Portuguese Wines

It's the port that counts for first family of wine

Paul Symington, chairman of Symington Family Estates in the Douro, Portugal, places great emphasis on family values. When told he was voted Decanter's Man of the Year 2012, he said he would accept the award only if he could extend the honour to his family.

Thursday, 26 July, 2012, 12:00am

The Corkscrew

When I look at a label, I often wonder how long that particular wine brand has been around. That is especially true when it comes to port; some bottles have been around for hundreds of years. The Douro (Oporto) region of Portugal is the oldest defined wine region in the world, having been given its appellation in 1756.

17 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Douro leads Portugal boom

There's a buzz about Douro, a region in the north of Portugal, relating to the emergence in just the past decade or two of remarkably high-quality table wine in what was previously known as port country. Exports last year of table wine exceeded those of port for the first time, at 51 per cent. We see sales of sherry, another great fortified wine, declining worldwide.

29 May 2012 - 12:00am

PORT of call

Located on the western edge of Europe, Portugal is a land where the Carthaginians, ancient Greeks and then the Romans, who named the land Lusitania, built important trading and military outposts. It was at the periphery of the known Western world at the time, isolated from Spain by mountains and rivers and enveloped by the vast, mysterious Atlantic Ocean to the west.

28 May 2012 - 12:00am

Let's hear it for the Boys: from the Douro with love

Portugal's Douro Valley is one of the world's oldest demarcated wine regions, but it is its newest varieties that are drawing the attention of the critics.

3 May 2012 - 12:00am


Even though Portugal does not command headlines in the international wine world, many Hongkongers have had a head start in tasting wines from the southern European country. There is a ready stash of Portuguese wines in Macau and some of us remember Mateus Ros? from its heyday in the 1970s.

8 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Go on, pampas yourself

Argentina is famed for the tango, football (Diego Maradona) and Evita Peron. A lesser known fact is that it's the fifth-largest wine producer.

6 Oct 2011 - 12:00am


Once known only for its collectible port wines, today Portugal's formerly stodgy Douro Valley rocks. The region's winemakers have put their considerable talent towards producing world- class table wines and most oenophiles agree that the region is producing the most exciting dry red wines in Portugal. The vines grow on the same dizzyingly steep schist hillsides as the port vineyards.

7 Nov 2010 - 12:00am

Perfect match

Flat fish such as flounder and turbot have delicious, sweet, succulent meat. The larger Atlantic turbot is prized for its delectable flavour and texture. The fishy richness of the cold-water fish can produce a powerful flavour, which works well with some red bordeaux. Flounder, from tropical waters, is more delicate but still has a lot of fat, the most flavourful component.

3 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Fortified wines gain in popularity

Asia is not traditionally a strong market for the classic fortified wines of Spain and Portugal - sherry, port and Madeira - but several leading producers exhibiting at Vinexpo are optimistic about future prospects.

25 May 2010 - 12:00am

Best foot forward

I trod grapes with about 30 pickers at Quinta do Vesuvio, in Portugal, the other night. Foot-treading has been done since time immemorial but these days grapes are squished with human toes only when port is being produced.

18 Oct 2009 - 12:00am

Wine's best kept secret emerges from its slumber

A Portuguese wine took third place in Wine Spectator's list of the top-100 most exciting wines of 2008. It was the only non-French wine to make the top five. Three other Portuguese vintages were included in the prestigious list.

10 Jun 2009 - 12:00am


Mention the words 'wine' and 'Portugal' and most people will go into raptures about port, arguably the world's finest fortified, sweet red wine, before shuddering over the country's dry wines - usually associated with hangovers of the gargantuan variety.

3 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

Growing a name in wine

FOR MANY YEARS Portugal's reputation as a wine-producing country was allowed to rest mostly on Port and Madeira. Nobody disputed the excellence of those spirit-fortified classics, but Portuguese table wines tended to be regarded as less serious.

10 Jun 2006 - 12:00am


In the 1700s, winemaking was a messy, unpredictable business. As a result, canny wine exporters often doused their barrels of wine with alcohol to bolster their stability before shipping. Consumers liked these souped-up wines and today there are many wine regions that specialise in wines fortified with alcohol.

19 Feb 2006 - 12:00am