By Maggie Walters
To most people, the first thing that comes to mind when Portugal wine is mentioned is Port. Less well known are the other styles and grapes (about 250 to be specific) available to our market. These wines range in many styles -- some more familiar, like sweet after-dinner wines, to dry heavy reds and even crisp refreshing whites.
Along with being versatile and delicious, these wines are SO inexpensive. They're definitely worth steering off the beaten path for... both to try something new, and to keep your pocketbook happy.
Here are some of my favorite wines from Portugal that are currently residing on our shelves (don't worry, I still included a delicious tawny Port ).
If you're looking for a refreshing summer white you should try:
The Portal da Calcada Vinho Verde – $10.99
This wine translates to "green wine" because the white grapes are picked early while they are still green. This produces a light and slightly spritzy style that is perfect for pre-dinner drinking! This wine is an equal blend of the native grapes: Loureiro, Arinto, Azal and Trajadura, but don't let those names intimidate you.
On the nose, notes of green apple, citrus and honeysuckle greet you and are followed by a clean palate of melon, grapefruit and a hint of honey comb. The slight spritz left in the bottle is a great refresher for hot days too!
If you're looking for a Rosé to add to your repertoire you should try:
LAGO Cerqueira Rosé – $10.99 Sale:$7.98
This wine expresses notes of red fruit and melon with a slight salinity and spritz to it. This is a great go-to wine for the summer, especially if you want something delicious to serve to a crowd. It's refreshing and tastes like summer, best enjoyed with a large dose of sunshine.
If you're looking for a big juicy red to drink on its own or to serve with a heavy protein try:
Silk and Spice Red Blend – $12.99
Blend: 40% Touriga Nacional, 20% Baga, 20% Syrah, 20% Alicante Bouchet
This wine is so expressive and makes you go back for more. It showcases a big juicy red and dark fruit profile followed by notes of oak, baking spices, sweet tobacco, and dusty cocoa powder. This wine is big and soft with luscious tannin structure. Cabernet lovers, you must give this a try!
Critical Acclaim: WE90 Wine Enthusiast
If you're looking for a new Port to sip after dinner or pair with a dessert you should try:
Warre's Otima 10 yr. Tawny Port – $30.99
This is not your typical Port. It was almost more feminine to me, more reserved, lighter and floral with a hint or orange rind. I always enjoy the nutty toffee notes a tawny offers too. All in all, this is a different style Port worth trying. (I wanted to go with an off-the-beaten-path Port to go with the theme). This will pair well with a plate of dried fruits, nuts and cheeses!
Winemaker's Notes: The latest addition to the range of fine Ports from Warres, Otima is an aged 10-year-old tawny especially suitable for those with a preference for the lighter style of Port. Its delicate palate challenges the traditional perception of Port as a dark and full-bodied after-dinner drink.
Otima is a Premium Quality Port from a renowned Port house, and brings a lighter, more contemporary style to reflect today's lifestyle – a contemporary, quality drink, versatile enough to be enjoyed anytime.
Critical Acclaim: WS 90 Wine Spectator; W&S 90 Wine & Spirits
Portuguese wines can be intimidating, but don't let the labels put you off, what's inside could be your next favorite wine! Take the road less traveled for wine, it could make all the difference.
All sizes and vintages are in stock at the time of publication. In the event advertised vintages sell out, substitute vintages may be offered at the same price. Products and prices are subject to change.