How Tom chose his favourites for the ‘Seriously Summery Wines from Portugal’ virtual tasting

It’s been a Portugal-heavy year for me, I have to admit. Turns out, when given a few years to reflect on where I really want to be eating, drinking and exploring, it’s in this beautiful, diversely-landscaped, long-thin sliver of a country. So I can’t wait to share my selection of ‘seriously summery Portuguese wines’ at a virtual tasting on 29th June.

In the UK, Spring saw Olly, Oz and I back in a busy tasting room at our Wines of Portugal Three Wine Men event in London. Thinking back, I’ve barely held a personal tasting this year without slipping something Portuguese into the line-up. In preparation for this summer tasting (and a follow-up Winter one – keep your eyes peeled), I spent a very merry day tasting over 60 wines shortlisted from that superb spring day.

I’m writing this, later at night than I’d hoped, surrounded by half-packed bags, about to head off with the girls to the Algarve. I’ll be back for less than a week before I nip off to Douro, Trás-os-Montes and Vinho Verde, sans girls this time, in full wine-mode. Further trips are pencilled for the back end of the year. I couldn’t be happier.

So, the idea is simple; here are six wines, chosen by me (following rigorous testing and re-tasting, rest assured!) that I feel best reflect what Portugal has to offer the summer drinker. I’ve picked widely and generously – these are extraordinarily complex, exciting wines, in all the dry styles you could wish for; from light and fresh, minerally whites, chillable reds, through to textural, rich wines of both colours that demand attention. There is age and maturity represented here, funky ‘natural’ ferments, pristinely made single indigenous varietal wines and Portugal’s speciality; preconception-challenging field blends too. I’m excited just thinking about it.

The truly exciting thing for me about Portuguese wine is it’s originality, it’s distinct sense of place and the culture surrounding it. It’s at once highly-traditional, celebrating unique grapes grown exclusively in tiny pockets of the country and innovative, perpetually creative and dynamic. There is little stuffiness and pomposity here; there is class, elegance and heritage, but through a gastronomic, perhaps a little hedonistic lens.

As an ‘enjoyer’, it suits me down to the ground and I hope you too! Join me as I wax lyrical about this country’s wines I so adore. I’ll be taking the opportunity to introduce the key concepts, varietals, people and stories of the regions featured – taking us from the Minho river in the far North, all the way down the Atlantic coast through Douro, Dão, Lisboa, Tejo and inland and up a hill, to Alentejo.

Here are the wines you can taste along with me:

  • Soalheiro Germinar 2020 – Vinho Verde
  • Quinta Pedra Alta Branco 2020 – Douro
  • Quinta da Alorna Verdelho 2021 – Tejo
  • Rocim Wines, Fresh from Amphora Red 2020 – Alentejo
  • Quinta das Cerejeiras Grande Reserva Tinto 2016 – Lisboa
  • Quinta dos Roques, Colheita 2018 – Dão

Click here to book your tasting pack and taste with Tom.