Why Drink Portuguese Wine? It’s All About the Grapes!
The Glug team know that Portuguese wine is thrilling. And we were excited to see that Wine Spectator Magazine shared our enthusiasm and placed Portuguese wines in the first, third and fourth places in its 2014 top 100 list of the best wines in the world! However, why is Portuguese wine so good to drink?
The heritage associated with Portuguese wine
Well of course there is heritage associated with Portuguese wine! For decades sons have followed their fathers into the wine business maintaining customs, traditions and secrets. This knowledge has helped to enhance the flavour of the wine, making it not only fresh, but also exciting.
Wine-makers in Portugal have stood their ground and rather than follow the trends of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon they stayed loyal to their own top-quality grapes such as Toriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Alvavarinho and Antao Vaz. These grape varieties have remained primarily in Portugal, unlike the more famous Pinot Noir or Riesling which are produced in many wine countries throughout the world.
The indigenous grapes of Portugal
Well it’s all about the grapes! It is the vast variety of indigenous grapes, in excess of 250, that makes Portuguese wine stand out from the crowd. No other wine producing country can match that. Not even Italy...
With the wonderful wine regions of Vinho Verde, Douro, Lisboa, and Alentejo Portuguese wine powerfully fruity, whilst fresh and well balanced.
The Touriga Nacional (Red) grape originated in the Douro Valley , but is now grown all over Portugal. This grape produces richly coloured wine and port, that is full of flavour with ripe blackcurrants, herbs, and flowers enhancing the taste, and this wine has the added advantage that it has the ability to age. We have a number of outstanding red wines made from this grape, and would recommend the excellent Mutante Red produced by Quinto do Sagrado.
The Tinta Roriz/Aragonez (Red) grape is known as Tempranillo in Spain and is one of the five recommended varieties used in Port production. The Tinta Roriz grape produces quality red wine characterised by blackberries, plums and firm tannins. In Alentejo it is known as Tinta Roriz and usually blended with other varieties. We have a number of Tinta Roriz wines at Glug, and would suggest that you try our Vinha Tapada Red.
The Alvarinho (White) grape is a quality grape and is known as Albarino in Spain. This grape produces gorgeous, characterful, mineral whites overlaid with flowery notes with hints of peach and tropical fruits. Prized in the North-West of Portugal the Alvarinho makes some of the best Vinho Verdes. Try our Alvarinho White and enjoy the intense aromas of tropical fruits and some hints of apricot!