Quinta da Murta 2014 Brut Nature, Portugal ($26.99, #287029)
This year the festival’s regional spotlight is on the wines of Portugal and Spain, so let’s start with a whirlwind representation of Portuguese bottles. First things first, never overlook the sparkling wine. Bubbly offers a festive start to wine tasting, and it also works well as a palate pick-me-up as the tasting ensues. Not much Portuguese sparkling is available locally, but Quinta da Murta makes up for it with their lip-smacking, elegant yet unabashedly sassy offering.
This is a unique sparkler that truly imparts an “Atlantic Ocean freshness” (as the label purports). Bottom line: A. Pair with shellfish for the win.