The Best of Spain and Portugal

Most searched-for wines and picks of the year


For better or worse, the wines of Spain and Portugal get lumped together in many people’s minds. This has as much to do with the countries sharing the Iberian Peninsula as it does with wine writers, like myself, grouping the wines together in vintage assessment profiles and year-end round-ups, like I’m about to do.

The truth is I should easily be able to write many articles about each country’s wines. They are both countries with diverse and dynamic wine industries using many indigenous grapes with lots of up-and-coming producers as well as an old guard.

So, why do I taste so few of their wines? With Portugal it’s simply a matter of supply, as much as I want to taste more there is still a fairly limited number of wines coming into the U.S. Spain, on the other hand, is exploding and I find exactly the opposite problem: so many wines that it’s tough to settle on a theme for tastings. While with Portugal I am comfortable tasting wines from all over the country, Spanish wines are abundant enough to allow for more specific, themed tastings and the truth is with my busy schedule some regions will inevitably be ignored.

Having said all that, I present to you Snooth’s Most Searched-for Spanish and Portuguese wines of the year. In addition, you can find my top picks for Spanish and Portuguese wines tasted in 2010 by following the link to the slideshow below.
My Spanish and Portuguese Wines of the Year

12 Most Searched-for Spanish Wines

12 Most Searched-for Portuguese Wines

Mentioned in this article


  • Spanish wines have been Parkerized - the hot wines are big,fruity and have more in common with new world wines (Austrailia/US) than french/italian wines. Rioja has retained its balance however.

    Dec 08, 2010 at 2:11 PM

  • Snooth User: Lferrreir
    314368 7

    All the mentioned Portuguese wines are from the Douro Valley Region, being 7 of them Port Wines, and the other 5 what we call here in Portugal table wines. It must be said that there are many different wines in Portugal, coming from very different regions (Vinho Verde, Bairrada, Dão, Alentejo). The problem to take them to big markets like the USA is that they are produced in quite small quantities. But they deserve a detour to taste and enjoy them!

    Dec 08, 2010 at 5:14 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    You are correct but these are simply the most searched for wines on Snooth. If you click through to my choices you would find a more varied selection! I think Portuguese wines represent the traditional wine lover's salvation!

    Dec 08, 2010 at 5:38 PM

  • I bought an inexpensive red wine from an insignificant deli-style shop near my hotel in Lisboa, not expecting much. Boy, was I surprised, it was excellent! I noticed the 14% alcohol, (that was 3 years ago) which was probably one of the reasons for my favorable reaction. I've been a fan ever since. Right now I'm enjoying a few bottles from Vidigal. The best part is the price.

    Dec 08, 2010 at 6:57 PM

  • Snooth User: eli61087
    537421 23

    If you haven't tried it already, the Tarima Monastrell, is one of the best spanish wines under ten dollars from jumilla that I've ever had. I love monastrell or mouvedre--- they're the same varietal-- and is often overlooked. Tempranillo and Rioja's are swell-- but monastrell.. that's just nice.

    Dec 08, 2010 at 9:53 PM

  • Snooth User: peabreu
    669539 1

    Yes, this is a very skewed vison of Portugal's wine offer. Please at least take time to include the Dão Region offer (minimum include the low cost/amazing quality offer from "Quinta de Cabriz" and "Casa de Santar", and many more). From the south/Alentejo include at least "Mouchão", any product from "cartuxa/Fundação Eugenio de Almeida", e.g., "Pera Manca" (an expensive offer, but very good) - these are quality wines with character. In the "new world" taste, then the region "Ribatejo e Oeste" is a must. My 2 cents...of an euro. Paulo

    Dec 09, 2010 at 5:17 AM

  • Thank God that Portugal is so much more than the Douro region!!! The Douro is beautiful and it gives us great wines will give you that! But following by the Beiras and it's castles (and wines) down to the Algarve you'll find great wines, go blind on them and they'll amaze you and your mouth and your nose and your eyes!!
    As for the scenic view.... there's much to see other than the Douro. I can put you to sleep where only kings used to sleep or as my friend João did put me to sleep where the Pope had slept...

    Dec 09, 2010 at 5:58 AM

  • Can Snooth please contact me?
    I am an importer of Portuguese wines.

    Dec 09, 2010 at 9:39 AM

  • Snooth User: Catherine Gin
    Hand of Snooth
    592568 297

    valuewines, the Snooth team would love to hear more about the Portuguese wines you import. Hope you got the e-mail I sent earlier today. Look forward to hearing from you.

    Dec 09, 2010 at 6:54 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks for all the comments folks. As I wrote the list of wines is simply what has been most searched for on Snooth this year. My favorite wines included 2 from the Douro, a sparkling wine from the Beiras, and a Bairrada. It would be great if I could taste the best wines from every region and post a more complete report but time simply doesn't allow for such a tasting, not to mention I simply don't have the wines!

    Dec 14, 2010 at 9:57 AM

  • Snooth User: Piecho
    741435 7

    I am Portuguese and love Portuguese wine, but let's stop crying about lack of visibility of our wines. The producers must grab their gear a go out selling their goods. If they can't do it alone, then join forces and go for it.

    Jan 23, 2011 at 7:13 AM

  • Very interesting your wine article. You are the best wine blog in world.

    <a href="">Porto Branco</a>

    Aug 14, 2013 at 9:39 AM

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