Courtney tells the stories behind all things wine, drinks, food, and travel.
Portugal often gets overshadowed by its larger next-door neighbor, Spain, and that’s a shame. Happily, more people are discovering and recognizing Portugal for its beautiful landscape, soulful food, welcoming people, and, of course, its wide array of high-quality wines.
The issue – and the advantage – that Portuguese winemakers have is their huge array of indigenous grape varieties, many of which are rarely seen outside of this small country. While the unfamiliarity with and inability to pronounce these grapes – Viosinho? Aragonês? – may initially scare off most wine drinkers, these local varieties also create a vast range of wines to explore and enjoy. Truly, there is a Portuguese wine for every palate – and it often comes with a far lower price tag than its more recognizable international alternative.
To dip a toe into the vibrant world of Portuguese wine, start with these five options, each one geared toward a different palate preference. Craving even more? Winemakers estimate that there are over 250 native Portuguese grape varieties, so there’s plenty left to discover.