Portuguese delights at the Secret Wine Shop and lenga|lenga

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Up on the second floor of an industrial warehouse in SOMA, you can find a small, stylishly decorated loft filled with secret spirits. I'm not talking about a haunted house. I'm talking about the Secret Wine Shop. It's also the home of owner Christy Bergman -- and homebase for her endeavor to bring unique and delicious wines to an eager audience, in a nontraditional and extremely intimate environment.

On July 25, I went to Bergman's Portuguese food and wine event, which was a collaboration with lenga|lenga, a new catering biz specializing in traditional Portuguese flavors.  Needless to say, it was one secret that deserves to be shared.

All six-courses were perfectly paired with a wonderfully robust, small-production wine, either from Portugal or made with Portuguese grapes. According to the chefs, there are 1001 ways to cook cod, so several of the dishes used this delicate, flaky fish, including the main course of creamy codfish, cooked with potatoes and white sauce, a Portuguese twist on potatoes au gratin or Spanish brandade.

As we made our way through the long list of wines, each one better than the last, we socialized with the resident cat Diesel, examined the eclectic art on the walls, and got to know our fellow wine aficionados, in what was essentially somebody's living room. This is truly a special wine tasting experience, and with the expert wine selection by Bergman, your palette will be pleasantly surprised by the diversity of flavors that one evening can encompass. As they say in Portuguese as they clink their glasses together … saúde!

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