My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

Fine dining and fine Ramos Pinto products

by Paul Bellini

Ramos Pinto makes wine. The Portuguese company recently sent their man Jorge Rosas to Toronto to spread the word about the company’s many fine wines and ports.

The event was a luncheon held at Chiado Restaurant, 864 College Street just past Ossington. It’s a high-end Portuguese restaurant with a gorgeous basement wine cellar that is big enough for a long table, perfect for private functions. A half dozen wine writers, and myself, sat at the elegantly appointed table as Jorge gave us a PowerPoint presentation on the company’s history and operations. Jorge is the great grandson of the founder, a man who loved art deco which has become the company’s visual style.

The luncheon was awesome. We began with appetizers – Parma prosciutto on corn toast, cod quenelles, and the most delicious Gravlax of salmon. This was paired with the delicate Duas Quintas White. The white was also paired with both a fresh goat cheese adorned with a Balsamic reduction, and a people-pleasing salmon tartar served atop diced avocado and fresh apple. So far, so very good.
But it was the third course, a filet of breaded fried octopus served atop tomato risotto, that I loved the most. It was served with the dreamy Duas Quintas Red, a perfect match. Both the red and the white are available at the LCBO, and are modestly priced, well worth it.

There was a fourth course, rack of lamb served with sweet yam and chestnut mash, and it was paired with the Duas Quintas Reserva, pricey and not available in Canada unfortunately; if you call and bug LCBO they might bring some in for you.
Finally, dessert – a roasted Bartlett pear covered in melted Serra cheese, served with the Ramos Pinto Ports. There were three ports, each aged differently, and all were fabulous. I love dessert wines, and it is obvious that Ramos Pinto makes some of the best.