Wine: A light and fruity “clarete” from the Douro

To the foreign consumer, the label on this wine can cause some confusion, for the meaning of “clarete” in Portuguese means something totally different to what was once a commonly used English word used to describe Bordeaux reds; “claret”.

Here in Portugal, it means the same as “palhete”, i.e., a very light and clear red wine, usually made by combining red grapes with some white grapes.

This wine is light not only in colour and style, but also in alcohol at just 11.5%. In fact, the only thing not light about it is the price (new in at Apolónia – €19.95).

There are notes of young red fruits and plums on the nose, but what I found surprising for a wine so low in alcohol is that it is totally dry in the mouth with a somewhat bland and disappointing finish.

By Patrick Stuart
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