A Collection of My Favourite Portuguese Wines Under 10€
If you know me, you know I love wine. I love trying new wines, learning about them, talking about them but definitely foremost drinking them. While I didn´t think about it when I moved to Portugal, in hindsight I realise it was the perfect choice of country for a wine lover like myself. Portugal has an ancient history of wine making and due to its particular geolocation and climate, a very big number of those wines will blow you off your feet. Especially if you have too much of them. Disclosure: this article doesn´t go into deep explanations of Portuguese grape varieties, areas etc. Instead it´s a piece of inspiration should you want to explore some good Portuguese wines. This post is not sponsored, even if my dream sponsorships and partnerships would definitely be with wine producers.
Some basic facts before we start. First: Pretty much all wine lovers I talked to agree that 2015 was one of the best years for wine making in the last century and since you can still find 2015 wines in the supermarket, I suggest you stock up on them while you still can. Second: There are three levels of wine quality in Portugal (DOC or DOP, Vinho Regional or IGP and the simple Vinho). The wines in my list classify into DOC or Vinho Regional. Third: I made this list specifically to highlight excellent wine for affordable prices, that´s why I kept all my choices under 10€. I do love some higher end wines too but we usually have those for special occasions so I haven´t listed them here. The only wine outside of this price range is the last one on the list, the bonus track basically: vinho abafado. Fourth: There are some types of wine I do not mention in this article such as the Madeira wine, the Porto wine or the pure Moscatel. If you´d like to hear about my favourite ones in those categories, send me a message or a comment and I´ll give you my favourites there too. Five and most important: I am a wine lover but faaaar from being a wine connoisseur so please take my suggestions with a pinch of salt. And a glass of wine.
Quinta das Setencostas´s Alenquer
A 2015 DOC wine that I recently discovered and loved. Coming from the Casa Santos Lima, from clay and limestone soil, this ruby coloured wine went through a long maceration process and ageing in oak barrels. In terms of grape varieties, we can find the Castelão, Camarate, Tinta Miúda and Preto-Martinho in it. Crisp black fruits and juicy acidity with hints of cinnamon and chocolate and a light tannis. To be enjoyed with pork ribs, beef or t-bone steaks.
Quinta do Gradil´s Tannat
A vinho regional Lisboa from 2016, this tannat is at the moment the only pure tannat produced in Portugal. Aged for 12 months in French barrels, the predominant aromas here are of dark chocolate, mint and balsamic. Best enjoyed with red meat, cheeses and desserts such as chocolate mouse with chili. Note and fun fact: While the label indicates this is not a pure tannat, and is 15% Touriga Nacional, this is wrong. 2016 was the first year the Quinta do Gradil produced a pure tannat but bottled it with the wrong label.
Quinta do Gradil´s Cabernet Sauvignon and Tinta Roriz
A 2015 vinho regional Lisboa whose grapes were grown in well-drained clay soils, this wine has an intense ruby colour and aromas of wood berries with hints of mint and tobacco leaf. It has a rather strong integrated tannis and a long and persistent finish so I recommend it for more established red wine drinkers, unlike myself. Best enjoyed with strong cheeses and bbq red meats.
Borba Reserva Sobivor
A 2015 Reserva DOC wine, from my favourite Portuguese wine region: Alentejo. Trincadeira, Aragonez, Syrah and Alicante Bousquet grape varieties blend into this delicious ruby coloured drink of the gods. With a slight note of wood, typical for reserva wines, it gives you intense hints of minerality and is elegant with the soft tannis I love so much. Best enjoyed with red grilled meat.
Quinta de Camarate
A 2016 vinho regional Península de Setúbal, this wine is a mixture of two casts: Touriga Nacional as the dominant one and Cabernet Sauvignon as a secondary one. From a limestone and clay soil, it has a lemon, banana, melon and apricot aroma with a long finish. Best enjoyed with paté, sushi, smoked salmon and desserts. Note: I have to admit I fail to identify the banana flavour in this one but it theoretically should have it.
Quinta do Gradil´s Syrah and Touriga Nacional
A 2018 Vinho Regional Lisboa with a salmon colour and spring red fruits and wild berry aroma, feeling fresh due to its live acidity and persistent finish. Best enjoyed with summer dishes such as fried fish, sushi or white meat.
Quinta do Gradil´s Alvarinho
A 2018 Vinho Regional Lisboa coming from clay and sandy soils close to the Atlantic coast. Citric colour, notes of grapefruit and tropical fruits in the nose, and a structured and fresh mouth, with great persistency and minerality. Best enjoyed with: chicken, Asian food, fish, mussels, octopus or crab.
Aveleda´s Loureiro - Colheita Selecionada
A 2018 lighter DOC wine with a vibrant profile and aromas of tropical fruits and a long and intense finish. With a citric colour with a clean aspect, it is best enjoyed with fried or roasted sea food. One of the market leaders in terms of green wine and the best option considering the price-quality ratio, in my opinion. Best enjoyed either with fatty fish dishes or fresh, gratin veggies or oysters.
Quinta de Camarate
A 2018 sweet vinho regional, that is one of the only white wines found in Portugal, this is almost a Moscatel variety wine. With a very light and transparent colour, it is a combination of the Alvarinho and Loureiro varieties. It has floral, banana and kiwi aromas and can be best enjoyed with appetizers, fish, sushi but also desserts.
Quinta do Portal´s Femina
A 2013 sweet DOC wine from Douro, Femina is a one of a kind wine, being also one of the only sweet white wines to be found in Portugal. On top of being so unique, it is really hard to find! A combination of Moscatel and Viosinho, this is the lightest wine on our list. A late harvest, floral wine which can be served both by itself very cold but also can be used for cocktails. Best paired with soft cheeses, pasta dishes and meat and cheese platters.
Special Mention Wine:
Vinho Abafado Chamarrita
A special wine we bought in the island of São Miguel in the Açores, this is a very sweet and strong ruby coloured wine which might surprise even the biggest sweet wine sceptics. To be drank with desserts, or as a digestive and in small portions.