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Mateus Rosé - Vinho de Mesa

Served at 7:16 PM on Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vinho de Mesa Mateus - First Class Portugese Table Rose Wine
Vinho de Mesa Mateus - One of the best Rose Wines

Recently, at a neighborhood wine store, I found something that was locked inside(what I want to describe as) an unusual bottle, a sort of flask. Unusual because it looked a class apart. It looked to be a part of the bygone era of the 70s, but had the feel of an modern wine bottled in old-world charm.

The look of it almost seduced me into buying it. With words such as Vinho de Mesa(table wine), Portugal and Rosé I was overwhelmed by the mixed reactions it could evoke. On one side I was making up an exotic world, retro and all, and on the other I was thinking perhaps this is going to be a not-so-good-experience. So wrong I was about the latter!

Some History

MATEUS Rosé’s story goes back to 1942 when Fernando Van Zeller Guedes, SOGRAPE’s founder, created and launched an entirely new concept, combining innovative elements within the different variables of the marketing mix.

Fernando Van Zeller Guedes was convinced that it was possible to make attractive and internationally interesting wines in Portugal. To that end, it was necessary to offer the market a wine that would be different from the others, especially the French ones.

Using technology that was an innovation at the time, the decision fell on a pink-coloured wine, made from red grapes from the Douro region.

MATEUS Rosé’s true secret – the one which gives it its distinct pink colour and great versatility – lies in the oenological care that goes into its making. Made exclusively from Portuguese red-grape vine varieties, such as Baga, Rufete, Tinta Barroca and Touriga Franca, its vinification process, involving a long fermentation period at controlled temperature, uses techniques similar to those used in the making of white wine. Avoiding a prolonged contact between the must and the skins, the wine acquires its distinct pink colour and retains a soft and fruity style.

Light, young, fresh and slightly fizzy, this wine has a great drinking versatility and is an excellent alternative to a glass of champagne or, simply, to a glass of beer. Seafood, fish, Chinese cuisine and light meals by and large go particularly well with MATEUS.

As regards the packaging for such a wine, originality was the key-word: the decision fell on a low and squat bottle, inspired by the flasks used by soldiers during World War I, a shape that made it stand out from other, taller bottles, in the shelf; the label, noble and innovative for the time, showed the Palácio de MATEUS, a baroque manor house, and provided a link between the product and its land of origin.

An innovative concept had been born, the competitive advantages of which were five-fold: the Mateus brand, the label portraying the palace of the same name, the use of an innovative bottle, all associated with the quality and organoleptic characteristics of the wine and with the image that gradually became part of it, constituted some of the variables that came to be the brand properties and that quickly made Mateus a world-wide known and enjoyed brand.

And that is how the MATEUS Rosé brand came about, along with its road to success.

The Wine

MATEUS ROSÉ is a light, fresh, young and slightly fizzy wine. Its quality, extreme versatility and consistent style make it the ideal wine to accompany a variety of cuisines and occasions.

Tasting Notes

MATEUS ROSÉ is a rosé with a very appealing and bright hue. On the whole, it is a fresh and seductive wine with fine and intense bouquet and all the perkiness of young wines. Roll it in the mouth and one realizes that it is a well balanced and tempting wine, brilliantly complemented by a soft and slightly fizzy finish.

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Wine thing to know - Ampelography

Served at 9:54 AM on Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New interest drives one to seek more about the subject. Fork and Cork wants to get you revved up with just the right stuff. We wanted to start something like "Wine term of the day" or something similar, but then we realized, it could even be an "Interesting Wine Fact". Well then, we have them clubbed together and decided to call it "Wine thing to know".

And the WTTK this time is Ampelography! What a mouthful, you may say. But wait till you get to know what it is.

Ampelography (Ampelos, 'vine' + graphy, 'writing') is the field of botany concerned with the identification and classification of grapevines. Traditionally this has been done by comparing the shape and colour of the vine leaves and grape berries. In recent times, vines are studied using even DNA fingerprinting!

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