My Favorite Portuguese Wines

Here you will find an ongoing list of my favorite Portuguese wines. Most of these wines are from the Douro River Valley of northern Portugal, but there are plenty of other regions of this great land I have yet to discover.  (Alentejo, for example, is one region I’d like to explore.) Portugal is one of the regions of the world with an amazing selection of wines at reasonable prices. If you can get your hands on some of these wines, especially 2011 Vintage Port, consider yourself very lucky. I’ve enjoyed every single one of these wines and wouldn’t have posted about them unless I had enjoyed them. To learn more:

Vintage Charts:

To learn more about the Douro River Valley, stay tuned, because this is the next article in my series on Portugal.  Chin Chin!

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The welcome surprise at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference #wbc12…Portuguese wines!

Portuguese wines were a huge surprise to me the first time I tried them and continue to be whenever I initiate others into this small but grand wine world of Portuguese wines.

Portugal has more to offer than just Port wines, they have amazing still wines a.k.a regular wines, that will blow you away! Having lived in Spain for the past two years and finally after being in the same Iberian Peninsula as Portugal, I ventured out to Oporto and then to the Douro River valley to taste some of the finest wines I had tasted in my life. Had I experienced these wines earlier, I would have potentially made Régua or Pinhão my new home instead of beautiful Rioja. I would have worked in a beautiful Quinta do…(add the name of any amazing Quinta here) and loved every minute of it. But I discovered this region already half way through my Masters of Viticulture and Enology program to be able to change paths at that point. There is always the future!

Viticulture and Enology Masters Group visiting the beautiful region of Douro, Portugal

I have taken with me, however, my love of Portuguese wines and am always happy to share this best kept secret with others.

Most recently, at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Portland this past month, there was a reason to share and to celebrate. During the recent Live Wine Blogging event focused on Reds, which is similar to a speed dating event with wine, I was served the 2010 Herdade do Esporão, Portugal Red “Quatro Castas 4” made with none other than one of my favorite grape varieties, Tempranillo, also known as Aragonez in Portugal. This wine is made of four different varieties: Aragonez, Tinta Miuda, Tinta Caiada, and Alfrocheiro.

2010 Herdade do Esporão, Quatro Castas 4

It was produced in a new region for me of Portugal, Alentejano. This region is located west of Lisbon, on the way to Badajoz, Spain.  For a price point of $17, I was happily surprised to have such a quality wine at that price point. It was complex yet easy to drink, it is a medium-bodied wine that in your mouth explodes with raspberries, ripe plums, and touch of cherry (must be the Tempranillo, aka, Aragonez).

For me this was the first time, I had a chance to try Portuguese wines from Alentejano and now I have two very good wine regions of Portugal to direct fellow wine lovers to, Douro and Alentejano.  I also have a new location on my list of places to visit in the near future! Tchim-tchim! Saúde! Cheers!

To find out more about Esporão wines, visit them at Esporão Winery or follow them on Twitter at @esporaowines

Quinta do Vesuvio Estate of Symington Family Estates in Douro, Portugal

It is amazing how wines are made in this region of the world. These are “lagares” where the grapes are destemmed, pumped into these huge lake like things, everyone walks over them, extracting the best must. Then they break the seal or sombrero- hat with a long stick and collect the juice. What a great experience!

Special thanks to Pedro Leal da Costa of Symington Family Estates for showing us around.