Time to drink local

This week, rather than my normal column highlighting a specific wine from somewhere in Portugal, I decided to send out a short message to my readers, many of whom may still not be buying and drinking Algarve wines on a regular basis.

Although the Algarve, as a wine region, may still not benefit from the recognition of other regions such as the neighbouring Alentejo, it is now producing wines of a similar quality. And many of us who know, and love, Algarve wine would agree that the region has far better conditions for winemaking than most of the Alentejo.

What is encouraging now is that, finally, we can find a reasonable selection of Algarve wines on supermarket shelves, and any self-respecting local restaurateur understands the importance of promoting local wines.

A case in hand, when it reopens after the lockdown, is the small restaurant in Mexilhoeira da Carregação, Sanleti Tapas & Vinho. Here, very tasty home-cooked Portuguese food can be enjoyed, along with a decent wine list made up exclusively of local Algarve wines (in the meantime, they are offering a take-away service). Before the lockdown, I enjoyed a few excellent meals here.

During these difficult times, local wine producers are struggling as most of their sales are via restaurants to tourists who are keen to sample them. So now, more than ever, please support our local producers and next time you are shopping for wine in your favourite Algarve supermarket, buy something you have not yet tried.