From the North to the South, the country is wealthy in good wines and, apart from the unique Port and Madeira and more than a hundred different varieties of wines.
Wine is one of the joys of dining in Portugal, where one has a choice of over a dozen major regional wines. They are often of high standards and are winning increasing recognition worldwide. Worth trying are the red Dao table wines, the reds and whites of Bucaco, and the table wines of Ribatejo. The vinho verde - (green one, referring to the youth of the wine) of the northern Minho region is also very popular.
The most famous Portuguese wine worldwide is Port. It is only produced on the vineyards of the Douro River, and is shipped from the city of Porto. There are vintage ports, white ports, ruby and tawny ports.
wine cultivationThe origin of wine cultivation in Portugal can be traced to the ancient times when the country was a part of the Roman Empire and this tradition was introduced into Portuguese culture and way of life by the Romans, Greeks, Carthaginians and Phoenicians. Prior to the fall of the Roman Empire, Portugal exported its wine to Rome. In fact it can be mentioned her certainly that while Portugal had been a part of the Roman Empire, it was called Lusitania and this name was derived from the name of the son of god Bacchus called Luso. Bacchus is regarded as the roman god of wine and merriment according to their mythology. So therefore, one can easily figure out the long association between Portugal and wine since classical times.
With an alcohol content of 19 through 22 percent, this wine is subject to very strict production regulations, and it is classified according to the grape crops, the sugar content, the amount of added alcohol, the age and the type of wood of the barrels used in the aging process.
Sweet and mellow Malvasia, dry and austere Sercial, sombre and semi-dry Verdelho or semi-dry, rich and full Boal; all the varieties of this wine have a refined fruity bouquet that you will relish as a dessert or as an appetiser.
It is a light bubbling wine, hardly sweetened and with a low alcoholic content - 10 %; you will find it sometimes refreshing and other times warm; the white Vinho Verde is the perfect companion for seafood, fish and liver pate.
The fruity are wines of excellent quality, with strong colours and very y relishes. The white wines are also served with fish and liver pate. The red ones are served with game, fow1 and strong cheeses.
They have an alcoholic content ca. 11-13 percent, and have a fine and velvety flavour. The red ones have a beautiful ruby colour, and can be harmoniously combined with game, spicy meat and cheese. The white ones are light, with a citrus tone, and are usually served with game, grilled meat and the strong cheeses of the region. The white wines are refined and aromatic.
The most famous vineyards of the Alentejo region are those of Borba, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Vidigueira, Cuba and Alvito. The white wine production is more Important than that of red wine. Nevertheless, both types are ideal companions for the delicious regional specialities.
The red wines are a perfect complement to game and red meat, whereas the white should be served chilled with fish, pasta and powerful cheeses.
Very acid when young, and dry after aging; they should be served with not very spiced fish.
The moscatel grape is grown in this region. The wine produced from such grape is smooth and perfumed, like honey, when it is five years old, or richer and even more subtle after reaching twenty five years of aging. It is to be served as a dessert wine.
These wines are light, velvety, fruity and not very full-bodied; its alcoholic content is higher than 13 percent. The red wines are served with grilled meat and codfish. The white ones are the perfect appetiser.
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