Alentejo hot summers make ripening easy, and sweet grapes mean rich fruit and lots of body. Alentejo reds are made from a variable blend of grape varieties, including Trincadeira and Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet and Syrah, Touriga Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon. They may be inexpensive, rich, round and full, or very expensive, even richer, dense, and oak-aged, but still with a certain opulence and easy-drinking charm. Occasional other red wines from elsewhere in Portugal also fall into this rich, ripe style, from the upper reaches of the Douro, or the Tejo, for example.
When to drink & Food pairings:
Relatively low tannin makes these wines quite easy to pair with food, but the food flavours need to be equally big if they are not to be overcome by the wine. Game, lamb, beef, pork, offal, charcuterie, plainly cooked meats or richly sauced meats, all can work well with this style of red wine. Ripe Touriga Nacional (so long as it is not too heavily oaked) is particularly wonderful with beef, as is Aragonez with lamb, especially lamb flavoured with thyme.