With unique wine-growing regions, many local grape varieties, and a winemaking history that dates back centuries, it continues to surprise me that Portuguese white wines aren’t a staple in all islander’s wine racks.
Portuguese white wines easily rival their more famous international counterparts. Yet, diving head first into unfamiliar varieties can be daunting, especially when you have guests to please.
This guide is your introduction to the delicious and affordable world of Portuguese white wines we import at Divino.
Let's explore some of my favourite Portuguese varieties and highlight the characteristics they share with the white wines you know and love.
Sauvignon Blanc Lovers: Meet Vinho Verde
Best for value: Alvarinho Aveleda 75c - £8.99
Also try: Muralhas de Moncao Vinho Verde - £8.49
Vinho Verde is one of Portugal’s most popular white wine producing regions. The wines are crisp and instantly refreshing. If the Sun’s out (which it tends to be in Portugal), I’ll be reaching for a Vinho Verde.
Alvarinho and Loureiro varieties can offer that aromatic intensity and zesty acidity that Sauvignon Blanc lovers cherish.
In recent years, some Portuguese winemakers have experimented with locally grown Sauvignon Blanc varieties. They tend to share characteristics with those grown in New Zealand, only slightly sweeter.
We recommend: Quinta Do Ortigão White (Sauvignon Blanc) 75cl - £10.49
Adore Pinot Grigio? Try the Lightness of Arinto
Best for value: Terra Franca White Wine 75cl - £5.29
Something special: Quinta Do Ortigão White (Arinto Bical) 75cl - £10.49
Originating from the region of Bucelas but found throughout Portugal, Arinto offers minerality and bright acidity.
Arinto wines dance on your tongue with notes of lemon zest and green apple, similar to the breezy qualities of Pinot Grigio.
Chardonnay Lovers: The Richness of Antão Vaz Awaits
Best for value: EA Eugenio Almeida White Wine 75cl - £7.49
Splurge-worthy: Esporao Reserva White 75cl - £12.49
The sun-kissed plains of Alentejo are home to the Antão Vaz grape. Producing wines with robust body and tropical hints, they sometimes get a touch of oak, lending them a richness that might remind you of a good Chardonnay.
Riesling Enthusiasts: Delight in the Sweetness of Muscat
Best for value: Pacheca Colheita White Wine 75cl - £5.99
Also try: Tons De Duorum White Wine 75cl - £7.99
For those who have a soft spot for the sweet and aromatic flavours of Riesling, Portugal's Muscat wines, especially from Setúbal, are a treat.
These wines are aromatic, with hints of orange and spices, offering a sweet kiss on the palate. I tend to drink a Muscat as a lighter aperitif, with a sweet dessert or a wedge of Portuguese cheese.
Venturing into Portuguese Whites
Portugal's selection of white wines offers flavours and aromas that every wine drinker can enjoy.
Whether you're fond of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Riesling, there's a Portuguese white wine waiting to surprise you.
Ready to start exploring Portuguese White wines? Our mixed white wine case is an excellent way to taste the diversity of Portugal.