our time in Portugal for a special occasion. And it was: We shared it with friends who brought a rescue Vizsla to come live with us for her new furever home. From the small-production DOC Carcavelos near where Stephen first lived when he moved to Portugal in 2012, Villa Oeiras takes it time in cask and in bottle before it’s ready to enjoy, much like a tawny port.

This version, crafter from Arinto, Galego Dourado, and Ratinho varietals from a small plot on the hills near the town of Oerias (which wins for most vowel sounds in a row, and is roughly pronounced “where-rush”) spent at least 17 years since harvest to make it to us, with 10 of those in barrels ageing.

Its golden amber color, and moderate weight make it a lovely aperitif or dessert choice. Smoky scotch aromas, vanillin, and apricot seal the deal, while the palate presents golden raisin and saffron notes. Absolutely worth the wait. And it could have gone on another 17 years.

JM Fonseca Twin Vines DOC Vinho Verde 2021

With a light 10 percent abv, this Vinho Verde refers to the twin varietals, Alvarinho and Loureiro, that normally make up most or all of a DOC VV blend. Light straw color, light weight, and Pettilant to begin, it showed a Meyer lemon nose, and a touch of honeydew melon, lemon spritzer on the palate. This comes off as rounder than many VVs.

Adega Mae Dory Vinho Branco 2022 IG Lisboa

Crafted from a changing blend of white varietals, the 2022 is made up of Viosinho (38%), Arinto (29%), Alvarinho (22%), and Sauvingon (11%). This version possesses a straw color, and light to moderate weight for a white. With corn silk, and passionfruit on the nose, and more passion fruit, and preserved lemon on the palate.

2022 Catena White Clay Appellation Semillon & Chenin

One we picked up from the Frederick Wine Barn, and enjoyed with a spicy okonomiyaki, a Japanese cabbage and bacon pancake drizzled with creamy siracha sauce.