Although Douro is still best known for its ports, table wines are getting a lot of attention and generating excitement in the world of wine.
The red wine Chryseia, produced by the Symington family achieved the third place on Wine Spectator’s list. In fourth place came the Quinta do Vale Meao 2011, which is another red from higher up the Douro River, described to be “a lush, seductive red, filled to the brim with an array of dark fruit.” All three of the prize winning wines were from 2011. That was an great year for the Douro region vineyards.
Portugal’s wine sector has positively transformed during the last decade. The Portuguese wine’s quality and diversity are surprising many wine critics.
Portuguese wine is relatively unknown to the U.S.. Most Americans are aware of Port, Madeira and the famous Mateus Rose, and a good number probably also know “Vinho Verde”. Part of the problem of the lack of Portuguese wine knowledge is the very thing that makes Portuguese wine so intriguing: the grapes used are mostly country’s indigenous varieties and unfamiliar to Americans.
Portuguese wines are definitely an affordable option to French or Italian wines. You can find great wines for under $12 a bottle. If you are looking for a great value, it is a good idea to get to know Portugal’s wines before the word on them gets out.