About Portuguese Wine

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

Ignia 2015 Portuguese Red Portugal
92 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of dried figs, cigar box, plum sauce, and fruit leather with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and an even, complex, medium-long roasted root vegetables, root beer, and spice cabinet finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. A concentrated and inky wine for the richest meals.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Portuguese Red Wine
92 points $17.99 Best Buy
Vale de Lobos 2013  Touriga Nacional
92 points
$30
Garnet black color. Minty aromas of menthol, cherry, and dried lavender with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a sleek, nuanced, medium-long stone pine, slate, and forest berries finish with medium, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A vibrant and mentholated red with firm tannins for delicious meals.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Portuguese Red Wine
Porto Meneres 2012 LBV Douro
92 points
$18.99
Best Buy
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.
Awards: 2017 Best Portuguese Fortified Wine
92 points $18.99 Best Buy
Vinha das Margaridas 2015  Douro
91 points
$23
Dusty ruby black color. Roasted aromas and flavors of cocoa dusted dark roasted nuts, grilled apples and cherries, and charcoal with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, captivating, medium-long spiced berries and carrots, slate, and vanilla nuts finish with dusty, chewy tannins and light oak. A toasty, lively Portuguese red that will work well with rich and spicy dishes now and will improve with time.
Vinha das Margaridas 2016 Red Blend Vinho Regional Peninsula de Setubal
90 points
$18
Ruby black color. Creamy, fresh, toasty aromas and flavors of toasted vanilla meringue, milk chocolate pudding, black raspberry tart, and hint of cherry pipe tobacco with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a smooth, refreshing, long cherry-rhubarb cobbler a la mode, spiced melon, chocolate nuts, and s’mores finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A juicy, fruity, go-to Portuguese red that is sure to please and will be very versatile.
Vale de Lobos 2013 Grand Escolha Tejo
90 points
$32
Deep purple color. Rustic aromas of dried figs, dried orange, bramble, vanilla, and earth with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-length tart red apples, mixed peppercorns, coriander, oregano, and thyme finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A savory and intriguing red that will be a highlight at the table.
Savory & James NV Fine Ruby Porto Portugal
90 points
$10.99
Best Buy
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
Ignia 2014 Red Blend Portugal
90 points
$17.99
Best Buy
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
Vinha das Margaridas 2014 Reserva Douro
89 points
$30
Garnet black color. Roasted aromas and flavors of mulberry compote, roasted nuts, dark chocolate, and coffee with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, amusing, long craisin and dried cherries, toasty cedar, vanilla bean, and sweet and peppery spice finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. A bright and fruity red that will effortlessly liven up a meal.
Savory & James NV Fine Tawny Porto Portugal
89 points
$10.99
Best Buy
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