How Portugal reached your glass

As we know, and lived, the Portuguese culture surrounds us, it is in the language, food and increasingly in our glasses. Indeed they were, more precisely Martin Afonso de Sousa in 1532, the first to explore the vineyards in the country by sending vines of Madeira Island, but unfortunately without obtaining much success at the moment.

But if not Portuguese vineyards flourished centuries ago their wines now are – with each year that goes we find an increasing number of Portuguese wine trade in Brazil. And no wonder, Portugal is the third in Brazilian imports of wine, behind Argentina and Chile, with a growth of 19% (24 million euros) between 2010 and 2011.


However this position in the Brazilian market is not by chance, is the result of intense, continuous and different promotions Portuguese wine made ​​in the entire country by institutions such as the Comissões Vitivinícolas Regionais, o Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto, ViniPortugal e Wine of Portugal. For over five years we see the promotion of Portuguese wine through exhibitions, tastings and activities for professionals in the field of beverages and food, in addition to courses and competitions.

Just to give you an idea ViniPortugal have a budget for this year from 7 million to invest in more than 100 actions to promote Portuguese wines, 41% of the budget allocated to the United States and Brazil. In addition the Comissões Vitivinícolas Regionais e o Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto count with more 8 million euros to promote the wines, their regions and products.

After all this effort I believe it is worth taste a Portuguese wine!!!


Port beyond a digestive

Port wine is part of our culture for centuries. Brought by the Portuguese court in 1808 when they arrived in Brazil escaping from Napoleon’s troops this kind of wine quickly became a digestive wine for the wealthier classes of the empire. Even today, in São Luiz, Maranhão, and other parts of the country there is a tradition of buying a Vintage or Colheita Port of the birth year of daughter to be opened only on her wedding  day after the cake cutting.

However, in the course of time it has been falling by the wayside, but now coming back to the shelves after a strong marketing campaign of Portuguese wines made ​​by the Association of Wine of Portugal and also some trade agreements between the two countries. Besides the shelves, you can find increasingly Porto in clubs and restaurants served in cocktails, they  usually are thewhites and rosés Porto.

Well .. but for those who are new to product or only drank at his grandparents’ house, there’s a few simple tips to differentiate one from the other port. Or rather, one style of another.

Let’s start at the Porto style red that is divided into:


20130222_124610• No harvest date: Ruby and Tawn

• With harvest date: Vintage, LBV and Colheita

Ruby – This wine takes its name from its color gemstone which has great similarity. It is a young wine, full bodied and fruity, obtained by blending different harvests. Being 2-6 years in large tanks up to 700 million liters called Balseiros. This wine after bottling is ready to be enjoyed as it does not evolve in the bottle.

Tawny – The English word “tawny” means blondish. The Tawny is obtained from musts that age in oak casks, called Pipas. The PipAs has a capacity of 500 liters and are not fully fulfilled due to that  the aging process is faster than Ruby and  because of oxidation, its color will acquire, little by little, orange shades, close the blondish. With an average age of 3 years are elegant and delicate. There are Tawny with indication of age, “10,” “20,” “30” and “Over 40 years”. This is a special kind of kind and usually is a blend chosen by the winemaker.

Vintage: This wine is a Ruby, but is made ​​from a single harvest in years of exceptional harvests when the Instituto do Vinho do Douro e Porto (IVDP) certifies that quality and thereby makes it a treasure. After two years of staying in contact with the wood, continues its aging in bottle. They are young wines of superior quality.

LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) – This wine is a Ruby that originates only from the crop year indicated on the bottle. Before bottling the LBV remains in wood for 4-6 years, maturation time which gives a higher evolution of color. These are wines of intense color, tannins and slightly oxidative which stems from its aging


Colheita- Produced from a single harvest, necessarily indicated on the label, but, unlike Vintage, who certifies the quality is the winery. These wines are aged in wood for at least seven years and are bottled only when one intends put them on the market. They feature a tawny color, a mild, delicate flavor, deep and complex.

The Port White and Rosé are poorly understood by consumers and even by wine connoisseurs.Those made ​​from white grapes are sorted according to sugar content. Those sweets are known as much Lágrima then there are the Doce , Meio Seco , Seco e Extra Seco.


An even less known is the Port Rosé. Made from red grapes but with shorter fermentation was launched by the first time on the market in 2008 by Croft for Valentine’s Day. It features a currant color, and, how whites, are widely used for cocktails.

