Why should France, Italy, and Spain get all the attention? With many varietals you won’t find anywhere else, Portugal is an exciting and oft-overlooked wine region that deserves more recognition. If you’re looking to shake up your wine rack with high-quality, affordable wines from Europe, then keep reading!
Portugal has 14 distinct wine regions, each with their own sub-appellations and geographic personalities. Let’s explore a few of the most prominent regions of Portugal here:
With more than 250 native grapes as well as many imports that have adapted well to the climate, Portugal really packs a punch of exciting, delicious wines. Tinta Negra, a dark-skinned grape, is the only red used in the production of Madeira. Many indigenous grapes combine to create Vinho Verde Branco, including Arinto, Azal, Trajadura, Loureiro, and Alvarinho. These light, tart grapes lend a slight spritz to the final product.
Full-bodied and bold Touriga Nacional grows throughout Portugal. It can be vinified separately, blended with other grapes, and used in the production of the fortified wine Port.
Alvarinho, known as Albariño in Spain, is a very popular grape that grows along the border between Vinho Verde and Galicia in Spain. It’s a floral and fruity white with notes of orange, lemon, and jasmine.
Some imported grapes that have done well in Portugal include Tempranillo (called Aragonês in Portugal), Mencia (or Jaén), and Cabernet Sauvignon.
You’ve probably heard the old adage “what grows together, goes together”. While there’s no end to pairing possibilities, it’s usually a safe bet to let Portuguese wine team up with Portuguese cuisine. That can look like:
Let these recommendations inspire you to try Portuguese wine!
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