Portugal may not be the first country that comes to mind when thinking about new wines to try. But it should be. Although many other countries produce wine, Portugal has been producing wine since the early 18th century, and the country has been trading wine with other countries since the early 18th century.
Legend has it that wine has been produced in Portugal since at least 4000 years ago, according to some sources. It is possible that Portugal has been producing wine since the time of the Phoenicians, although the methods of production were very different from those used today.
Distinctive and exceptional in every way
It is almost universally acknowledged among wine enthusiasts that the finest wines produced in Portugal have traditionally been port and Madeira, two fortified wines that are enjoyed around the globe. There is, however, much more to the wines of Portugal, and every variety is just as impressive as these well-known beverages in terms of flavour and aroma.
Portugal has a number of distinct wine regions, each of which produces and uses a distinct grape variety unique to that region. In fact, it is precisely this characteristic that distinguishes Portuguese wine from that of other wine-producing countries. The wines produced in Portugal are made from grape varieties indigenous to the country, and they are all distinct to the region. The Portuguese government has put in place safeguards to ensure that all wine produced in the country is of the highest possible standard of quality.
Portuguese wine is produced in a variety of styles and varieties, although not all of them are well-known in other parts of the world. Europe, particularly England, is well acquainted with the majority of Portugal's finest exports; however, these products have not yet achieved the same level of popularity in the United States.
The Alentejo region of Portugal is located in the country's southernmost region. Die Alentejo grapes are used to make fruity, soft white wines with a distinct acidity that are enjoyed by many wine enthusiasts. Among the most widely consumed wines in Portugal, this is one of the most highly regarded.
The Regiao Demarcada da Bairrada produces both white and red wines, but the most popular wine produced in this region is a sparkling white wine that can be found in many Portuguese restaurants and is quite affordable.
Colares Sand Wine
A short distance outside of Lisbon, wine grapes are grown on sandy soil, which is currently in short supply due to the city's expansion. It is produced in both red and white varieties, and it has a distinct fruity flavour that distinguishes it from other sand wines.
The Regiao Demarcada do Dao is located in northern Portugal, and it is known for producing some very distinctive wines from a variety of Portuguese grape varieties. Generally considered to be the best table wine produced in Portugal, this is a rare find.
Moscatel (Muscat in English) is one of the oldest varieties of Portuguese wine, having been around since the 15th century. It's a fortified wine that's been around for hundreds of years and is still popular today.
Port wines are fortified wines that can be consumed in either red or white varieties depending on the variety. This is one of the varieties of wine that helped to establish Portuguese wine as a household name and popular beverage around the world.
Vinho Verde is produced in the northwest region of Portugal and does not go through any sort of ageing process. It is the second most popular Portuguese wine after port in terms of exports.
There is something for everyone.
As you can see from these brief descriptions, the wine of Portugal is diverse and complex in its flavour profile and composition. You are certain to find a variety of Portuguese wine that appeals to both you and your discriminating taste buds.