Portuguese Wine Terms Explained

Wine terms in general can become confusing for those who are not connoisseurs. When you consider Portuguese wine terms, the waters become even murkier. Most folk aren’t acquainted with the Portuguese language and as the wines are not so well known as French, Italian or Spanish variants, the words written on the bottle may seem far removed from anything you already know about wine. Read on for some simple definitions.

Reading the Label

Wine labels are full of information that is sadly overlooked by most people. This is generally due to a lack of understanding, but all sorts of information can be gleaned from the bottle label.

  • Vinho = Wine
  • Branco = White
  • Tinto = Red
  • Rosado – Rosé
  • Seco = Dry
  • Doce = Sweet
  • Idade = Age
  • Maduro = Matured
  • Verde = Young
  • Colheita = Vintage
  • Reserva = A high quality, vintage wine
  • Tambor = Barrel
  • Varietal = The grapes used to produce the wine
  • Quinta = Estate (translates also to farm) and typically the name of the winery
  • Vinho de Mesa = Table wine
  • Vinho Regional (VR) = Regional wine
  • DOC = High quality wine produced under strict regulations, produced in a particular region
  • CVR = Wines that contain a minimum 85% of a particular grape variety local to a specific region
  • VEQPRD = Region specific sparkling wines

Five Wine Tasting Terms, Explained

With a grasp on how to read the label, it’s time to crack open a bottle and enjoy the delights within. If you really want to impress peoWine_tasting_A7N8M_3446302bple, check out this quick guide to wine tasting terms. You’ll be swirling the glass and puckering your lips like the pros!

1 – Big = a wine with a powerful flavour that fills your mouth. It isn’t specific to fruity or acidic flavours, as long as it has an impact.

2 – Tannins = a bitterness and astringency that adds a certain complexity. It’s by no means a bad thing!

3 – Elegant = A wine that isn’t bold or overly fruity and certainly isn’t “big”. It may be young and slightly acidic but it’ll age fantastically.

4 – Jammy = Wines that have a syrupy, sweet cooked berry taste.

5 – Toasty = Typically an oak aged wine characteristic that is reminiscent of burnt caramel.

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