Portuguese wines deserve a little love. Here's six reasons why.
2007 Borges Quinta de Sao Simao da Aguira, Portugal, $18 We’re into that "is it summer or isn't it?" that time of year, so this article isn’t my yearly screed on what a great value Vinho Verde is (other than saying it’s pronounced VEEN-Ho VAIRD, not VAIRD-ay). It’s about how the country deserves some major love not just for the value wines, but also for ones that still keep the price real while bringing you a trifecta of terroir, uniqueness and beautifully made wines. And with in this milieu there are wines that have resisted the siren call of high-alcohol and high-extraction that is becoming prevalent in many new wines from neighbouring Spain. I love this bottle for a multitude of reasons: 1. It’s low in alcohol (12.5%) 2. Even though it’s light in body it has some tannins and they’re not the soft kind. 3. It’s from the Dao not the Douro, which is amazing but hogs a disproportionate amount of the small spotlight Portugal gets. 4. It reminds of a wine from Piedmont (really structured with a whiff of perfume and a nice dark colour). 5. It’s made with Touriga Nacional (which you may have heard of) Tinta Roriz (which is actually Tempranillo) and Trincadeira (which I thought was what you got if you ate undercooked pork). 6. It’s $18. All of which to say it’s unique and it really could only come from Portugal. We live in a magic time for wines but while there’s oceans of good wine out there there’s less so memorable and the best of Portugal specializes in both.