Alcoholic drinks Portugal
The culture of production and consumption of alcoholic beverages in Portugal is distinctive, as is the culture of the state in general. It is impossible to speak unambiguously about Portugal, it is impossible to talk about it in two or three words, therefore in this article we will only discuss issues related to winemaking in this amazing country.
When talking about the wines of Western Europe, we first imagine the wines of France, Italy and Spain. Portuguese wines in Russia are less known, which is very sad. This is partly due to the relatively small scale of their production due to the modest size of the country. However, the Portuguese wine culture is a national treasure.
Of the fourteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Portugal, two are monuments of the national culture of winemaking – this is the wine region of Altu Douro and the wine landscape of Pico island in the Azores. The first of these is a tribute to tradition, since wine has been produced in this region for more than one and a half thousand years (according to archaeological data). The winemaking landscape of Pico Island, on the contrary, is evidence of a person’s ability to change traditional technologies to the characteristics of an aggressive external environment. The basalt walls that protect the vineyards of Pico Island from strong winds and splashes of sea water divide them into many rectangular sections.
Traditional wines of Portugal
Portuguese winemakers stubbornly honor tradition and are not inclined to increase the amount of wine produced or change the technology of its production to the detriment of quality.
Wines of Altu Alentejo
Red and white wines produced in the province of Altu Alentejo are traditionally considered one of the best wines on the planet. They were repeatedly awarded prizes at various international wine contests.
Madeira Island gave the name to a class of strong wines, which in Russian are most often called Madera. The production technology of these wines is unique. You can read about the history of its appearance in a special article.
Port wine got its name from the name of the Portuguese city of Porto, where wonderful strong drinks are still produced. Porto’s famous wine cellars offer tastings.
In the province of Minho, a unique young wine is produced: Wine Verde (Vinho Verde). It is also called “Green Wine”, although it is by no means green, but depends on the grape varieties. Yes, and the concept of “young” is chosen rather conditionally, because the exclusive technology for the production of this wine allows it to remain ever-young, and not become mature over time.
In almost any country with a developed winemaking culture, there is a local variety of vodka or moonshine, but it is rarely produced and sold legally. Until recently, this was exactly the case with medroni – a Portuguese alcoholic drink made from the fruits of strawberry tree. Sometimes it is called liquor, sometimes vodka, and sometimes even moonshine. Most likely, such a disagreement arose due to the artisanal and illegal production of the drink. Each of the clandestine manufacturers has their own technology, so the strength of the finished drink varies significantly. The Portuguese authorities began to issue licenses for the production of medron only in 2011, that is, the mass production industry is at the very beginning of the journey. Nevertheless, in the municipality of Monchique, a plan has already been announced for the construction of Casa do Medronho, a cultural center whose goal will be to popularize this drink.
Ginja Cherry Liqueur
Another alcoholic “highlight” of Portugal – cherry liquor “Ginja”, produced in the small old town of Obidos. In Obidush, this drink is served in cups of chocolate, which become an appetizer after the cherry liquor is drunk.
Traveling in Portugal, covering all the centers of its alcoholic culture, will be difficult, especially since two of them – the Azores and Madeira – are located outside of continental Portugal. However, knowing about these centers, you will be able to visit those of them that are most interesting for you, and the employees of the Lusitana Sol company will be happy to help you with this.