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For the Next Big Thing, Look to Portugal Outubro 6, 2005

Posted by Vasco in Inf. Geral e Económica.
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FOR a country renowned in the Age of Exploration for its seafaring adventures and colonies, Portugal has lived much of its wine-producing life in splendid isolation.There is port, of course, made from grapes grown along the Douro River, and Madeira from the island of Madeira. You would be surprised at how many people think of these fortified wines as British rather than Portuguese, and with reason. The British pretty much invented port and have dominated its shipping, though France and the United States are now the biggest port markets.

For years, if people thought at all of Portuguese wines, they thought of Mateus and Lancer’s, cheap sparkling rosés known for producing monumental hangovers, which were as much a rite of passage for a certain age group as buying that first Jimi Hendrix record or claiming to have been at Woodstock.

For most of the 20th century, the Portuguese themselves were making and drinking indifferent wines. Very few went out into the rest of the world, for which we can be grateful, because they weren’t very good.

But after Portugal joined what was then the European Community in 1986, the wine industry fundamentally remade itself, replacing outdated equipment, modernizing winemaking methods and improving viticultural techniques.

Today, Portugal is a source for distinctive wines that can be very good values, and some of the best Portuguese red wines, as the Dining section’s wine panel learned, are coming from the Douro, the area best known as the home of port.[New York Times]

Os vinhos portugueses mereceram destaque no New York Times, pela mão de Eric Asimov. Um artigo interessante e que em muito abona a qualidado do vinho nacional, mas melhor ainda é a apresentação multimédia que acompanha o artigo.

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