The Portuguese wine story is in many ways similar to Spain's. Massive EU investment has triggered a quality revolution in the last 20 years and today, highly trained winemakers using modern equipment are coaxing fabulously smooth and fruity flavors from Portugal's local grapes.
Wine is made throughout Portugal from north to south but we've been particularly impressed by those from Estremadura and Ribatejo, as well as with the dry wines from Port country - the Douro.
So, if you're tempted to try Portuguese table wines, don't be deterred by unfamiliar names. Do, however, expect to be delighted by the fabulous and original flavors on offer.
You can watch Tony Laithwaite talking about Portugal below.
The often overlooked treasures of Portugal are discussed by Tony Laithwaite in this video:
Touriga Nacional, Fernão Pires, Moscatel, Tinta Roriz, Verdelho
Casa Santos Lima, Quinta do Casal Branco, Andresen, Quinta do Vale
Douro, Dão, Estremadura, Ribatejo, Madeira
- Portugal was the first country in modern times to invent a new style of wine for export. Mateus Rosé, in its distinctly shaped bottles, was a spectacular success, becoming one of the world's bestselling brands.
- Touriga Nacional is Portugal's most important red grape. It's a prime constituent of vintage Port and makes excellent table wines too.
- Portugal vies with Germany as Europe's fourth largest wine producer.