Good wine for under €2 a bottle.... Really?

So, quite an ask but we thought we would do a blind wine tasting evening with our biker visitors last week.  Can you really find a reasonably decent red wine in Portugal for under €2? 

First - The Wines

I picked 5 random wines from 3 shops in Oliveira do Hospital, the only criteria being they had to be red and they had to have a price tag of under €2.  I then covered the labels and marked each bottle from 'A' through to 'E'.

Secondly - I looked up some basic rules for tasting, this was my interpretation of the process-

  • Fill a quarter of the glass with wine and hold it by the stem, take a small sniff of the wine right after opening, look at the wine and note the colour
  • Swirl the wine in the glass and sniff the wine again, this time really sniffing with your nose in the glass
  • Sip the wine and let it linger in your mouth then roll it around inside, spit it out and record how it tastes
  • Then take another sip and aspirate by drawing air into your mouth at the same time
  • Take another sip this time with air in it, slurp the wine and record the taste now looking for the balance of flavours, are there any that overpower the wine?
  • Note the aftertaste of the wine
  • write down what you think of the wine
My ever faithful helper Lola giving out the record sheets and pencils

My ever faithful helper Lola giving out the record sheets and pencils

Thirdly - The testing

The results were quite interesting, in fact there was a great similarity overall but we did have a clear winner and looser.  We scored the wines out of 10 (with 10 being the best) for each of the following points -  Smell and Taste (we did not score for colour as it was getting dark!) and there were 5 of us testing (actually 6 but one person forgot to mark them..... always someone!)

We certainly are not experts but we had a really good evening, getting ever so slightly drunk in the process, this might mean that some of the results were a little over generous by the end but who cares, it was fun!

A. JP Azeitao from Setubal, 2012, 13.5% priced at exactly €2

Comments were - A bit bitter, better after 60 seconds, Christmas punch, Pencil shavings This wine had an overall score of 60 points

B. Terra D'el Rei, another Alenjejano wine from 2015, 13%, cheapest at €1.59

Comments - Rhubarby, not bad taste some fruit, Nicer than A, Jubbly, Fruity, cherry       This had an overall score of 69 points (Runner up)

C. Anta da Serra, a wine from the Alentejo region, 2015, 13.5% with a price tag of €1.89

Comments - Tart, a bit crap!, Smooth criminal, a lot better than the last, fruity and smooth.  This wine had an overall score of 66 points

D.  Herdade das Mouras de Arraiolos, a Syrah wine from the Alentejo region, 13.5%, €1.89

Comments - Full red but acidic, peanuts, Oh that is better!, pungent, chocolate, rich  Overall score of 72 points (The winner)

E. Torre de Ferro, a Beira Atlantico wine, 2015, 12%  Price tag of €1.89

Comments - popcorn, MDF, tasty wood, acetone chemical taste, mint, it's alright              This wine had an overall score of 54.5 (The looser)

So here is our line up!

So here is our line up!


Yes, we think you can get an OK bottle of red for under €2 in Portugal, now that is astounding don't you think?  All comments gratefully received and let us know your favourite for under €2 - we would love to try this again with our next guests!

Thanks to Colin, Julian, Graham and Aimee for taking part.