Beer and wine -- the old time choice, which one is the right one? Portugal’s love affair with alcoholic beverages began centuries ago. We love everything about it, and we use it in our everyday lives for celebrations, relaxation and even in special occasions at the recommendation of our doctors - That's our story and we're sticking to it :-)
Throughout history, people have treated the consumption of alcoholic beverages as rituals, habits, and customs and of course – as a form of entertainment. Alcohol beverage trends come and go and are glamorized in everything from magazines to newspapers and television.
From Soccer games to happy hours to wine tasting events, Portugal's love of alcohol is timeless and is often paired with food, which equates to big bucks for manufacturers, distributors, grocers, restaurateurs and bars.
Recently, two beverages in particular – beer and wine -- have been stirring up even our parliament, when they introduced austerity measures.
Wine is in. What was once considered stuffy, conservative and expensive has now become a hot trend – not just with baby boomers, but also increasingly among Generation X's.
Wine is stylish. Wine magazines are popping up, wine auctions are proliferating and most notably for restaurateurs, wine bars are packed. Unlike previous generation of wine bars, which paired expensive vintages with either price fixed meals or a few crackers, today’s new wine concepts are all about casualness and the relationship it has to food. White wines no longer have to go with fish, red wines with meat or dessert wines with dessert. Today anything goes.
In addition to wine, beer has also entered a new age of respectability in part from the plethora of brewery-style restaurants and bars popping up all over the country.
The popularity of beer in Portugal is astonishing with many restaurateurs cashing in all over the country.
Not only are restaurants pushing many of the famous Portuguese beers, but also many other international brands are now entering the Frey. From haute cuisines to more casual restaurants, operators are matching beers to their menus, often using beer as a cooking ingredient in recipes and as accompaniments to specific-flavored dishes.
Culinary Classes offered by many Chef's are also catching on to the importance of cooking with beer by developing seminars and a greater aptitude for cooking with beer. The popularity of beer-inspired dishes is growing.
So whether its wine, beers, port, brandy's or margaritas, Portuguese will continue to drink up, eat up and enjoy both their wines and their beers – that’s definitely the new Portuguese austerity way, so when in the country ... just like "when in Rome, do as the Romans" while enjoying assisting us in beating the great Portuguese economic crisis.