Have you ever tasted a Portuguese wine? I know I hadn’t until last Tuesday. And apparently that is the unfortunate norm. Although Portugal has a wide range of delicious vintages they are extremely underrepresented by American wine sellers. And as a result, we, the American wine drinking public, have been missing out. Hopefully, that is about to change.
Last Tuesday I attended a Wines of Portugal seminar taught by Master Sommelier, Doug Frost. The class was extremely informative as well as entertaining. Doug provided us with a thorough view of Portuguese history and geography, while relating it all back to the country’s diverse wine producing regions. I learned about how the country’s different regions, effected by coastal breezes and water (ocean on one side, Mediterranean Sea on the other) as well as mountainous and hot sandy climates in the middle of the country, allow it to produce a wide variety of grapes and wines.
The result of these unique geographical circumstances? Some truly delicious wines. One thing I learned from Doug is that we each have unique tastes and palates. I now know that I have a low sensitivity to acid. Portugal is famous for having a high acidic base to many of their wines. Think Virginia’s Viogniers, New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs or German Rieslings as comparable options. I had never made this connection before, but these are some of my favorite types of wine, which is why I loved the majority of the Portuguese wines I tasted. The takeaway from this class is that by drawing more attention to the Portuguese wine industry, people will start asking for these wines to be made more readily available. So next time you do see a Portuguese wine listed on a wine menu, take a risk and try it. My guess is you won’t be disappointed and hopefully these wines will become a mainstream commodity here in the States.