If you are looking for the Port wine institute of Lisbon, you will be disappointed. This Lisbon Port wine academy (Solar do Vinho do Porto) located in Bairro Alto has been definitely closed.
Many port wine bars in Lisbon will offer you portos as an appetizer. This is usually a port that has been open for some time at less than €5-6 per bottle. Please don't take any !
For me, the best porto wine bar in Lisbon is the one that promotes the difference. It defends the true wine culture of the Douro valley.
The historic establishment for drinking port in Lisbon was certainly Solar do vinho do Porto em Lisboa, but it is definitively closed after 65 years of existence.
Taylor’s recently opened its tasting shop in the heart of the emblematic Alfama district. This family business has been carrying on the tradition of fortified Port wine for over 325 years. It is one of the most prestigious brands in Vila nova de Gaia. It is a large, English, street-front Port Wine House. Not that this house is bad, but you will probably easily find Taylor’s at your local wine shop.
However the place remains very pleasant with a very central location just a stone’s throw from the Commerce square, on the banks of the Tagus. For €16 p.p., you can taste 3 ports accompanied by a pastel of nata.
An port wine bar above the others for tasting port in Lisbon. In the Baixa district, the most central district of Lisbon, Julien dos Santos has opened a tavern there which is dedicated to the famous fortified wine. He is himself a port producer, with the Heritage House.
With more than 100 references of Port wines, your taste buds will find what suits them. Julien and his team have the patience and the taste to share. Commented tastings of 3 to 8 glasses will change your perception of Port, which is much more complex than it seems !
And I almost forgot the most important thing : Portologia only works with small producers. Those who work hard and have to guarantee irreproachable quality in order to sell. Quite a job, and this tasting is a tribute to that !
To go well with all this, trust him with his cheese & cold meat boards. But before tasting, I would like to give you a historical reminder of these must-try wines.
The love story between the Iberian Peninsula and wine is not new. Already 2000 years ago, the writings of the Greek geographer Strabon testify to this. The inhabitants of the north of the peninsula used to drink it !
So when did the tradition of port wine arrive on the slopes of the Douro River? From the second half of the 17th century ! Portuguese wine was in great demand by the English because of Colbert, who prohibited the export of Bordeaux wines to their sworn enemy. The English are forced to look for a new supplier. Portugal then appears as the perfect producer even if the distances separating them do not facilitate exchanges…
Port, a fortified wine!
The ships set sail with the precious Port wine on board. Made well up the Douro River, the name retained will remain that of the city of expedition. Porto. The fortification of Port wine with spirit will only occur later and will then be added at a specific time during fermentation. This will give it that sweet, syrupy taste (the addition of spirit blocking fermentation) that is typical of Port and which makes it so appreciated across the Channel.