This site page is here to help you understand a little about the many great wines of Portugal, whilst many of you will think you have never drank a Portuguese wine before.
Many of you will have had a well know wine that has been going for more than 50 years and that is of course the famous Mateus Rosé in its very distinctive shaped bottle,
Mateus is what most people think of like the well known Italian wine that came in a straw covered bottle which sat on a restaurant table with a candle in, back in the 1970´s.
In a way you would be right as Mateus was a wine developed solely for the export market,
Portugal led the way in inventing a new style of wine for export and became very successful at it in the process.
This short wine guide is not going to bore you nor turn you into a master of wines; it will help you choose the type of wine you would drink at home and put the myth about good cooperative wines being cheap and nasty because they are sold in a carton.
First let’s start with good a light refreshing wine which Portugal is well known for and most like the largest quantity produced and that is Vinho Verde or Green wine although it refers to green nearly 80% of Vinho Verde´s are reds.
Vinho Verde´s come from under ripe grapes (green grapes) as the name implies,
Many came from the Douro region but nowadays seem to come from all over Portugal,
for those of you who are not wine lovers, this is a good wine to introduce you to with the start of something that will change your opinion on wine drinking.
Vinho Verdes are very light and refreshing some have a light sparkle to them,
as they are from the under ripe grape having less sugar in the grape.Also you will find most are less than 10% Vol in alcohol, when driving on your travels, often you will see grapevines growing up high on pergolas these are likely to be grapes for a Vinho Verde.
Portugal wines have had Quality control some 25 years before France even introduced the famous (appellation Controlee) with this in mind you won’t find any of the well know vineyards put less than 100% quality control into their wine,(I do not normally give any personal opinion on this website But in the many years, I have never had to return a bottle of wine for being poor quality).
Depending on the time of year you come to Portugal during the harvest season in all large supermarkets and towns and villages will celebrate a joint venture displaying all the wines of the regions along with the many regional cheeses, cured meats and hams
These regions each produce their own distinct flavour and unique style.
As the Algarve is perhaps the main Holiday destination of Portugal, most people will just think of the Algarve as the holiday resort with Sun, Sea, and Beaches, But it offers so much more with over 9 well known wineries,But did you know many are open to the public and will give you an experience and great day out that you be glad you included it in your holiday, even if you have children don’t be put off. as some like Quinta dos Vales in Estombar (Organic growers) near Portimao have a mini Zoo, great gardens and world of sculpture from Elephants to kissing hippo’s even dancing Cow’s.
These open days can give even the novice a real eye opener other’s like Adega do Cantor in Central Algarve in Guia, will give guided tours and explain from the picking of the grape from the vines, to the production process, Then down to the best part of the tour the tasting of it’s well known medal winning wines from reds to rosé ,Viva Nova wine’s are the Joint effort of Sir Cliff Richards ,and Nigel Birch, unlike many branded sauces and food products this is not a gimmick wine, as you will not see Cliff Richards face Plastered across the front Label, Viva Nova is just coming to the 10 year mark and already has awards and Medals for its outstanding contribution to the Portuguese wine Market.
Portugal today is well-established as one of the Top ten wine producing countries in the World.