The Wines of Portugal are some of the best in the world, at least in my opinion! This country produces incredible whites, reds, sparkling wines, and even rosé, on top of their ever famous fortified wines such as Port. There is so much to offer in Portugal, and for those who haven’t been there, you can travel through your glass until it’s safe enough to travel again.
The whites from this region grow mainly in the northern area of the country. Here you will find fruity, refreshing, and light-bodied white wines ideal for seafood and traditional Portuguese appetizers. Here you will find a lot of seafood, and some of the best prepared Baccalau ever! One of the main white wines you will find here is Vinho Verde which means “green” or “young wine”. These tend to be fruit-forward and slightly effervescent, making them ideal for daytime sipping as well as aperitivo hour. If you’re seeking something higher in alcohol, with texture and more body, you can find some of these whites in the Alentejo region and the Douro region of Portugal. These whites keep their acidity nice and easily pair well with both fish and meat dishes.
I also love the rosé from Portugal, grown in higher altitudes, and resulting in nice ripe red fruit flavors and aromas. There is no place in particular known for producing rosés here, but they do make them because of the growing popularity of this wine style. The reds of Portugal, are some of my favorite out there! I love Touriga Nacional as a whole, and when learning about the Wines of Portugal, in Sommelier school, this was one of the first grapes I tasted. I fell in love with its ripe fruit flavors, blending ability, and it’s signature spice and earth nose. I tasted one recently, as I was reading about the Wines of Portugal Wine Academy online and really loved the Quinta do Escudial Touriga Nacional 2012, Dão. This wine runs about $20 and is a steal for the price. This wine is full of ripe blackberry, earth, pepper, and red currants. On the palate, it’s smooth and floral with a long lingering finish. The Dão and Douro regions both claim to be the origin of this excellent grape, and the rest of the winemaking world is beginning to wake up to its quality. This one is from Dão, a region famous for making balanced and elegant wines.
While learning about the upcoming seminars on September 21st and 24th, I was able to also try some more wines from this beautiful country! Portugal is absolutely one of my favorite places to visit, especially because of the food, people, and culture. The people are so nice everywhere you go, and even the simplest dishes are just incredible! Another favorite wine I tasted from here was the Quinta do Portal Grande Reserva 2011, Douro, which runs about $45 per bottle and is just stunning. This is a classic Douro blend, that’s full of Portuguese power and has an elegance on the finish that is simply stunning with red meat, tomato sauces, and more.
Another favorite red wine of mine, which I can enjoy with or without food, any night of the week is the Beyra Reserva 2013, Beira Interior. This wine is $16 and very good from a lesser-known wine region, grown up in high altitudes. High altitudes add a cooler climate flavor profile to wines, which I tend to love. This wine leaps out of the glass with red berries and spice and lingers on the palate with more earth and spice notes. The finish is long and silky, and this wine can easily be enjoyed with or without food.
If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Portugal through your glass this month, I absolutely recommend heading to the Wines of Portugal site for some great seminars! They are informative, entertaining, and you will learn a lot. You will learn just how the soils and each region adds to the wines, taste, smell, and longevity. You will learn why Portuguese wines are such a popular wine category and also get the chance to hear from winemakers!