FREE DELIVERIES ON ORDERS OVER £100 or CLICK AND COLLECT

by Cameron Jardine July 15, 2021 4 min read

With more than 250 indigenous grapes, there’s a wine for every occasion

In partnership with Wines of Portugal, we are dedicating the month of June to this beautiful wine country. Home to the worldwide-renowned Porto wine and Madeira (fortified wines), there is more to Portugal than just the ‘sweet stuff. 

Portugal sits on the Southwest side of Europe and is the ‘Europe’s Garden’, as they like it to be known. With vineyards from North to South, East to West and with a great influence from the Atlantic Ocean, the terroir here is extremely diverse and benefits from many microclimates.  

Wine is very much intrinsic in the ‘Portuguese lifestyle’ and it is enjoyed at meal times with family, out in restaurants with friends, or even as part of important business lunches. Portuguese cuisine is extremely rich and varied, ranging from fresh seafood, to meaty stews and even a mixture of both. With more than 250 indigenous grapes, there’s a wine for every occasion.

Vinho Verde

Situated northwest of the country and sharing border with Galicia, Spain, this is one of the biggest DOC of the country. The region, as the name may give away, is extremely green and and its climate is cool and wet which makes the ripening of the grapes extremely hard but with the right techniques on the vineyards, the grapes keep their high acidity that is so characteristic of the region. There’s usually a river nearby each vineyard which in junction with the fertile granite soils, produce some outstanding wines.
The region is divided into a further nine regions to the DOC and the most common and popular grapes here are the renown AlvarinhoTrajadura, Loureiro, Arinto (Pedernã) and Avesso.
One of the characteristics of this wine is its lower alcohol (usually around the 11.5%), light-bodied and at times with a slight spritz to it. 

Recommended wines: (Quinta de Azevedo, Quinta do Soalheiro) Quinta da Raza, Picouto de CimaNat’Cool Branco.

Douro

Possibly the better known region of them all! Famous for its Porto wines, there are in fact, some outstanding still wines, reds and whites, being made here. The DOC is divided into 3 sub-regions, Baixo CorgoCima Corgo and Douro Superior. Baixo Corgo is the most fertile with a cooler climate and therefore, the region with most vineyards. Cima Corgo sits to the right of Baixo Corgo and is the motherland of Port production, however, many unfortified wines are now being produced here and are pretty outstanding too.

The Douro Superior is a total different monster compared to the other two, as the winters here are extremely cold and in contrast, summers are a scorcher. It’s the largest of the 3 sub-regions, yet it is the one with fewer vineyards, however, as we all know, the vines that suffer the most are the ones that produce some of the most iconic wines and this is no different in here.  

Douro is the wildest and most deserted region in Portugal as it sits in the interior of the country, sharing border with Spain. The landscape here defies gravity with its steep slopes and twisted corners, all along the Douro River. This region was demarcated in 1756 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the most international names of wine making have vineyards here and you have guessed it, we sell them. Check out our Niepoort range, Casa Ferreirinha and many more.  

Recommended wines: (Niepoort Redoma ReservaBioma Tinto, Bastardo, Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande) Niepoort Drink Me Branco, Tiara, Portugal Boutique Winery Boina, Quinta de la Rosa. 

Alentejo

Alentejo is, in my view, the most underrated wine region of Portugal, loved by the Portuguese but not very well-known outside of Portugal. With a marvellous landscape of olive trees, pine trees, fields upon fields of vineyards and a rugged coast line of high cliffs and wavy ocean, in here you can enjoy the sunsets whilst breathing in the salty air from the ocean and appreciate the ‘slower’ way of living.  

It’s the largest area of the country and there’s a style of wine for everyone, from the quaffable easy drinking wine to the refined, complex and ageing worth fine wines. Red wines are the more popular in this region due to its hot weather, but areas like the SãMamede mountains, due to its cooler temperatures and higher rainfall, are extremely sought after to plant white grapes giving the wines a desired freshness and vibrancy. The region is versatile but its what the winemakers do with it in their cellars that will make all the difference. Look at what *Herdade da MalhadinhaFita Preta and Susana Esteban are doing and explore the wines of Alentejo knowing you are experiencing an outstanding quality vs price wine. Popular grape varietals here are the Antão VazArintoRoupeiroDiagalvesRabo de Ovelha for the whites, and for the reds, Aragonez (also known as Temperanillo), Alicante-BouschetAlfrocheiro, Castelão and Trincadeira 

Recommended wines: (*Monte da Peceguina) Susana Esteban, Fitapreta.

Food and Wine Pairing


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Hurray! Your have successfully entered the captcha.

Also in The Wine Blog

Bordeaux 2020 Report
Bordeaux 2020 Report

by Justin Knock MW June 21, 2021 5 min read

It’s the middle of 2021 and we’re still not out of the pandemic that sunk 2020 and scattered people and wine businesses far and wide, and yet, watching the rescue boats in Bordeaux you have a sense that they are once again all rowing in the same direction. Uncharacteristically uncertain with the 2019 En-Primeur campaign that gave us such wonderful prices, the Bordelaise have adapted once more and have been on song like a choir about the charms and benefits of the 2020 vintage.
Focus on France
Focus on France

by Cameron Jardine May 20, 2021 2 min read

France is synonymous with wine and is home to many of the grapes we know and love from around the world. It is the world’s top exporter of wine and has over 750,000 hectares of vineyards and around 200 varieties of grapes. Steeped in tradition it has long been the place to go for budding winemakers to learn their trade.
Focus on Italy
Focus on Italy

by Cameron Jardine May 05, 2021 4 min read

Our staff love Italy and love Italian wine. Italy is a big wine producer with lots of varieties and regional specialties; we get so many questions in the store just because there is so much to taste. Here is a short summary of Northern, Central and Southern Italy from our team which may help steer your next wine purchase in one director or another. 

Sale

Unavailable

Sold Out