SIL, FIL and I drove to the Setubal Peninsula to visit wineries and indulge in the local gastronomy. While we waited in between tours, we stopped by a local restaurant for a local dish of grilled "black" pork, homemade french fries, salad and wine (I thoroughly appreciate meals in which I know everything being served on my table is not only locally produced, but often organic and/or raised in the wild. This was one such meal). My SIL and I really liked the house red wine. We liked it so much so, I asked the owner where I could buy it, thinking it must be from the winery across the street. He told me that it was from a private winery located 2 kilometers down the road. He then proceeded to give me directions.
Driving down the dirt road to the winery just a few minutes later, we didn't know what to expect. Turning onto a somewhat sketchy, narrow, bumpy dirt road up to California Winery, I was even more skeptical. I parked right in front of the vineyards. The store looked like a barn, minus the cows (and smell). However, I took one look at the prices and nearly broke out into a song and dance. I purchased a 20L box of red table wine (that's 20 bottles of wine) for approximately 24 US dollars (boxed wine is more popular here and, actually, really good in comparison to the often poor quality boxed wines in the US).
I was a little nervous when we sampled some of the wine with dinner tonight. There was a chance it wouldn't taste the same as the wine we had with lunch yesterday. Fortunately, it was just as good! And, of course, I'm thrilled that I was able to get such a great deal (We estimate this amount and quality of wine in the US to be about $9-$12/bottle. We paid approximately$1.20/bottle)! I know I will not find wines deals like this when we get back to the States. I'm only sad that I hadn't stumbled upon something like this sooner! For the next three months, I will be drowning in wine, in the truest sense!
Here are two other pictures of our wine experience at Bacalhoa Vineyards: