About Portuguese Wine

Portuguese wine is of course, most famously represented by Port, a fortified wine made from grapes in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. There are several different types of Port, from the basic Ruby, meant for early consumption to vintage ports, which drink well in some instances upon their 30th or 40th birthday.

Other wines from Portugal include dry table reds made form grapes that can also be used for Port production. These include Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cao and Tinta Barroca; of these three, it is Tinta Nacional that produces the most powerful wines. These are big, ripe, modern red wines with moderate acidity.

The best white wine in Portugal is Albarino, an aromatic, dry white with plenty of floral perfumes as well as white spice notes. These are lovely wines for shellfish or merelt for consumption on a hot summer's day.

Vinho Verde - literally "green wine" - is a lighter, dry to off dry white that is refreshing and down to earth; it pairs well with simple salads and seafood.

Finally there is Madeira, a fortified wine from the eponymous island in the Atlantic. Examples of Madeira have been known to age for more than one hundred years and in a few examples, even two centuries
Top Picks for Portugal
217297
Medeiros
2011 Reserva Alentejano
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of spiced berries, cherries, and creamy nougat with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, layered, medium-length cedar and leather finish with fine, chewy tannins and light oak. A complex, toothsome, richly flavored red wine with chewy tannins.
93 points $37.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218971
Porto Meneres
2012 LBV Douro
Dark garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, pencil shavings, cocoa, and caramel with a tangy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and an elegant, long chocolate orange peels, sasparilla float, cherry cola, and pepper finish with chewy, fine tannins and moderate oak. A robust and flavorful LBV port that has a lot to offer.
92 points $18.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220582
Savory & James
NV Fine Ruby Porto Portugal
Ruby black color. Interesting, nutty aromas of caramelized peanuts, caramel covered popcorn, and blackberry jam with a slightly chewy, lively, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a peppery, compelling, medium-length sweet tarragon and milk chocolate finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A complex and nutty ruby port that over-performs for the category.
90 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219039
Ignia
2014 Red Blend Portugal
Opaque ruby black color. Aromas of dried dark fruits, planked oak - mocha, pressed linen, and crushed slate with a body and a finish with earthy, woody tannins. Rich ripe yet dried fruit notes give this red an impression of sweetness, layers of rich flavors follow.
90 points $17.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
220583
Savory & James
NV Fine Tawny Porto Portugal
Copper color. Spicy aromas of leather wallet, ripe forest berries, fresh foraged herbs, and spiced orange tea with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a refreshing, medium-long bread pudding with caramel sauce, dried dates and figs, and eucalyptus finish with light oak. A lip-smacking, fruity tawny Porto for after dinner, cocktails, or cheese pairings.
89 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218974
Porto Meneres
NV Fine Tawny Douro
Medium dusty ruby color. Inviting, minty aromas of blueberry jam, mint chocolate cookie, caribbean spices, and burnt sugar with a round, tangy, very sweet light-to-medium body and a delightful, medium-long blueberry compote, Caribbean spices, tanned leather, and smoky cedar finish with dusty, fine tannins and light oak. A solid tawny port that will be versatile.
89 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217300
Ares de Medeiros
2013 Red Alentejano
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of berry pie a la mode and coconut with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity body and an interesting, medium-length cherry and praline finish with firm, chewy tannins and light oak. A juicy, chewy red that will be very versatile.
89 points $10.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
219304
Ela
2016 Rose Vinho Verde DOC
Bright reddish orange color. Aroma, quality aromas of cherry phosphate, meyer lemons, yellow ground cherries, and crushed gravel with a body and a finish with fruit, earthy tannins. A good quality example.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218073
OPTA
2015 Dao
Pale silvery emerald straw color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of lilac, apple, lychee, and tapioca with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length lemon granita, kiwi, and melon finish. An attractive fruity, lightly floral white wine sipper that is sure to please.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
217790
Vidigal
2014 Reserva Vinho Regional Lisboa
Cloudy dusty garnet color. Funky aromas and flavors of mulberries, pencil shavings, and cocoa with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length sour cherries, melon, spice, and minerals finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A rock solid , juicy Portuguese red for sipping or the table.
88 points $9.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab