Portugal makes dozens of different kinds of wine from an array of little-known grapes. That may seem daunting—until you pull a cork. Then it’s clear that most of these bottles are extremely approachable. “I fell in love with Portugal after visiting the wineries and meeting the owners. They’re always incredibly warm and hospitable,” says Fat Rice’s Craig Perman. “And their wines are amazingly versatile with food.” Here, his favorite wines to pair with petiscos.
2014 Quinta de Chocapalha Arinto ($12) Up-and-coming wine talent Sandra Tavares da Silva makes this fruity white with grapes from her family’s 110-acre farm north of Lisbon.
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2010 Quinta do Infantado Douro Tinto Organic ($18) Perman says he loves the bright juiciness of this organic Douro red, from one of the first small estates to start producing wines in the Douro Valley.
2015 Quinta do Ameal Loureiro ($21) Most wines from the Vinho Verde region are blends; this citrusy white is almost pure Loureiro, which imparts a delicate floral note. And, as Perman notes, “the alcohol level is only 11.5 percent, which helps balance the heat from spicy dishes.”
2015 Casal Figueira Antonio Branco ($37) The Lisboa wine region near Lisbon, formerly known as Estremadura, is a source for crisp whites. This lightly stony one is unusual, though—it’s made from the nearly extinct Vital grape.
2013 Álvaro Castro Quinta da Pellada ($75) “This is one of the great wines of the Dão region,” Perman says, “with incredible depth of flavor.” It’s a fragrant, briary blend of the primary Dão red varieties: Touriga Nacional, Jaen and Tinta Roriz.