But even if whit this new way to drink Porto beware; the content of alcohol in fortified wines is always up 18 °

Good digestion 😉



The “BIBLE” of the grapes has landed

THE book about all the grape varieties has landed in the bookshops for the happiness of wine lovers. This bible called Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours written by Jancis Robinson,Julia Harding, and botanist/grape geneticist José Vouillamoz, covers nearly 1400 distinct grape varieties; the description of the taste of theirs wines, all in 1242 pages; a table of variety by country of origin; 14 pedigree diagrams and a large bibliography.

[Photos: Paula Forbes /]

If you are looking for information about grapes, wine or history of viticulture is not hard to find publications about it. The editorial world is full of such books, but for a long time the wine lovers are waiting for a book that would join all these information in a systemic and easy way to understand. Well…now that book has landed!!

According Vouillamoz in his interview on EWBC one of the book’s intentions is cover a gap that exists for years about the origin and domestication of grapes in the world.

– “Other crops of economic importance, such as soy bean, corn, potato has for years its history and genetic map revealed, it is incredible to think that the grapes, with all the trade that exists around them, only now has this type of publication.”

But the book goes beyond a genetic research, in collaboration with Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding the book combines the grapes and their regions with the description of the wines that they will produce. A delight for consumers…

If you are wine lover this book indispensable to have your collection, although thick (a 3kg baby according Vouillamoz) is able to cure the curiosity of anyone with description of each variety, grape color, synonyms, origin and others characteristics. This important piece of work can be found since October 26 in the nearest bookstore or ordered in his own web page (



What wine should I choose??


Nowadays increasingly we face the following situation: You are before a shelf full of bottles and labels (sometimes with unpronounceable names) or with a wine list so long that it looks more like a book and  … what wine should I choose? Well, good, I love this situation!!

But we are not alone in this, this situation is repeated in China, Russia and India and other countries where wine has been gaining ground. So without any further delay, I’ll pass some tips for the choosing of wine became an enjoyable adventure, as it is for me, annot torture.

prateleira vinho

• What is the occasion?

This should be the first question you should ask when buying / choosing wine, because it takes into account other issues. Where are you? Who are you with? Anyway … what purpose since meeting?

Think of it this way, if you are with friends at a happy hour wine would be like a dinner for two to celebrate Valentine’s Day? I hope the answer is no! For a romantic dinner sparkling wines are perfect, but also young and soft wines accompanying light dishes. Festive occasions go very well together with sparkling, preferably heterogeneous in order to please the greatest number of people. Wines more elaborates may yield a good subject for a business dinner.

• The temperature

In Brazil, where the majority of the country is tropical weather, wine eventually became a reference drink in lower temperatures. But there are numerous options for the warmer temperatures of the year.

In the summer, opt for a lighter wine like white, rosé or sparkling wine, which has lower alcohol content (between six and ten degrees) and should be consumed cold.

In a cooler temperature, do not think twice: invest in a reds, which are usually thicker tasted around 13 º C. I recommend betting on grape varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, malbec, tannat, carmenere, shiraz…

• What will we eat?

Usually the concern is to harmonize the wine with the dish, probably because the meal was selected before choosing the wine. Then follow the golden rule, although that is increasingly discussed – for red meat dishes and white for fish dishes – and continues to assert is a good start when you are face to face with hundreds of bottles!

If you are in a restaurant and do not know this combination dish / wine or are in doubt, ask your sommelier. He is usually responsible for assembling the letter of the restaurant and probably thought of food served in time to make this montage.

However, do not be afraid to innovate, with so many possibilities why not explore?

• The price

Do not feel intimidated for chosen a wine for the price. This is a factor that can perfectly guide the choice of a bottle of wine, there are bottles ranging from a few to tens or even hundreds of euros … and all on the same shelf! How to know?

Of course a bottle of wine costing € 20 will be obviously higher quality when compared with a € 5, but that does not mean that cheaper is horrible! If it is still an amateur in the matter of wines and has no absolute certainty of what you are doing, choose the cheapest and then not “mourn the loss”. If, on the other hand, have nothing to lose experience a more expensive wine.

But remember, price is not synonymous of quality!

• Search and Ask:

Look for a shop or responsible for the Wine cellar in supermarkets that can help you in choosing your first bottles or buying a wine for a special occasion. See calmly ask the questions you want and do not despair in search of a good bottle of wine – the choice should be the beginning of many pleasures associated with the wonderful world of wine. But do not let anyone pressure you during the selection process, forcing you to buy this or that brand, or spend more money than you thought.

And now…just enjoy your wine