Portuguese wines can seem confusing, with unfamiliar grape varieties and wine regions. Guided tastings are a great way to get an insight into their wines. The Wines of Portugal “Iconic Wines from Portugal” tasting in their Lisbon shop was informative and fun. You can also do tastings in their shop in Porto.
The shop tasting room is in the large square, Terreiro do Paço by the Lisbon riverfront.
You enter via the beautiful stone arcades into a large tasting room, lined with wine bottles and dispensing machines. These machines allow you to choose your own samples of a changing selection of wines and are an alternative to the guided tastings.
The benefit of the tastings (which you need to book) is the information you receive in addition to the specially selected themed wines. With Beatriz as our guide, we tasted one sparkling, one white and two red wines.
Usually, you get two still whites and two still reds with the Iconic Tasting, but Beatriz kindly adapted our tasting as I was keen to try Portuguese sparkling wine and to learn more about them.
The tasting was excellent, Beatriz knew her stuff and took her lead from us as to how much information we wanted. She happily provided additional details when she realised, she had a wine geek on her hands.
Although there were only four different wines in our tasting, it was a good selection and proved to be a great way to get a sense of the wine styles of Portugal and what wine regions, grape varieties, and producers to look out for.
We went back another day (with some of our travel companions who hadn’t attended the tasting) and used the dispensing machines to try different wines. That too was interesting, but the tasting was much better. It is wonderful to meet local people when you are travelling and to have the chance to discuss wines with a knowledgeable and engaged Portuguese person was much more fun.
A great way to explore
Tastings are a great way to explore a country’s wines and taste quality wines that you might not get to try otherwise.
Suggesting grape varieties and regions to look out for on the rest of your trip, and when you get back home.
My Wines of Portugal tasting delivered on all these points.
Was there a Standout Wine? Absolutely!
Quinta de Lemos Dona Georgina 2007 is a red wine from the Dao region, where some of Portugal’s best red wines come from. Dao is the birthplace of Portugal’s foremost red grape, Touriga Nacional, which drives this complex outstanding wine. Garnet in colour (it is 15 years old after all), rich with black fruits, dried fruits, chocolate, coffee, tobacco, bacon, and leather. It has high alcohol (14.5%) but this is beautifully balanced by the high acidity, smooth tannins and intense flavours. With its long finish this is an outstanding wine.
You can read more about the wines we tasted in my tasting notes, follow the links below for wine reviews and food pairing tips.
Beatriz also recommended looking out for sparkling wines from Tavora-Varosa. Although production is small, the wines are well worth trying if you can find them.
PS: this post is not sponsored, I paid for the holiday, tastings, and wines.