Portuguese Wine and Garlic Marinated Pork – Carne de Vinha d’Alhos

Welcome to another culinary adventure with PortuGourmet! Today, we’re diving into the heart of Portuguese cuisine with a dish that’s as flavorful as it is steeped in tradition – Carne de Vinha d’Alhos, or Portuguese Wine and Garlic Marinated Pork. This dish, popular in the island of Madeira, is a testament to the Portuguese love for pork and the magic that happens when simple ingredients are transformed through time-honored cooking techniques.

Carne de Vinha d’Alhos is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of family and heritage. Often served during family reunions on Christmas Eve in Madeira, this dish brings warmth and joy to the table with its rich, garlicky aroma and succulent, wine-infused pork. Whether you’re of Portuguese descent or simply a food enthusiast looking to explore new cuisines, this dish is a delightful way to experience the culinary treasures of Portugal. So, let’s embark on this flavorful journey together!

Understanding Carne de Vinha d’Alhos

Carne de Vinha d’Alhos, which translates to “meat with wine and garlic,” is a traditional Portuguese dish that showcases the country’s culinary ingenuity. At its core, it’s a simple dish, but the flavors it delivers are anything but. The pork is marinated in a mixture of wine and garlic, which not only tenderizes the meat but also infuses it with a depth of flavor that’s truly remarkable.

The dish is especially popular in Madeira, a beautiful island known for its unique wines and rich gastronomic culture. Here, Carne de Vinha d’Alhos is a staple during the Christmas season, where it’s enjoyed as part of the family feast on Christmas Eve. However, its deliciousness knows no season, and it’s enjoyed year-round by locals and visitors alike.

The key to a great Carne de Vinha d’Alhos lies in the marination process. The pork is typically marinated for at least 24 hours, allowing the flavors of the wine and garlic to penetrate deeply into the meat. This results in a dish that’s aromatic, flavorful, and incredibly satisfying.

Crafting Your Portuguese Wine and Garlic Marinated Pork

Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s dive into the process of making your own Carne de Vinha d’Alhos. This recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, making it perfect for both beginners and seasoned cooks.


  • 2 pounds of pork loin (with some fat cut into 2-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 10 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Marinate the Meat: Start by cutting the meat into cubes and seasoning it with salt. Let it marinate for 12 hours. Then, create a marinade with the vinegar, wine, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, pepper flakes, paprika, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Place the meat in the marinade and let it sit for at least three days in the refrigerator. For an authentic touch, consider using a food-safe clay pot for the marination process.
  2. Cook the Pork: Once the meat has marinated, drain it from the marinade and cook it in a hot heavy skillet with a little olive oil. Cook in batches until the pork is browned on all sides and fully cooked.
  3. Serve: The traditional way to serve Carne de Vinha d’Alhos is with crusty bread that has been fried in the same pan using any leftover oil. However, you can also serve it with potatoes or rice for a hearty meal.

This recipe is a celebration of the simple, rustic flavors that Portuguese cuisine is known for. The combination of wine, garlic, and pork creates a dish that’s hearty, flavorful, and perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a new recipe to try, Carne de Vinha d’Alhos is a dish that’s sure to impress.

Pairing Your Carne de Vinha d’Alhos

The rich, robust flavors of Carne de Vinha d’Alhos call for a wine that can stand up to its intensity. Here are some wine pairing suggestions that would complement this dish beautifully:

  1. Vinho Verde: This young Portuguese wine is known for its slight effervescence and crisp, fresh flavors. It can cut through the richness of the pork and balance the dish’s strong garlic and wine flavors.
  2. Alentejo Red: Wines from the Alentejo region are full-bodied and fruity, making them a great match for hearty meat dishes like Carne de Vinha d’Alhos.
  3. Douro Red: Known for their deep, complex flavors, red wines from the Douro region can hold their own against the robust flavors of this dish.
  4. Portuguese Rosé: If you prefer a lighter wine, a Portuguese rosé could be a good option. Its bright acidity and fruity notes can complement the dish without overpowering it.

Remember, the best wine pairing is one that you enjoy. Feel free to experiment with different wines to find your perfect match.

Exploring More Portuguese Dishes

We hope you’ve enjoyed this culinary journey through the flavors of Carne de Vinha d’Alhos. But don’t stop here – Portuguese cuisine has so much more to offer! From the seafood-infused delights of Portuguese-style Mussels in White Wine Sauce to the hearty comfort of Port Wine Braised Beef – A Luxurious Dinner Option, there’s a world of flavors waiting to be explored.

At PortuGourmet, we’re passionate about bringing the best of Portuguese cuisine to your kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting your culinary journey, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Our website is filled with authentic recipes, insightful articles, and expert tips to help you navigate the wonderful world of Portuguese food.

So, why not try another recipe? Or perhaps delve into the history and culture behind these dishes? Whatever your culinary interests, we’re sure you’ll find something to inspire you at PortuGourmet. Happy cooking, and as we say in Portugal, “Bom apetite!”

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