While Portugal is best known for sweet and pricey Port, it also produces a river of cheap, quaffable vinho tinto. Here are three Iberian candidates for your fall house red.
Periquita Original 2011, $7.95
Periquita is a grape that thrives in the sandy soils of the Setúbal Peninsula. Chill lightly and pair with rotisserie chicken.
Ponce notes: “With aromas of tobacco, ripe cherry flavours, and a slightly coarse finish, this wine is like that chain-smoking handyman neighbour—a little rough around the edges, but full of undeniable charm.”
Berço do Infante Reserva 2012, $9.30
This bargain is a blend of Aragones (a.k.a Tempranillo) and Castelão (a.k.a Periquita). Try with vegetarian pizza.
Ponce notes: “Bright, juicy, and brimming with black cherries and zesty acidity, this bottle will disappear before the pizza arrives. It’s not overly complex, but at nine bucks, who’s complaining?”
Monte da Cal Quartetto 2009, $9.30
This four-grape blend— hence the name—is from Portuguese powerhouse Dão Sul. Pour with meatloaf.
Ponce notes: “There is a smoky undercurrent that adds a beguiling meaty note to the cassis and plum flavours. Add juicy acidity and a slightly grippy finish, and you’ve got a red that punches above its weight.”