Since the eighteenth century, Portugal has been known for producing fortified wines including Port and Madeira. Port is the only fortified wine produced in Portugal. A fortified wine means that it has wine spirit added to it increasing the alcohol content. Madeira is also a Portuguese wine. Port is famous as an after dinner drink. Madeira is made on the Island of Madeira. It is produced with a unique process that involves baking the wine after it has fermented. Madeira comes in a variety of sweetness. The driest is called Rainwater, medium dry is Sercial, medium sweet is Boal, and sweet Madeira is called Malmsey.
Aside from these wines Portugal makes several other notable wines. Some of the most well known of Portuguese wines are the roses, Mateus and Lancer’s. Portugal also produces several red and white wines, among them the red Barca Velha, and the white Vinho Verde.
Not until the 1980s, did Portugal start seeing movement in the way of becoming more known amongst table wines with the improvement of quality and with assistance from the EU and other local Portuguese agricultural agencies, Portugal is building its own legacy with indigenous grapes to produce fine wines. Portugal also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. Portuguese wines are sold under the name of the region or appellation but you may start to see the varietal or grape type listed on labels as well.