We’ve just returned from a month in Portugal so naturally I’m anxious to share some wine experiences. In my opinion Portugal is today’s most exciting wine country for anyone interested in adventure – such as new tastes, new grapes, new experiences in wine.
Generally speaking Portuguese wines could be likened to bistro wines from France. A great diversity – cool whites, blockbuster reds, and everything in between. Damn good sparkling too, and lets not forget the flagship – Port. As with France, you find both traditional and modern styles. Enough for a lifetime of discovery.
The downside for us is Portugal is not on the radar (read profit) of our Control Board so pickings are slim. However there are a few fab everyday wines in the regular stores, and some premium offerings through Vintages. I’ve made French comparisons to give you an idea of what to expect. Naturally I won’t spoil your day by telling you how little the same wines cost in a Lisbon store or restaurant.
PORTUGAL PICKS AT REGULAR LCBOS
The Dao is one of Portugal’s relatively cool regions producing medium-bodied reds in a very drinkable style similar to Cotes du Rhone. With age the top wines often become Burgundian. I’m a big fan and the good news is there’s a excellent example at the LCBO for the lovely price of $8.95. Even greater value in the magnum size. Sogrape is the biggest wine producer in Portugal, and as often is the case with these guys, they can deliver quality at an everyday price. SOGRAPE 12 Dao ‘Grao Vasco’, Portugal 14977 750ml $8.25 238964 1500ml $15.95
My other favourite everyday Portuguese red is Periquita. I love the honest earthy/rustic character. Has the nourishing quality of dinner at your mom’s. We visit the historic Fonseca winery on our Lisbon Tour. J.M. da MARIA da FONSECA 13 Periquita, Setubal, Portugal 25262 $8.95
Portugal produces one of the great Summer whites, the super refreshing Vinho Verde. Light, clean and patio perfect. I can never have enough of Quinta da Aveleda. A winery with a gorgeous romantic garden. QUINTA DA AVELEDA Vinho Verde, Portugal 89995 $11.05