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Portuguese Red Wine: Where to Start

With no less than 12 distinct wine-growing regions, a whole host of native grapes and a rich tradition of winemaking, it still surprises us that it’s taken until now for Islanders to start regularly choosing Portuguese wines.


The quality of wine more than holds its own against better known international varieties, but like anything that’s new and unfamiliar, it can be hard to know where to start.


This guide aims to take you on a journey through Portugal's wine regions and uncover remarkable red wines for you to try that share similarities with your favourite varieties from around the world.


Malbec & Cabernet Sauvignon: Experience Alentejo's Boldness

Best for value:
Adega Maior Dizeres - £8.49

Feeling fancy: Quinta Do Carmo - £18.49


Red wines from the Alentejo region are renowned for their boldness and richness. Picture a full-bodied wine with generous notes of blackberry, black cherry, and hints of spice, tobacco, and chocolate. 


Look for Alentejo wines that feature grape varieties like Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez and Trincadeira. These varieties bring depth, structure, and luscious dark fruit flavours similar to Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. 


Douro Valley: Temptations for Rioja Lovers

Best for value:
Pachecha Colheita - £7.99

Feeling fancy: Pacheca Grand Reserve Touriga Nacional - £28.99


The Douro Valley has a long-standing reputation for exceptional fortified Port wines. But more recently, the region has produced some remarkable reds, which are often compared to Spanish Riojas. 


The Douro Valley has many indigenous grape varieties like Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Franca - these all help to give the wine a unique flavour.


Expect deep flavours of black fruits, hints of oak, and a firm structure with excellent ageing potential. Douro Valley reds provide an interesting new adventure for wine drinkers who instinctively pick up a Rioja.


Lisboa Wines: A Perfect Match for Pinot Noir Lovers

Best for value:
Portada - £5.99

Divino’s pick: Capataz - £5.49


Looking for something to replace your Pinot Noir? Look no further than the red wines of Lisboa. With nuances of red cherry, raspberry, and vibrant acidity, Lisboa's red wines offer a delightful and delicate touch on the palate. 


Dão's Delights: A Bordeaux Alternative

Best for value:
Titular Colheita - £7.99

Divino’s pick: Caminhos Cruzados - £8.49
Bestseller: Dao Cabriz - £7.99


Dão reds are a delightful alternative for those who stack the wine rack full of Bordeaux. 


To start with, explore blends featuring indigenous grape varieties like Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Alfrocheiro.


These all contribute depth and structure to the wines, offering balanced acidity, and flavours ranging from black fruits and plums to subtle earthy undertones.


Barolo lover? Head for Bairrada

Best for value:
Terra Franca - £6.49

Feeling fancy: Q. Ortigao Reserve - £11.99


The Bairrada region of Portugal is renowned for its unique wine styles and grape varieties. While no wine varieties are exactly the same as those produced in Bairrada, Italian Barolos and other Nebbiollo wines like Barbaresco do share some common characteristics.


Expect complex flavours, firm tannins, and high acidity.


Ready to taste your first Portuguese red?

Portugal's diverse wine regions hold a multitude of red wines that rival their international counterparts.


Whether you're a fan of Rioja, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Bordeauxs or Barolos, you can start your Portuguese wine journey with Divino. 


Still unsure of what to drink? Try our mixed red wine case.