Portugal Is The No. 1 Least Expensive Wine Country

While TV host Robin Leach once touted the merits of champagne wishes and caviar dreams, some people's wine budgets fall closer to the "Target" cost versus the Sotheby's wine auction. Although there are plenty of bottles in the cellar that are more than "Two-Buck Chuck" and less expensive than a bottle of Cristal, few people prefer to over-spend on a bottle of wine. After all, it might be better to open a second bottle than try to stretch out every last drop from just one.

Recently, Compare My Jet researched wine trends across the globe. Looking at how many bottles are both consumed and produced per 1,000 residents, the findings could have some wine drinkers packing their bags. While Iceland is the most expensive country to purchase wine in, Portugal is pouring bottles that cost the least. As Food and Wine reported, the average cost per bottle is $4.30 in Portugal. While Hungary and Chile round out the top three least expensive wine countries, the bargain wine drinkers will want to pack their bags and head to the Iberian Peninsula. At under $5 a bottle, it might be less expensive than one's normal Starbucks order.

Portuguese wine is more than just another bottle of port

While Spanish Cava might be poured with those tapas, Portuguese wine entices drinkers to open a bottle beyond its price value. Although the celebrated port of the region can be highlighted on many dessert wine menus, the various varieties showcasing the terroir's influence has made Portugal a highly praised wine country. The Wine Society has done a deep dive into the various wine regions, the grape styles, and how the land impacts the overall flavors. Overall, many of the wine offerings bring robust, full-bodied flavors to many bottles. For wine drinkers who enjoy a tannin forward option, wines from Douro and its red wines are a lovely option. The steep slopes and arid atmosphere add to the nuance in the grapes, which lead to the full-bodied flavors.

One wine that is emerging on people's radar is Bairrada. Featuring the baga grape, the wines from this region are quite approachable. The white wines from the region are easily paired with a variety of foods, and the sparkling wines are growing in popularity. For wine drinkers who want to be in-the-know before a trend starts, the Portuguese wine region will impress.

Vinho Verde is the perfect Portuguese summer sipper

While some wine drinkers have learned to appreciate the value the European wine region represents, picking a bottle of Portuguese wine might be stepping into the unknown. Putting aside port, other varietals, like Vinho Verde, can be perfect for warm weather sipping. Although the name suggests green wine, the wine is bright, refreshing, and easily paired with a variety of foods.

Wine Folly suggests that the Vinho Verde feels almost like a beach escape due to its bright flavors. From its low alcohol to its acidity qualities, it feels like a lighter sipper that has been trending across the alcohol space. Although not necessarily a low ABV wine, the sometimes lightly effervescent drink seems to fit into current aperitif and wine trends. From that Aperol Spritz to Sbagliato, this Portuguese white wine brings that zesty, palate opening flavor. Whether enjoyed before the meal or complementing other foods, there are plenty of ways to drink it. Plus, given the value price point, it can entice people to try a bottle for the first time. After trying it, it might replace a pinot grigio or even a sauvignon blanc. As the Portuguese proverb says, "quem não arrisca, não petisca," opening a bottle of Vinho Verde fits that nothing ventured, nothing gained concept.