A Quick Guide to Portuguese White Wines

While most people consider Portugal a red wine country, many fantastic white wines are beginning to take to the stage.

Refreshing Fruity Wines

wine-1574625_960_720Most of the lighter white wines are produced in the cool, green hills of north west Portugal’s Vinho Verde region. These “green wines” (or “young wines”) are at their best soon after bottling and should be enjoyed as young as possible. Traditionally, the fermentation process leaves the wine with a very slight fizz and this practice is continued today, though the carbonation is forced. The low alcohol content (typically around 9%) combined with the refreshing, zingy and fruity flavour makes for fantastic summer wines. They are typically dry or medium dry and pair well with seafood and salads.

  • Adega de Moncao (Vinho Verde): A dry and fruity white that is refreshing, with hints of peach and apricot. Excellent with seafood.
  • Casal Garcia (Vinho Verde) white: Fresh, fruity and clean, this awarding winning white is particularly good with oriental dishes such as Sushi. It’s best enjoyed within two years of bottling.

Fuller Bodied Wines

The majority of these specific types are produced in southern regions such as Alentejo. Sun soaked grapes grown in scorching summer temperatures produce a rich wine that is higher in alcohol percentage than most whites. They are frequently matured in oak casks to add more depth and flavour. The oakier wines work well with smoked foods.

  • J. Portugal Ramos Vila Santa Branco Reserva White (Alentejano): Slightly acidic with a citrus twang. Aged for a short time in oak. It’s best two years after bottling.
  • Lavradores de Feitoria Meruge White (Douro): This award winning wine is oak aged for six months. Smokey with spicy notes, the alcohol content ranges from 12% – 14.5% depending on the vintage. This bold and fruity wine is best enjoyed after four years.

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