On June 12, the world of art and wine came together at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami – an art gallery in the city’s revitalized Wynwood arts district. In 1964, Donald and Mera Rubell established one of the world’s largest privately owned collections in New York City. In 1993, the Rubells took over the 23,000 square-foot Miami building and a year later, they created the Contemporary Arts Foundation to support their public mission in art.
The space was a fitting location to examine the art of wine making. Wines of Portugal hosted the annual grand tasting, where guests sampled dozens of varieties and enjoyed a master class led by Wine Educator and Master Sommelier Emilio Guerra.
ONE | Sotheby’s was present to take notes.
Swept by Atlantic breezes on the west coast of the Iberian peninsula, the region known as Portugal today has been producing wines since 2000 BC. Portugal is most famous for sweet Port, but in fact 50% of its production is dry wine, including sparkling. With 250 grape varieties and numerous microclimates spanning 25 DOCs – even off the mainland the Madeira and the Azores islands — Portugal is the 10th largest producer of wine in the world and 5th in Europe. The masterful blending of grapes is the focus of many wineries.
The Douro region in the northwest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1756, Douro became the first demarcated and regulated DOC in the world for its Port production.
The Quinta de Aveleda Vinho Verde 2011, a combination of Loureiro and Alvarinho grapes, would make a great summer wine in Miami to accompany light meals.
The Quinta de Garrida 2008, made from Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional grapes — the latter being “the king of grapes,” according to Guerra — would pair well with aromatic dishes such as mushroom risotto.
No meal should end without a sip of Port. Silky on the tongue and with a heady scent of raisin, the 2005 Barros LBV owes its flavor to Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca and Tinta Roriz grapes.
Miami’s wine lovers needn’t travel across the Atlantic to savor Portugal’s wines. Many of the wines sampled at the event are available at the following local retailers: Stefano’s Key Biscayne, Best Time Wine Grove, Sunset Liquors, Big Daddy’s and more — ask your local wine dealer.
To learn more about the wines and the region’s rich history, visit Wines of Portugal.
The art space is accessible to the public. Summer hours are by appointment only. Visit the Rubell Family Collection for more details.
– Maria de los Angeles is a freelance wordsmith based in Miami.
PHOTO CREDITS: All photos by Dale Stine.