When you travel to Portugal you won’t come around it: Portuguese wine. For all wine and food lovers, Portuguese wine is a great experience and is undergoing a revolution right now, becoming more and more popular and internationally appraised. In contrast to other wine producing countries, Portugal has more than 250 (!) autochthonous grape varieties. This is due to the fact there are all kinds of soils, microclimates, which lead to an excellent wine quality the warm sunny climate, combined with the cold breezes from the Atlantic ocean it’s a perfect place to cultivate wine. There are about 218677 ha vineyards with a yearly production of 6.2 mio hectolitres.
Many people still believe that only Port wine and Madeira will be drunken in Portugal. But they are wrong. Of course, this sweet dessert wine is very famous and still very popular in Portugal and around the world. The Port wine comes from the lovely slopes of the Douro River east of Porto. But since a couple of years there are also excellent regular wines from that area – too precious to blend it as port wine.
The other very well-known wine is “Viñho Verde”, which is being cultivated in the region Minho in the north. This is a fresh and fruity white wine, which is an easy drinking wine, but also suitable as a good company for seafood. The Portuguese were the first, who brought wine to America. Nowadays American wine magazines recommend 9 Portuguese wines, out of 100.
The Portuguese wine regions are: Viñho Verde, Trás-os-Montes, Porto & Douro, Távora & Varosa, Dão & Lafoes, Bairrada, Beira Interior, Lisbon, Tejo, Peninsula de Setúbal, Alentejo, Algarve, Acores and Madeira.
Good white wines:
Alvarinho (from Viñho Verde region, full of character, mineral, citrus and peach aroma, good with seafood, white fish, braised white meat, salads, light pasta dishes and sushi)
Arinto Pederña (an elegant white wine, with solid acid, notes of apple and lemon, from Viñho Verde and Lisbon, good with seafood, white fish, grilled red meat, salads, light pasta dishes and Asian cuisine)
Encruzado (from Dão region, balanced and full-bodied, light flower and citrus fruit, mineral character, well structured, good with fat fish, seafood, braised white meat, grilled red meat, venison, game birds, risotto and sheep cheese)
Ferñao Pires / Maria Gomes (light, fruity, redolent, taste of muscatel, citrus fruit, flowers, most vinified white grape in Portugal, mainly grown at the west coast e.g. Setúbal, good with fat fish, cod, fish dishes, seafood, braised white meat and grilled red meat)
Good red wines:
Baga (from Bairrada, light red, tannins, potential for complexity, cherry, plum, herbs, malt, cedar, tobacco, good with: suckling pig, duck and venison) Touriga Franca (from Douro region, originally taken for the production of Port wine and blends strong, aromatic, notes from blackberry, good with: cod, octopus, red meat, grill dishes and meat dishes)
Touriga Nacional (from Douro and Dão, strong, complex aroma, violet, liquorice, black currant, raspberry, tangy, hints of bergamot, good with: fine fish dishes, red meat, grill dishes, meat dishes, hard cheese and fine pasta)
Tempranillo / Aragonez / Tinta Roriz (mainly from Douro and Alentejo, most planted red grape variety in Portugal, fine and elegant, red berries, plum, blackberry, strong tannins, good with: fine fat fish dishes, cod and braised red meat)
Trincadeira / Tinta Amarela (mainly from Douro and Alentejo, light notes of raspberry, herbs, pepper and spices, fresh acidity, good with: fine fish dishes, braised white meat, red meat, duck, venison and meat dishes)
Castelão (mainly form the south of Portugal, strong and fine wines, cedar, cigar box, good with: baked cod, venison, meat dishes and hard cheese)
Enjoy with good Portuguese music!
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About me: As one of the founders of eurovisionlive.com I am responsible for the interviews with the singers and the editorial content. My passion for the Eurovision Song Contest exists since my early childhood. The exotic music, different cultures and languages have given a lot of inspiration to me. Since my very first ESC in Dublin 1994 I particularly appreciate the get together and friendship of all the nationalities and Riverdance was a thrill!