It was time to take a break from the wintry Avondale vineyards, and spend a sunny family holiday in the Algarve.  We stayed at a friend’s holiday house in Quarteira, a settlement which has transformed over centuries from a small, simple fishing village into a major holiday destination, famous for its golden beaches and superb seafood.  Quarteira still sustains a local fishing community, and each day the hard-working fishermen can be seen coming and going from the western reaches of the beach.  Their brilliantly fresh catches are sold at the nearby fish market early in the morning.  My kids loved the seafood, especially the prawns and clams served up with abundance at the beachfront restaurants.   But it didn’t take long before we decided to do some of our own cooking at home.  We set off early to the market and returned with a bounty of the freshest possible prawns and clams.  Now, it just happens, that retired Portuguese footballer Frederico Rosa is a friend of our friend, and it seemed like a good opportunity to socialise.  During a fine career, Fredi distinguished himself as Portugal’s star central defender with 18 caps to his name and a record of having scored five goals for his country.  But we were soon to also appreciate his culinary skills.  Seeing our stash of shellfish, he offered to cook traditional dishes for us.  The clams were simply but expertly prepared by letting the freshly pressed olive oil get to high heat in the pan; adding finely sliced garlic, all the clams and fresh coriander, and frying for just about two minutes.  Avondale’s Anima, our Chenin Blanc with its fresh blend of fruit flavours and soulful minerality, paired perfectly with Fredi’s traditionally prepared clams, making for an outstanding cross-cultural food and wine experience we will remember.

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