Some Portuguese delights…

The beautiful Quinta das Cerejeiras, Bombarral

Having recently returned from Portugal I thought I would share some thoughts about the wines I experienced over there.

This was not a wine trip, I did taste some wines, but most of what I had was straightforward everyday wine from the regions around Sao Martinho do Porto, which is on the coast a little north of Óbidos and Caldos da Reinha.

In many ways it was a very interesting exercise seeing how well served the Portuguese wine consumer is. All the supermarkets – and there were a great many of them within a few minutes – offered very wide ranges from right across the country. However, with a few exceptions I tried to limit myself to local fare – and I was very impressed indeed.

I have for long been a huge fan of wine from Portugal and have watched with disbelief as Portuguese wine ranges in the UK have been reduced to a mere token presence on the multiples’ shelves. Not that many years ago I could put together a range of really interesting Portuguese wines from the supermarkets, but not any more. Go to a British supermarket now and the Portuguese offerings are a shadow of their former self.

Which I find very strange as many of the wines offer stunning value for money and really could appeal to a wide range of British consumers, I assume as they are mainly small producers and cooperatives that the brands from elsewhere have more money and support available to put them on the supermarket shelves. After all, as Neil Diamond said, money talks.

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