As sparkling wines need high acidity, they are made, unsurprisingly, in the cooler areas of the country. Bairrada sparkling wine has a fine reputation, made from quick-pressed red Baga or Touriga Nacional grapes, fragrant white Maria Gomes, Arinto, Bical and sometimes nowadays Chardonnay. Cool, high-altitude Távora-Varosa, south of the Douro, north of Dão, makes sparkling wines from the Malvasia Fina and, increasingly, the Champagne grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Vinho Verde, where many wines have just a prickle of fizz, added fully sparkling wines to its regulations just in time for the Millennium.
When to drink & Food pairings:
Refreshing in the heat of summer, and cheering in the cold of winter, sparking wine is perfect for fish and seafood. Sparkling wines are an ideal choice for dressed salads, the acidity and slight sweetness matching the dressing as well as the sweetness of the salad and vegetable ingredients. The natural sweetness of vegetable dishes often also fits well with the sweet edge of sparkling wines.