Erva is a gastronomic heaven known for its amazing dishes, but look beyond the food menu and you will also notice a fantastic selection of wines from all over the world. We speak exclusively to Jorge Silva, their wine sommelier to find out everything about wine tasting in the vibrant city of Lisbon.
What does your day-to-day job look like?
On a regular day, I'm in charge of checking our stocks, fridge temperatures and all the material needed for proper wine service. I need to make sure that everything will be in place to provide an enjoyable experience for our guests and also showcase the level of excellence expected from our hotel.
What makes a good wine sommelier?
A good sommelier needs to know the current market and actually taste a lot of wine to make sure they are serving the best product available. Make sure you have a great adviser to guide you when in doubt.
What is your favourite type of wine?
I personally prefer complex wines, like fortified wines. Port wine and Moscatel are good examples here in Portugal.
Please share your best wine tasting tip.
Wine and food from the same region always work well together and these pairings can frequently reveal pleasant surprises.
What’s the best type of wine to drink in Lisbon?
Here in Lisbon, we are so lucky to find the best wines from every region of Portugal, but some of the absolute best ones are made with the grape Arinto. You can find this grape all over the country, but in my opinion, its best form can be found in Lisbon, in a region called Bucelas to be more precise. Arinto makes beautiful wines, light and fresh, with citrus and tropical notes and high acidity. It's a perfect pairing for fish and seafood or just as mid-afternoon drink in one of Lisbon's sunny terraces.
"A good sommelier needs to actually taste a lot of wine to make sure they are serving the best product available"
Which wines do you think will emerge next?
I believe the biggest Portuguese trend will be wines from less known regions, like Trás-os-montes and Beira Interior. As far as a grape variety, my bet is on the Encruzado to become more popular. This grape is typical from the Dão region and is capable of producing exceptional white wines
What’s your favourite dish on the Erva menu?
As a starter, the fresh cod tempura was love at first sight. The cod is coated in a very light tempura batter and served with a black garlic and citrus mayo, pickled red onion and coriander sprouts. I believe it's a perfect dish, with an excellent balance of fat and acidity. If I was forced to choose just one main course, even though I love our dry-aged steaks, I will have to go with the roasted leg of lamb. It is first cooked sous-vide and then finished in our wood fire oven, with a blend of spices, lavender and honey. The lamb comes out nicely charred outside, but still incredibly juice on the inside. It truly is a remarkable dish.
How would you describe Lisbon in three words?
Fun, multicultural and addictive.
What’s your favourite Lisbon district and why?
Alcântara. The neighbourhood has a chill vibe, while still embracing the modernisation that's happening all over Lisbon. It has refined and discreet places by the riverside that people can enjoy all day long.
Are there any hidden Lisbon gems that tourists should visit?
Village Underground and LX Factory are my favourite places.