Taste your way through Portugal with these five white wines

Taste your way through Portugal with these five white wines

Here are five other excellent brancos

Portuguese brancos Photograph by Carlo Mendoza

Portugal produces a surprising array of memorable, if lesser-known, whites. Of the many indigenous grapes, varieties like arinto, alvarinho and—my personal favourite—encruzado stand out. It’s best just to taste your way through them. Grab a handful from the changing selection at the LCBO’s Portuguese speciality store at 2151 St. Clair West, browse the deep lists of specialist importers like FWP Trading, or try them one at a time at Portuguese restaurants such as Chiado and Salt. Here are my picks.

Quinta da Aveleda 2015

$11.10 | Vinho Verde | 87 Points
Low alcohol and a slight spritz make this “green wine” a great quencher. Ultra-fresh with lime, sea salt and green apple aromas, and a citrus-evergreen finish. Pairs well with oysters, mussels and sardines. Most LCBOs 89995

Quinta do Crasto 2014

$17.55 | Douro | 88 Points
The Douro Valley is charging ahead with fine, mineral whites. From a leading modernist, this mid-weight, unoaked three-grape blend shows lemongrass, wet stone and citrus. A great patio sipper. LCBO Stockyards 138908

Conceito 2013

$56 | Douro | 93 Points
This barrel-fermented blend from the eastern Douro Valley is crafted by rising star Rita Ferreira Marques. It bristles with subtle lemon-lime, mineral, wood spice and fresh herbs. Great length. Pair with seafood. LCBO Stockyards 436238

Borges 2014 Pérola

$8.30 | Duriense | 86 Points
From the environs of the Douro, this bargain white wine lacks some poise, but it’s refreshing and loaded with spice, evergreen sap and citrus. Chill well and serve with grilled calamari, chicken or fish tacos. LCBO Stockyards 112572

Quinta de Saes 2014 Reserva

$20.05 | Dão | 89 Points
Encruzado anchors this elegant, firm blend from the forested Dão region. Subtle green pear and melon, evergreen, and wet stone aromas channel French burgundy or pinot blanc. Best with subtle white fish recipes. LCBO Stockyards 147834