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We don’t have to go back too many years to when Portugal was all about Port wine. There has been all kinds of wine-making going on in Portugal since the dawn of time, well almost, but for the longest time people talked just about Port. Nowadays Portugal and its wines are cool as cucumber.
If you haven’t tasted what the country has to offer here are 10 different wines from 10 different regions to get yourself acquainted.
Barbeito "Rainwater" Medium Dry 5-Year-Old (Madeira)
Out with the old, in with the new. Not in Madeira! Barbeito "Rainwater" Medium Dry 5-Year-Old is a fantastic take on a style often overlooked. Fresh, long and full of flavour.
Quinta das Bágeiras Espumante Grande Reserva (Bairrada)
If anyone have doubts about Portuguese sparkling wine, they can now forever shut their yaps. The bubbles of Bairrada are rarely seen on American hip-hop music videos and luckily so. That would be an intolerable waste of good wine. In recent years Bairrada has become one of the most interesting wine regions for terroir-driven white, red and sparkling wines.
Torre de Tavares Jaen (Dão)
Jaen is a fantastic example of Portugal’s impressive array of different grape varieties. It goes by the name of Mencía in Spain, but it has also found a home in the wine region of Dão. Winemaker João Tavares Pina shows with his unique and age-worthy wines that Dão is the real deal.
Quinta do Ameal Loureiro (Vinho Verde)
Portugal faces plenty of outdated preconceptions and the wine region of Vinho Verde is no exception. But producers like Quinta do Ameal with their intense yet delicate white wines are rebuilding the image of an entire wine region.
Dominó Salão do Frio (Alentejo)
The world-renowned wine region of Alentejo is blessed with good food and wine. But I have a feeling that Alentejo hasn’t revealed all its secrets. Restaureateur, chef and winemaker Vitor Claro surprises with his beautifully restrained wines. You can drink a bottle of Vitor’s wine with an incredible ease.
Quinta Vale D. Maria Vintage Port (Douro)
Then there is Port wine. I mean, who in their right mind wouldn’t grab a glass (or two) of Port if the opportunity presents itself. Intense fruit framed by a layer of tannins that will make your pants drop. Absolutely irresistible!
Viúva Gomes Tinto (Colares)
Definitely one of the most unusual wine regions in the world. But the wines of Colares, especially the old stuff, have character like no other. Well-structured, a bit quirky, but extremely fascinating wines.
Vale da Capucha White (Lisboa)
This spicy and utterly delicious white wine from a small wine sub-region near Lisbon has a mouthfeel sharper than a lightsabre. Young winemaker Pedro Marques is continuing his family estate with an impressive touch.
Azores Wine Company Verdelho o Original (Azores)
Portugal does island wines and it does them well. The Azores is mainly known for cheese, fishing and breathtaking nature but wine? Not so much. But thanks to young winemakers like António Maçanita and the Azores Wine Company there’s definitely a noticeable buzz around the new wines of the Azores.
José Maria da Fonseca Trilogia (Península de Setúbal)
Portugal is undoubtedly the king of fortified wines. But if that remains unclear to you just have a sip of this. That is if you can get your hands on it and if you do, consider yourself lucky. A Setúbal Moscatel is a blend of 1900, 1934 and 1965 vintages. I kid you not. Needless to say, here is where things get serious.