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Winner Details

Portugal: White, including Vinho Verde

2014: Gold 3 Silver 6 Bronze 7 Commended 6
2013: Gold 2 Silver 2 Bronze 1 Commended N/A
Must-list status: 10%
Overall SWA performance 2014: B

There’s been a growing feeling among sommeliers over the past couple of years of the Sommelier Wine Awards that Portugal is increasingly becoming one of the countries to watch. And what initially began as very much a red revolution seems to have spilled over into the whites as well. Sixteen medals was a terrific performance.

Our tasters initially approached these flights with the same reluctance and suspicion that a six-year-old might view a plate of broccoli, but by the end they were (metaphorically) happily munching away and enthusing about how good the wines made them feel.

Vinho Verde
, in a sense, epitomises the renaissance of Portuguese whites. And it led the way here, with a string of reasonably well-priced, highly restaurant-friendly wines. But there was a good selection of wines in quite different, richer styles from elsewhere, too.

‘With Portuguese whites I immediately think of summer,’ said Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason. ‘I want something easy drinking and refreshing – and this range had that. Generally, it was a very good selection.’

Pricing, for the most part, was reasonable. And though these would still be a hand-sell, it was an interesting, exciting part of the competition – and definitely one that will be worth watching again next year.


Portugal managed 16 medals for its whites this year, compared with five last year, four the year before that and just one in 2011. A country on a roll…

From the Tasting Teams

There were some very good food wines here, especially for shellfish and seafood, so you would need to pair them with specific dishes. At the higher prices these wines wouldn’t sell on their own.’ Paul Quintela, The Cricketers