I have put the top quintas in the Douro Valley...Read More
Traveling as a wine lover requires serious preparation. Tasting my way around Europe, I always make sure to save a few good wine addresses.
There are must-taste wines in Porto and some great wine bars with a good selection of local wines and knowledgeable passionate sommeliers.
At Portuguese bars, you will always be offered to taste local specialties with your wine. Do not miss fantastic cheeses, sardines, cod-based balls (bolinhos de bacalhau), octopus salad (salada de polvo), flamed grilled cured pork sausage (chouriço assado) and other Portuguese tapas called petiscos.
Like most European wines, Portuguese wines are extremely diverse. There are many appellations and grape varieties. At a minimum, during your stay in Porto taste different types of port wine (white, ruby, rose, tawny, vintage) and dry red and white wines from Douro Valley, Dao, Alentejo, Algarve, Setubal, and Vinho Verde.
Some bars offer sampling packages and guided tastings, others offer a good selection of wine by the glass.
Check out my recommendations of best wine bars to crawl in Porto.
To taste port wine head over across the River Douro from the old city center of Porto in Vila Nova de Gaia. To get there you only need to cross the Dom Luís I bridge. It will take you about 10 minutes.
Almost all of Porto’s over 40 port producers are based on a hill topped with famous names like Taylor’s, Cockburn’s, Graham’s, and Croft. There are also multiple bars here offering port wine tastings.
Nearly all Port wine cellars provide guided tours and tastings. Head over to your favorite Port houses, or for example at one of these:
You may want to book your visit online, especially during the high season. There is an option of a private tour. Ask the office to arrange it.
You may also be interested in going to Espaço Porto Cruz. It was created as a place to combine new experiences around Port wine with artistic creations in different areas such as fashion, art, and gastronomy.
Make sure you go up to the 360º terrace for an unforgettable view, attend tastings and food and wine pairings. Tastings are not only around fortified Port wine, but also cover Douro Valley dry wines.
Photo from Rafael de Lima website.
Book wine tasting via WhatsApp on Rafael’s website. We tasted 6 carefully selected Portuguese wines, both white and red with and without food in a small and private setting. This isn’t strictly a drinking experience. You will enjoy wines and learn a lot.
The owner, Rafael de Lima, is a winemaker himself and a serious wine professional following the WSET education program that I pursued as well. He definitely has a different approach which makes you feel empowered about choosing your next glass or bottle of wine wherever you go.
Photo from Capela Incomum Facebook page
Hidden place away on a little side street of Porto, this little bar is actually a former family chapel with an authentic interior and an altar. It is a pretty tiny, romantic place away from tourist crowds.
The atmosphere is intimate and relaxing with calm jazz music.
The bar offers nice tapas and light snacks, a solid dry wine list, and an extensive selection of port wine. Beer is also available.
Hot cheese with honey and herbs was full of taste and complimented my white wine perfectly.
Photo from Gota a Gota Facebook page
Gota a Gota is both a wine shop and a bar, slightly away from the touristic center. On the shelves of Gota a Gota you will find a wide selection of wines from all regions of Portugal.
Order wine by the glass with a cheese or charcuterie plate and learn all about local wines from Porto born and bred owners Mariana and Dinis. They can also tastings for large groups, but contact them in advance to arrange.
Photo from Wine Quay Bar Facebook page
This small bar has a fantastic terrace with views across to the Port Houses at Vila Nova de Gaia and the Dom Luis Bridge. Try to snag a table outside. If not, inside tables have nice views too.
Owners Filipa and Moises are super friendly and passionate about wine. They will help you to make your wine choices, pair wine with tapas-like plates including cheeses, boar meat sausages, cold cuts, octopus, and shitake mushrooms. My favorite was their chili jam with Portuguese cheese.
Quite reasonably priced, but they don’t accept credit cards.
Photo from The Wine Box Facebook Page
If you want the largest selection of wine, this is the place for you. This wine bar has over 450 Portuguese and international wines to offer. They use Coravin, which makes it easy to taste many wines by the glass.
You order food through an iPad. Indulge in cheese and meat platters, Galician-style octopus, mini-burghers, or bacalao (codfish) balls.
The bar gets busy especially on Friday and Saturday nights. It is advisable to make a reservation.
Photo from Mirodouro Ignez Facebook Page
Talking about fantastic views, this must be a bar with the best views of Porto and the Douro River. You must come here to see the sunset and gaze at the boats sliding by on the Douro!
Not strictly a wine bar, they serve beer, cocktails, and other drinks.
Photo from Prova Facebook Page
Nice bar with a huge selection of Portuguese wines from various regions, and ports plus some beers too. Calm ambiance with lovely jazz music.
Choose among cheese and charcuterie platters and fish taster dishes that complement the wines. The place is really chilled and trendy, and the prices are very reasonable.
You can do just a tasting, or select a food and wine pairing.
Enjoy your tastings!
If you want to join the wine tasting experience in Porto with other travelers or your private guide, consider the Porto Food and Wine Tour.
I also strongly recommend visiting quintas (wineries) in the Douro Valley. The views are absolutely stunning, and you get to taste dry wines, port wines, olive oil, and other local specialties at quintas and amazing restaurants.
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