I love exploring wine regions and trying new wines and the newest region that I tried for the first time is an old region. It is the Peninsula de Setúbal located in the Southwest of Portugal. Most famous for their fortified Moscatel de Setúbal, which is very delicious, they also produce high quality still wines that are also great values. I was so impressed with the wine that I wrote my column in the Napa Valley Register about them which you can read here.
Living in the United States, we are exposed to many wines from around the world: France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Spain, to name a few countries. But, what about Portugal? I am familiar with the fortified wines of Madeira and Porto and have tasted some still wines from Alentejo and Dao. But when I was asked to organize some intimate events for the region of Setúbal, my curiosity was piqued.
The first challenge was saying Setúbal properly. After some practice with the Portuguese speakers, I was finally able to properly say it – “StUbal”. Remove the first “e” and stress the “u” and you, too, can sound like you speak Portuguese.
This story originally appeared in ATOD Magazine.
Varietals of wine grapes are endless: Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, riesling, malbec, barbera, Nebbiolo, sangiovese, pinot grigio … and more! There are hundreds upon hundreds of wine grapes grown throughout the world. Most of those we’re familiar with come French or Italian grapes but have you ever heard of alvarinho, verdelho, malvasia, alicante, tinta roriz or touriga nacional? If not, we wanted to introduce you to some Portuguese wines making their way to more and more on wine lists at some of your favorite restaurants and wine bars.
About the RegionPortugal is located in the Iberian Peninsula in the southwest of Europe, bordered by Spain on one side and water on the other. It’s a small country, only 35,645 square miles (575 miles long by 138 miles wide), which makes it the same size as the states of Maine or Montana. That said, while Portugal may not be a big country, it has the ninth largest vineyard area in the world in comparison to the United States, which ranks sixth.
Portugal is the ninth largest exporter to the United States, behind France, Italy, Spain, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Germany. Twenty-five percent of what is exported are delicious fortified wines, Madeira and Port and seventy-five percent of the wine exported to the US from Portugal are still, dry wines.
www.visitportugal.comPortuguese Wines 101